With Hue Jackson moving on to be the head coach in Cleveland, the Bengals promoted Ken Zampese, the team's quarterbacks coach for 13 years to the offensive coordinator position.
Zampese is excited to build upon the foundation that Jackson set, while moving forward using the principles the Bengals have utilized over the years. "Physicality, toughness, energy, enthusiasm, passion, playing fast," Zampese said in his introductory press conference. "All those things are true regardless of where you're at. All those things have been set as a foundation here, and we'll do our best to push those forward, because that's where our success lies."
Zampese had been hoping for this opportunity for a long time. "Opportunities come when they come, and when it’s right, it happens," he said. "Here it is right now, and here we go. So I’m excited for the opportunity and the faith that’s been shown me, and I can’t wait to get started."
For the last five years, Andy Dalton and Zampese have grown together as player and coach and the two have worked on minute details of the game, how you carry yourself, how you communicate with others, body language, the details of a play and more. Zampese and Dalton will now continue to grow together, though Zampese will be filling a larger role for the team while Dalton gets a new quarterbacks coach in Bill Lazor.
"These five years with him have been a lot of fun, because we’ve been able to take a guy from scratch and bring him up to this point.," Zampese said of Dalton. "The challenge is now to not just keep him there, but push him forward from there. There’s a lot of meat left on that bone, and we’ll go find it ."
After Marvin Lewis passed over Zampese during the last two offensive coordinator searches, this time, he chose to go with Zampese.
"We've tried to cultivate coaches from within and have them continue to grow into leadership positions," Lewis said. "They have input along with the other staff and the coordinators. You're able to know when people are to the point that they're a contributor like that. As their role expands, the responsibility expands. We're fortunate to continue with adding people to the staff that have those kind of qualities."
Zampese has been with the Bengals for a long time and says while most guys jump at the first opportunity they get at a better job, the Bengals treat him like a family and that's important to him. "I like being where people have faith in me, they treat me like family, and that's what's happened here. We've had good players over time, Coach Lewis has been tremendous to me in giving me an opportunity to coach the quarterbacks here and the guys we have in the building make me want to stay and I think that's been the biggest reason."
Zampese also talked about what he's learned from his father, former NFL offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese who spent 20 years coaching in the league. "When I ask him what does he miss, he always says camaraderie. It's always about relationships. The continuation and developing of a relationship with each guy you run into over the course of the day, and building bridges in this building. That's where I'm going."