Three postseasons in the past four years, including consecutive seasons with a young offense and a hybrid defense mixed with veterans and rising superstars in the game. That's the nuts and bolts of the Cincinnati Bengals. Yet the reason for their success according to Mike Wilkening with Pro Football Weekly?
Internally, such continuity is viewed to hold some advantages for the Bengals. Expectations are clear among the staff, the way we hear it. The Bengals also have a clear idea of the type of players they want, said one team source.
“New coaches want new-style players to suit their techniques,” the insider said. “We've been able to ‘reload’ easily every year.”
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is in his tenth season. Defensive coordinator in his fifth and Jay Gruden is completing only his second. All are signed through 2014. Let's not forget Darrin Simmons, the team's Special Teams coordinator for the tenth season. Some assistant coaches like running backs coach Jim Anderson (29th season) and offensive line coach Paul Alexander (18th) have been around longer. Or the Hayes brothers (Jay, defensive line coach and Jonathan, tight end coach) and Ken Zampese (quarterbacks coach), who joined the Bengals with Lewis ten years ago.
Save for a few promotions (Kevin Coyle to the Miami Dolphins) and exits by Jeff Fitzgerald and Bob Bratkowski, the Bengals coaching staff has largely been the same group over the years, building even more continuity today than years past.