Ken Zampese: An Expose

I am going to try to break this down into 3 segments, the first will be what has he done, the second, why we don't think its good enough, and third, what are the options, and are they better?

I suppose the first place to start would be with John Kitna's career revival here, ultimately leading him to be a high school football coach. "The ’03 campaign saw Kitna post career highs at that point in completions (324), passing yards (3591), TD passes (26), completion percentage (62.3) and rating (87.4)." This was Zampese's first season with the Bengals.

Here are Kitna's stats in 2002 before Zampese came on board:

2002 30 CIN QB
14 12 2-10-0 294 473 62.2 3178 16 16 79.1

Statistically at least there was an improvement, if not by much, leading to good to fair career numbers.

While Kitna was leading the boys to 8 wins in 2 season and other various previous failings for the Cincinnati franchise, Zampese was elsewhere doing these things:"Zampese came to the Bengals following three seasons (2000-02) in St. Louis. With the Rams, he had an expanding role with a passing offense that ranked among the NFL’s most prolific. Zampese joined the Rams in 2000 as an offensive assistant. He was promoted to wide receivers coach in 2001, and the Rams led the league in passing yards for a second straight year, averaging 291.4. In 2002, he added the title of passing game coach, and the Rams finished second in the league at 259.6 yards per game. Zampese began his NFL career in 1998 as an offensive assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles under head coach Ray Rhodes. He moved with Rhodes to Green Bay in 1999 before beginning his stint with the Rams. Prior to entering the NFL, Zampese coached for nine years in college. He had one Cincinnati-area assignment, as passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 1996-97 at Miami (Ohio). In ’97, Miami averaged 37.4 points per game."

These are the things for us farthest in the past in where we need to look, and I don't feel it necessary to dredge up Carson's capabilities, his improvement and later implosions from injury, nor do I want to make it about the guy who we all want to be perfect overnight, unsatisfied with slower but obvious (at least in some areas, but not all) improvement. Lets just say Zampese has been fairly successful in some general areas, just not as much as we would like or as quickly.

Lets make this clear though, its not just about what has improved and by how much, how quickly, but also what hasn't improved. If there is a pattern across the qbs, what is it? The first one should be glaring of the stat lines. Interceptions. I don't need to point at numbers and specific games and don't really care about the situation, for this discussion anyway. One thing is clear, there have been WAY TOO MANY by all of them. Especially when 2 of the 3 are considered game managing qbs, and Carson was supposed to have the arm of a god capable of putting a rocket through any window. Somehow there were always defenders in the windows running those passes back for touchdowns. Andy, well, he just makes some terrible decisions sometimes.

Not all of these men's interceptions were on them in the real world of the game, but the ones that are, seem to be a product of bad decision making. Is that even something a QB coach can do anything about but coach technique and hope they learn with time? If so, why hasn't it gotten through to anyone? What is it the can do to fix it? Does Zampese deserve one more year with the rest of them? Is it time for Hue Jackson to do a search for a new QB coach? How can we prod him into doing it? Im not sure who is out there available, though Kenny Anderson gets brought up a lot for this job. Who else CJ? What are your thoughts on what I believe to be the weakest link on the offensive side of the staff.

This is my first time writing one of these, any feedback is much appreciated. Thanks!

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors.

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