As we pointed out earlier, with Kevin Coyle interviewing for the Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator job and Tampa Bay's head coaching search leaving Mike Zimmer in limbo, there's a plausible scenario that Cincinnati could lose both coaches to well-deserved promotions by the end of the week. Now if that's the case and both coaches leave, the most obvious candidate to become Cincinnati's newest defensive coordinator would fall to former Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio, which has been assumed since Zimmer was a candidate for the head coaching vacancy in Miami and (briefly) St. Louis.
But what of defensive backs coach?
Even if Zimmer stays and Coyle leaves, the Bengals still need to find a defensive backs coach. Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that Lewis is already in the process of looking for one.
“This is my chance to come down here and have one-stop shopping and talk to people about different people I know,” Lewis said Tuesday.
One name that could come up is former Miami Dolphins secondary coach Todd Bowles, who filled in as Miami's head coach for the final three games in 2011. On Tuesday Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel confirmed that head coach Joe Philbin will not to retain Bowles on his coaching staff.
Bowles resume is quite extensive as a defensive backs coach, most recently with the Miami Dolphins (2008-2011). Bowles coached a Dallas Cowboys secondary (2005-2007) that sent three defensive backs to a combined five Pro Bowls, including 2007 where three of the four positions in secondary on the NFC Pro Bowl roster comprised of Cowboys starters. During those three seasons, Dallas' secondary registered 52 interceptions.
Before Dallas, Bowles spent four years in Cleveland with the final year being named as the team's defensive backs coach. The Browns ranked fifth against the pass that year with an average 181.3 yards passing. Additionally during his first season on Cleveland's coaching staff, Browns defensive backs posted 28 interceptions on a team that set a franchise record 33 interceptions total.
If the Bengals decided to promote from within, they could look at assistant defensive backs coach Paul Guenther, who took on a new assignment working with Coyle in Cincinnati's secondary in 2011. Also the assistant special teams coach, this was Guenther's seventh season with the Bengals and before that he worked with Lewis in Washington as an offensive assistant (specifically running backs) with the Redskins. He's also former a defensive coordinator at Jacksonville University as well as a head coach at Ursinus (1997-2001). That being said the likelihood of Guenther being promoted is small.
Regardless, there's options.