I am a pretty optimistic guy. Even if I don’t agree with decisions the Bengals make, I can generally see a path where they can be successful if everything works out.
I woke up on December 31st, and that feeling was gone.
How could I look forward to the offseason if the Bengals were going to stay on the same path? We all appreciate Marvin Lewis and what he’s done for this franchise, but his time has long been passed. The problem was it seemed like the only person who didn’t know that was Mike Brown.
Then a miracle happened.
Bengals fans everywhere jumped for joy as the news of Lewis’ dismissal came out. No one thought that Brown would actually move on from Lewis, but the improbable has occurred. As the morning went on, the giddiness wore off and distrust of ownership set back in. This is a big moment for the Bengals’ franchise. What if they screw it up? Could it get worse?
What if the Brown family is merely teasing us with hopes of legitimate hires such as Josh McDaniels, Zac Taylor or even maybe Eric Bieniemy? What if they make an awful hire that sends us pummeling back down to earth?
With that in mind, here are the 10 worst hires the Bengals could possibly make.
1. Hue Jackson - former Browns head coach/current made up position with Bengals
Obviously Jackson is the worst candidate. Not only did he go 0-16 in 2017 in 2018 the combined record of the Browns and Bengals while they employed him was 3-11-1 while the pair combined to go 10-7 without him. Losing seems to follow Jackson — whether that’s all his fault or not — and the Bengals just need to part ways for good now.
2. John DeFilippo - former Vikings offensive coordinator
DeFilippo got a lot of buzz as quarterbacks coach of the Eagles on their Super Bowl run and capitalized days later by becoming offensive coordinator of the Vikings. Unfortunately he seemed more concerned with creative play design than utilizing his talent and was fired midseason. Some would say DeFilippo was the fall guy for his offense not having a competent offensive line, but this probably isn’t the time for him to make the jump to head coach.
3. Bill Lazor - Bengals offensive coordinator or Darrin Simmons - Bengals special teams coordinator
Lazor was impressive as an offensive coordinator for about 2 weeks in 2017, but as often happens with midyear replacements, once film got out on his offense he was unimpressive.
As a loyal long-time employee, Simmons deserves his interview, but it should be more of a courtesy than anything. Neither should be seriously considered because this team needs change and that is not going to come from an internal hire.
4. Mike Munchak - Steelers offensive line coach
Offensive line coaches don’t generally fair well as head coaches, but more importantly Munchak is a retread. He was the head coach of the Titans for three seasons going 9-7, 6-10, and 7-9. This would be a devastating hire for a fan base that is tired of mediocrity.
5. Gregg Williams - former Browns interim head coach and defensive coordinator
Sure he turned the Browns’ season around, but think about this: is it a smart idea to pair Vontaze Burfict with the guy who orchestrated bounty-gate?
6. Matt LaFleur - Titans offensive coordinator
After serving as Kyle Shanahan’s quarterbacks coach in Atlanta and Sean McVay’s offensive coordinator in Los Angeles, LaFleur is getting a lot of attention as the next great offensive mind. Unfortunately, in his first year on his own he did not put together an inspiring offense in Tennessee. This is a hot name with little substance.
7. Dirk Koetter - former Buccaneers head coach
Koetter is a classic example of just because their offense (or defense) is good, it doesn’t mean they can run the whole team. Lovie Smith got hosed.
8. Jim Caldwell - former Lions head coach
Caldwell is 0-4 in the playoffs and two of those loses came with Peyton Manning as his quarterback, This is not the guy to replace Lewis.
9. Mike McCarthy - former Packers head coach
It is true that the Packers have had personnel issues, but coaching Aaron Rodgers his entire career and winning only one Super Bowl is not a good look. McCarthy could take a team with minimal roster talent and build a solid team, but he’s not what the Bengals need.
10. Vance Joseph - former Broncos head coach
Joseph made some questionable in-game decisions this season, but he isn’t the worst candidate out there. His prior stint on the coaching staff hurts him as well.