Offensive line coach Frank Pollack reportedly left the Cincinnati Bengals’ staff on his own accord yesterday, but the Bengals may have an ideal replacement in mind.
Per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Zac Taylor, the next expected Bengals head coach, is “very interested” in hiring Washington assistant head coach and offensive line coach Bill Callahan.
Zac Taylor is very interested in getting esteemed OL coach and former Raiders HC Bill Callahan on the staff he is forming for Cincy. We'll see if the Skins allow the move— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 16, 2019
There’s a couple of connections to unfold, so let’s start with his ties to Taylor.
Callahan was the head coach at the University of Nebraska from 2004-2007 after his two year run as head coach of the Oakland Raiders ended with his firing. Callahan coached three starting quarterbacks in his four years there. His most successful one?
Taylor was the 2006 Big 12 Player of the Year in Callahan’s third year. The Cornhuskers went to their second consecutive bowl game that season, and Taylor left for the NFL as his years of eligibility had run out.
Callahan lasted just a year longer after Taylor left and he was back in the NFL with the New York Jets as their assistant head coach and offensive line coach. He spent four years there before taking the offensive coordinator job with the Dallas Cowboys in 2012 while also coaching the offensive line.
In 2013, Callahan and the Cowboys added Frank Pollack to their staff and Pollack became their assistant offensive line coach. Pollack took over as their offensive line coach in 2015 when Callahan took the offensive line coach position with Washington, where Callahan’s been ever since.
Pollack was a nice addition to the Bengals’ coaching staff last season, and the details of his departure are far from clear, but you could argue that Pollack’s work in Dallas was orchestrated by the foundation that Callahan laid. When looking at offensive line coaches across the league, Callahan is one of the few that is more reputable than Pollack himself.
Mike Munchak is a difference maker as an OL coach. Denver got a great one. Pittsburgh lost a great one.https://t.co/FY0VbPuroV pic.twitter.com/3znZk92Hob— Justis Mosqueda (@JuMosq) January 14, 2019
If the Bengals were to replace Pollack with the man that he assisted for years in building the dominant Cowboys’ offensive line, who then made Washington’s offensive line a dominating force, it would be a major get for Taylor. Of course, Callahan is not available to hire off the street, as he is still employed by Washington. His connection with Taylor is the key to bringing him to Cincinnati.
The Bengals could offer Callahan the vacant offensive coordinator position, but NFL insider Benjamin Allbright is reporting that he’ll just be the offensive line coach and that it’s very likely to happen:
OL coach, but yes. 100% https://t.co/FcwWYbN956— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) January 16, 2019
It's...extremely likely. How about that?— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) January 16, 2019
The Bengals still have a good portion of their coaching staff unfilled with the collegiate all-star games rapidly approaching. Callahan joining the staff would be a monumental hiring for his former quarterback-turned-head coach.