During the Bengals' Wednesday press conference, The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy had an interesting string of Tweets regarding the Bengals coaching staff. We all know that the Bengals are waiting on word from teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Indianapolis Colts (Zimmer has not interviewed with the Colts at this point) to make the announcement on who they will hire and the Miami Dolphins are interviewing Bengals secondary coach Kevin Coyle about the defensive coordinator job. What we don't know is what they will do with the other coaching positions. Reedy's Tweets may give us some clues.
#bengals head coach Marvin Lewis says there is "one other staff opening" not related to Coyle ...Even with Coyle interviewing in Miami,
Lewis did not say what the opening is, but all indicators point to LB coach Jeff FitzGerald's contract not being renewed ...
FitzGerald was believed to be gone last year but stayed on for one more season. And no, Jack Del Rio is not coming here as LBs coach
2011 was FitzGerald's fourth season as the Bengals' linebackers coach and while the defense found success and free agents Thomas Howard and Manny Lawson played well for the Bengals, middle linebacker Rey Maualuga often struggled. While he played well in some games, he was terrible in others and the Bengals need him to play at the highest level to help move the defense from good status to elite status.
Furthermore, even though outside linebacker Keith Rivers didn't play in 2011 due to a wrist injury suffered before the season started, the first round pick has really never come into his own and produced the way many thought and hoped he would. That could be blamed somewhat on FitzGerald as well.
As we hear more and more that Coyle is the front runner for the Dolphins defensive coordinator job, it's possible that we could see the Bengals bring in a new secondary and linebackers coach. If Zimmer gets hired, you can make that a new defensive coordinator too.
Things could get interesting in the coming months.