clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cincinnati Bengals coaching candidate profile: Kris Richard

Richard knows how to develop talent and get teams to play at a championship level.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals have interviewed a handful of candidates from teams with first-round byes in this year’s playoffs. Per Mike Garafolo, assistant coaches from teams like the Rams and Chiefs aren’t the only ones Bengals would like to interview.

Just this past weekend, the Dallas Cowboys knocked out the red-hot Seattle Seahawks in the wild card round; a victory that was likely very satisfying for a certain Cowboys coach.

Kris Richard spent several years playing and coaching for the Seahawks before ending up in Dallas as an assistant to head coach Jason Garrett. Richard has already been interviewed by a few teams, could the Bengals be next? Let’s overview Richard’s qualifications.


Kris Richard is currently the passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach with the Dallas Cowboys. He has done an impressive job with that unit in one year, but is best known for his work as defensive backs coach and later defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks.


  • 2002-2007: Seahawks, Dolphins, 49ers, and Raiders (Defensive Back)
  • 2008-2009: USC (Graduate Assistant)
  • 2010: Seattle Seahawks (Assistant Defensive Backs Coach)
  • 2011: Seattle Seahawks (Cornerbacks Coach)
  • 2012-2014: Seattle Seahawks (Defensive Backs Coach)
  • 2015-2017: Seattle Seahawks (Defensive Coordinator)
  • 2018: Dallas Cowboys (Defensive Backs Coach/Passing Game Coordinator)

Why he could work

Richard is a Pete Carroll guy. He played for him at USC, was his graduate assistant with the Trojans, and worked his way up the chain as an NFL coach under him in Seattle.

Anytime a coach is a part of a unit with a nickname, it is a good thing. Richard was instrumental in the development of the Legion of Boom. He was the Seahawks defensive backs coach through their heyday including both Super Bowl appearances.

He became the defensive coordinator after that and did an impressive job with an aging unit. The Cover 3 and Cover 1 looks that Seattle ran successfully are what the Bengals are most equipped to be defensively. When the Seahawks missed the playoffs in 2017, Richard was a casualty.

In one season in Dallas, Richard has been instrumental in developing the secondary into an impressive group, Under Richard’s tutelage, cornerback Byron Jones is playing to his maximum potential and was elected to his first Pro Bowl this year.

Why he may not be the guy

The Bengals have been rumored to be looking for a young offensive mind, Richard however is a young defensive mind.

Richard has one year of experience away from Carroll. That means that he may be limited in his flexibility because he has only been a part of one system. Carroll’s is certainly a good system to come out of, but it is still limiting.

Richard isn’t currently a defensive coordinator, but he has that experience in his past. He was fired from his previous coordinator job, but that was more a case of the team needing to move in a different direction that the game passing him by. That is evident from his performance in Dallas.

Final Thoughts

Richard is the smart, young coach that the Bengals have been waiting for, but does not coach the offensive side of the ball. He could be a really good hire, but will need to make sure he brings in an excellent offensive staff. Richard knows how to get the most out of players, and as a result he will get a head coaching opportunity soon.