The Bengals’ search for a defensive coordinator has been frustrating to say the least, and a big reason for that is the Bengals themselves.
According to Fletcher Page of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bengals passed on hiring Jack Del Rio, who was easily the best candidate available for the job:
Del Rio wanted the job and likely would have accepted if offered, according to sources, but Taylor’s call was that Del Rio, the former head coach of the Jaguars and Raiders, would not be the right fit for the position.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean Zac Taylor simply didn’t want Del Rio running the defense (though all signs point to that being the case). It’s possible Del Rio was asking for more money than the Bengals were willing to spend.
Still, that was a bad move by Taylor and the Bengals, which they are now paying dearly for. After missing out on other qualified candidates like Dennis Allen and Todd Grantham, Cincinnati is focusing on position coaches like Aubrey Pleasant and Aaron Glenn, neither of which has ever run a defense. Even Dom Capers has passed on the Bengals.
Between the defensive coordinator fiasco and hiring Jim Turner of all people to run the offensive line, Taylor is having a forgettable start to his career as head coach of the Bengals.