Week in Review is a set of selected stories during the week that you might have missed, deemed important enough to review.
The Chinese New Year was celebrated over a week ago, calling it The Year of the Rabbit. And if such things could be compacted into clever phrases, the Cincinnati Bengals had a similar week of themes this week. Actually, no. It could stretch the entire month. We could call it The Month Of The Coaches. Alright, so that's a little corny, but the spirit of the point applies.
And that point is that the Bengals coaching staff is changing.
The most notable change that's happened this offseason is the team's change at offensive coordinator. Bob Bratkowski, now the quarterbacks coach with the Atlanta Falcons, was dismissed with Jay Gruden replacing him. Gruden is expected to bring fresh ideas with vigor for an offense that was largely ineffective and stale. A second wind? Perhaps. Reborn with the strength to put old philosphies and styles to bed, the Bengals are hopeful that Gruden brings the offense a newfound purpose that results in productivity, unpredictability and the use of personnel and formations that were largely unused during the previous regime.
Yet, after a period in which changes weren't expected to come after the press conference, they've slowly started changing the coaching staff.
Bengals assistant defensive backs coach, Louie Cioffi, will be interviewing with the Arizona Cardinals on Monday and is largely expected to be announced as the team's defensive backs coach as soon Monday afternoon. Now the team needs a new assistant defensive backs coach, to help Kevin Coyle coach the team's largest unit of players. Bengals wide receivers coach accepted a position with Jacksonville to become the Jaguars' quarterbacks coach. A position that he's wanted for some time.
"They don't let many people go, but they knew how much I wanted to coach quarterbacks again," Sheppard said. "Our quarterbacks are coached very well here (by Ken Zampese), so there was no place to move."
And the team nearly lost another assistant coach when the Philadelphia Eagles had interest in defensive backs coach Kevin Coyle for the position of defensive backs coach. However, the Bengals refused to allow the Eagles to interview Coyle, preventing him from a possible promotion.
In retrospect, two Bengals coaches left to take other jobs that could be defined as a promotion. A third could have left to call defensive plays for the Eagles. What does that say when coaches from the Bengals staff were being plucked away?
In the end, the changes were somewhat forced on the Bengals. Save for Bratkowski, the team didn't fire anyone, only forced to replace coaches that took jobs elsewhere. Yet, those changes are here and now the team has to find coaches that will help make the 2011 Bengals a better squad for the future.