In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated's Don Banks, Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer talked about his rebuilding of the Bengals defense and his journey as an NFL coach.
During the 2011 offseason it was Zimmer that recruited Johnathan Joseph's replacement at corner, Nate Clements. He recalled a conversation with Clements after the win versus Buffalo this season.
I grabbed him after the game and I gave him a hug and I said, 'I told you we're going to be good on defense. I told you when I recruited you this was going to be a good situation for you.Zimmer then went in depth about his desire to advance his career as an NFL coach.
It's still alive, but sometimes you get frustrated over the course of time. I go back and think about what they said about Tony Dungy and guys like that. You kind of wonder sometimes, like what else can I do? What does it take? You wonder why some guys get interviewed or get a job over you, but you just end up going with it, and still keep hoping for that opportunity to run your own team.
All I can do is say, 'Here's what I've done, this is my track record, and this is my reputation as a coach.' I'm a coach who can get a good nucleus of guys and make them into a good team, I think. With this team, we probably have a little more talent than we did in 2009, but these guys are still kind of jelling a little bit, because we added so many new guys with this crew. But hopefully, if we continue to go from here, maybe by the end of the year I'll feel like this is the best thing I've done.
It's the biggest "danged if you do-danged if you don't" situation out there. As an NFL team you want to have a great head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinators. But if they do too well they may be noticed by other teams as possible candidates for a head coaching gig.
If the Bengals defense remains at the top at the end of the year, the buzz going around about Zimmer landing a head coaching gig may come true.