It’s finally happened.
According to Ian Rapoport, the Cincinnati Bengals will fire offensive coordinator Ken Zampese, and it looks like quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor could be his replacement.
The #Bengals are expected to fire OC Ken Zampese, sources say. After two games without a touchdown, Zampese is out.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 15, 2017
With #Bengals OC Ken Zampese out, one potential replacement is QB coach Bill Lazor. He’s highly regarded in the building.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 15, 2017
This has been brewing since late in the 2016 season, when it was abundantly clear Ken Zampese was in over his head as an NFL offensive coordinator.
Before I go further, I want to point out that Zampese is a good NFL coach. He’s done a ton for this franchise in helping mentor Carson Palmer and Andy Dalton, helping them develop into the franchise quarterbacks we’ve seen them capable of being.
Zampese is a great assistant and one I’d be happy having as a quarterbacks coach on my staff. Unfortunately for Zampese, that’s where he should have remained with the Bengals. Instead, Zampese was tabbed to be the next offensive coordinator when Hue Jackson left in 2016 to become head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
It was painfully clear in 2016 that Zampese was not the man for this job. After two games in 2017, he’s becoming a hated man in Cincinnati, and that’s sad. All he did was take a promotion that should have never been offered to him, but nonetheless was.
That’s on Marvin Lewis and Mike Brown, so direct your anger toward them, not Zampese. He’s done too much for this franchise to deserve the blame for the disaster the Bengals have become.
That said, while Zampese doesn’t deserve the ire of Bengaldom, he does deserve to have a pink slip handed to him, so it’s good to see that finally has arrived. His offense has been a complete and utter disaster.
The offensive line may stink, but Andy Dalton, Tyler Eifert and A.J. Green have shown they can carry this offense when the lien struggles. Eifert is barely getting targets anymore, and Green isn’t getting nearly enough touches.
In the 10 games that ended in a loss or tie for the Bengals in 2016, nine of those contests saw Cincinnati trailing by just one score at some point in the fourth quarter. Five of them saw the Bengals lead in the in the final quarter, and eight of them saw Cincinnati have the ball in the final five minutes with a chance to tie or take the lead.
In those nine losses, the Bengals averaged a mere 16 points per game. That would have been just two points ahead of the Los Angeles Rams for the worst mark in the league (14 ppg).
As if that wasn’t bad enough, in the two losses this season, the Bengals have averaged a whopping 4.5 points after scoring nine on Thursday, an increase from zero in Week 1.
The Bengals scored 9 points in their first 2 games, the fewest since the 2009 Rams had 7 on their way to finishing 1-15— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) September 15, 2017
We’ll update this story as more details come out...