The Cincinnati Bengals have finally made a move fans will actually agree with.
According to Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the team is parting ways with long-time offensive line coach Paul Alexander. He has since released this statement on his departure:
Statement from OL coach Paul Alexander, who will not be back. pic.twitter.com/Q6w098fxE9— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) January 3, 2018
This comes after Alexander coached one of the worst offensive lines in football this past season. The inability of this line to consistently generate push was a big reason why Cincinnati finished dead last in total offense.
They also finished tied for 30th in rushing yards per attempt (3.6) and rushing scores (6), as well as tied for the 13th-most sacks allowed (40), despite attempting the seventh-fewest passing attempts (510).
Alexander did help construct some great offensive lines during his career, including the development of All-Pro left tackle Andrew Whitworth, Pro Bowl guard Kevin Zeitler, and All-Pro tackle Willie Anderson.
This was almost certainly the kind of thing Marvin Lewis wanted when he decided to return to the Bengals on a two-year contract extension. More control over his staff and the ability to make player personnel decisions are something he’s never had full control of, as Mike Brown often likes to have a say in these things.
That’s how Alexander has managed to be with the Bengals seemingly as long as Brown has been the owner, having opened his tenure in 1994 with one season as tight ends coach before eventually moving to coach the offensive line.
But his offensive lines have struggled mightily in recent years, so it was an easy call to part ways with him, something we may have not seen if Lewis had been let go, so at least something good is coming from keeping Lewis.