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Zac Taylor and the Bengals quarterback situation

Is Zac Taylor being coveted by the Bengals to work with Andy Dalton, or find his replacement?

NFL: Los Angeles Rams-OTA Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It seems odd to me that the me that the Bears would draft a quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky and then go out the next year and get their head coach in Matt Nagy. It was the same thing with Jared Goff and Sean McVay for the Rams. The Cardinals did the same Josh Rosen and Kliff Kingsbury. The Jets did it with Sam Darnold and Adam Gase.

The logic people use to explain this is that the quarterback attracts a top coaching candidate, but honestly, were these guys that great of candidates?

McVay wasn’t highly sought after. Kingsbury had some interest, but only one offer. Gase was not expected to get another job immediately. The best candidate in the group was Nagy, and he had less than a season of play calling experience.

I’m not saying any of these guys are bad coaches, I’m just saying they weren’t the kind who needed to be wooed by what was already in place. Wouldn’t it make more sense to let the coach pick the quarterback? All of those quarterbacks were high draft picks. Many coaches would prefer to pick their own quarterback with that pick rather than have one selected for them.

Take Trubisky for example. He was selected over Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in the 2017 NFL Draft. A lot of coaches would have gone a different direction with that pick.

It may come back to a power struggle that happens in many organizations. With many teams, it is the general manager, not the head coach who is running the show. General managers want to be the one who selects the quarterback, not the coach. The allows them to take credit and thus maintain power over the head coach.

The Bengals appear to be going another direction. Quarterback Andy Dalton has played at a relatively high level in the past, but has not been the same in recent years. Obviously there was a dip in healthy offensive talent around the same time and a change in coordinator as well. So this decline is not all Dalton’s fault, but anyway you look at it, he is not getting any younger.

So is Zac Taylor expected to get Dalton back on track for a few more years, or is this a complete rebuild where the Bengals are looking for the next guy?

The last 15 Super Bowls have been won by nine quarterbacks — six of them are sure-fire first ballot Fall of Famers and a seventh is young but likely to be the same. This list contains names like Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Russell Wilson. Those are top flight quarterbacks and that group has won 13 of the last 15 Super Bowls.

Andy Dalton does not fit on this list. At his best, he is in the same tier as the two non-hall of famers: Joe Flacco and Nick Foles. Notice that those quarterbacks did not repeat.

Dalton has been a good quarterback for the Bengals, but things have change in the NFL and for the first time in a long time: the Bengals are changing too. Cincinnati does not need to kick Dalton out the door, but there should be a plan for finding his replacement and Taylor should the one who makes that decision. A young dynamic quarterback who can be the centerpiece of the team’s fresh new look and can lead an offense geared around Joe Mixon, Tyler Boyd, and John Ross for years to come.

That should be the plan. We’ll just have to see if it is.