Part one of this series discussed the players in this organization that were worth keeping, either as back-ups, depth, or potential starters, depending on who would be signed in the offseason. However, if one cleans house, this also begs the question of coaching, or who still deserves their job. At this point, I'm willing to give it to all of four guys.
Head Coach Marvin Lewis
Read my signature and then ask me straight-faced again whether he should come back. He was supposed to take us out of this ineptitude, but has flirted with it most every year he's been here and has only broken into the playoffs twice, with no wins either time (I can't fault him for Carson's injury, which could've been a win for us and even a potential super bowl victory, but that's playing the "What-if" game), eventually culminating in this season which appears he's putting us right back where he found us.
The only downside to all of this is it's a reset, a wash. We lose the only guy that had any semblance of control over Mike Brown. I can assure that the last two years' drafts would not have gone as well as they possibly could have gone had Marvin Lewis not been there. He's had so little to work with that we'll never know what could have been, but I assure you, if Mikey offered Lewis a job as his GM, I'd be okay with that. It's leagues better than what he could choose (Matt Millen is currently available, for example).
Offensive Coordinator Bob Bratkowski
Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer
Sure, the defense has had breakdowns such as the Patriots' game, Falcons' game, and Bills' game, but for what it's worth, Zimmer took fault for the first of those and the latter two happened without Jonathan Joseph on the field. The man has stated frequently that his defense starts and ends with the play of those two cornerbacks and for him not to have one of them not only results in a terrific dropoff in the secondary, but the whole defense does as well. When he is on the field for sixteen games, you get something akin to the defense from 2009. I can't fault him for naggling injuries in the secondary, and he's had to work with a number of injuries altogether. To still yield as good of a rank as he has thus far is nothing short of spectacular. Guys say he's not a schemer, but I'll be damned if they say he's not a good defensive coordinator. Keep this man, make them the head coach if necessary, but I want him a Bengal for as long as I can have him.
Quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese
Carson Palmer has mechanical issues. While I credit most of the offense's blunders (read: all) to Bob Bratkowski, if your mechanics come gametime are not improving and not getting better, even at thirty, then something's up with the QBs coach. I expect this man to be fired as well and the new OC to bring in his own guys, but I'll be damned to say that Zampese is worth keeping, even if he came back here.
Wide Receivers coach Mike Sheppard
Alright, this one takes a bit of thought. On the one hand, Ocho has been great, but that's not really something you can attribute to Sheppard. Shipley, however, has been just as wonderful and Caldwell has had his moments. However, Caldwell sucks a majority of the time and Simpson never sees the field. Throw in none of our "project" receivers panning out and you've got a man who should by and large be responsible. Caldwell and Simpson were supposed to be the future for this corps. We shouldn't need to constantly be spending so much looking for receivers every year in FA and the draft because Sheppard can't improve the two guys he's supposed to improve. Simpson's got all the talent in the world, Sheppard should be able to find a way to utilize it. I can't say Sheppard is worth keeping.
Running Backs coach Jim Anderson
The dark ages were obviously bad, but I can't discredit Jim Anderson. He's put out some backs who consistently produce, such as Corey Dillon, Rudi Johnson, Chris Perry (when he was healthy), and Cedric Benson. The longest-tenured Bengals coach on the team and still produces. Why should we turn him away now?
Offensive Line coach Paul Alexander
This seems like a guy who's been shafted by getting nothing to work with. When he has actual talent to utilize, he can utilize it quite well, as evidenced by the 2005 line. However, he rarely gets the exceptional talent he wants or needs, considering the high-round picks are old or often injured and the rest are undrafted, raw, or even converted. Sure, the line's play has been bad this year, but I have to wonder if that's really just a fault of MIkey Boy for giving Alexander little to work with or Alexander just losing his touch.
Tight Ends coach Jonathan Hayes
I have no faults if they bring this guy back. It's not like they've given him a lot to work with in the first place, and when he does have something worthwhile (aka not Coats), he can produce solid production (Reggie Kelly, Jermaine Gresham). It's not like the Bengals over-utilize their TEs like the Patriots, Chargers, Colts, or Cowboys, so it's hard to really grade Hayes' efforts with his position. I can't say it's purely negative.
Defensive Line coach Jay Hayes
You've got that much talent invested in the defensive line and you're last in the league in sacks? Does anyone else think he deserves a job after this?
Linebackers coach Jeff Fitzgerald
I don't know. His LBs have been nothing spectacular, given the amount of talent they have, but simultaneously, I don't see another guy who has his players more victimized by Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis' obsessive experiments. Michael Johnson (DE converted to OLB), Rey Maualuga (MLB converted to SLB), Dan Skuta (LB converted to FB), and this is just in recent years. I can't say I'm all for keeping him, but there's reasons why he doesn't outright deserve to be fired.
Defensive Backs coach Kevin Coyle
Wow that's a position that's decimated by injuries and still producing fairly well despite playing most of them as back-ups. It's hysterical how we laughed at Ravens fans for having 2/5 starters at the start of the year and how we're reduced to 1/5 of ours while they're at 4/5 of theirs. Talk about irony or just odd circumstances.
Anyways, yeh, for what it's worth, Coyle's routinely produced. I can't speak a lot for his safeties, but he and Zimmer have really molded the cornerbacks into players since they both arrived. He's not had much to work with considering the injuries so, for what it's worth, he's deserved a job for at least next year.
Special Teams Coordinator Darrin Simmons
Cosby's near the bottom of the league in punt returns, Scott's near the bottom of the league in KO returns, we're near the bottom of the league in punt and kick coverage, and Mike Nugent's FG conversion rate was around 70%, at least ten percent off Shayne Graham's (those, as pointed out, a lot of Nugent's misses were on field goals Graham had little hope of making). I think it's time he goes as well.
That'd be all of them besides strength and conditioning coaches and assistants, which I imagine are dependent on the positions coach anyway.
Fire away, guys. I'll talk draft and FA in the next one.