The Bengals have a new linebackers coach in Tem Lukabu. He will take over the Bengals weakest spot on the defensive side of the ball from the past few seasons.
Lukabu is coming from Mississippi State, where he spent one season as their linebackers coach. Prior to that, he spent a few seasons with the 49ers as their defensive quality control, and a season as the defensive line coach for Florida International in 2015.
Lukabu has plenty of experience in the NFL and NCAA, and he has coached several positions on his way. He never made it to the NFL as a player, but he was a three-year starter at Colgate as a linebacker.
Lukabu is one of the more important assistant coaching hires. The Bengals linebackers have been absolutely awful the past few seasons, and they have really struggled in coverage for awhile now. He will be charged with turning that unit around.
The job was previously held by Jim Haslett, and it seemed like a great hire considering he was a former head coach. However, the position was a mess over his tenure as the linebackers constantly got exposed.
Lukabu could also have to figure out who will be replacing Vontaze Burfict. He has suffered at least seven concussions since coming to the NFL, and this new coaching staff has no loyalty to him. He also had a terrible season last year after starting off the season being suspended yet again.
There is some young talent to work with, though. Malik Jefferson was a third round pick last season who has all the athletic ability in the world, and Jordan Evans is entering his third season, but really needs to work on his coverage skill. It also wouldn’t be shocking to see the Bengals draft a linebacker or bring in one via free agency.
It should also be noted that Lukabu is yet another assistant defensive coach who doesn’t really have any direct ties with Zac Taylor, which is starting to indicate the Bengals new defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo may have more control of that side.
Lukabu’s experience at coaching linebackers at the college level could be invaluable considering how often they have to defend the high octane offenses that are just making their way to the NFL.
What do you think of the hire?
Do you approve of the Tem Lukabu hiring?
This poll is closed
I’m excited that someone other than Jim Haslett is getting a shot
No we need more experience at such a position of need
I’m willing to give him a chance, but I’m not excited about it