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Jack Del Rio is a smart “target” as Bengals defensive coordinator

According to one NFL media report, the Bengals could target Jack Del Rio as a possible candidate for defensive coordinator. With he-who-shall-not-be-named head coach Zac Taylor (35) having a coaching background entirely on offense, Del Rio would be a smart choice to coach the defense.

Oakland Raiders v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

This is one of those postings that may only interest me — AKA, I’m thinking about something and I answer it via a Chop Block post. There’s very little insight, story structure, or analysis here; just answering random musings from the couch during a stormy Cincinnati afternoon. There might not even be a conclusion; I’ll just stop when I’m finished.

Jack Del Rio has been connected to Cincinnati since Mike Zimmer left for Minnesota. The connection was almost always speculative, centered around Del Rio’s association with Marvin Lewis; Del Rio coached linebackers under Lewis during their historic run in Baltimore nearly 20 years ago. Obviously the relationship didn’t translate into a reunion, as Cincinnati replaced Zimmer with Paul Guenther, and then signed Teryl Austin after Guenther left for Oakland.

Despite Cincinnati’s “mutual” separation with Marvin Lewis, Del Rio’s name is re-surfacing as a possible target for defensive coordinator, according to NFL Media.

Del Rio, who hasn’t coached since 2017, is an established defensive coordinator with stints in Denver (2012-14) and Carolina (2002). Of his four seasons as a coordinator, Del Rio’s defenses have ranked inside the top-three three times.

He-who-shall-not-be-named head coach Zac Taylor, who turns 36 this May, has a coaching pedigree entirely on offense. Having someone like Del Rio, a former head coach and defensive coordinator, gives Cincinnati quality leadership experience on the defensive side, allowing Taylor latitude to focus on his offense.

It’s a smart move if Cincinnati hires him.

Brian Callahan — the son of Bill Callahan who is also candidate to coach the offensive line — spent 2018 with the Oakland Raiders as their quarterbacks coach. Prior to that, he coached in Denver (various roles between 2010-15 including quarterbacks coach) and Detroit (2016-17 as the quarterbacks coach). Del Rio and Callahan were on the same staff in Denver for three years (2012-14).