The Bengals’ defensive coordinator position is now in flux as the team is set to hire Zac Taylor.
Taylor is expected to be named the team’s next head coach on Monday, but it remains a mystery as to who his defensive play-caller will be.
Initially, it looked like Jack Del Rio was getting the gig. Then came rumors of Dennis Allen being a target for the job, but he’s sticking with the Saints, according to Ian Rapoport:
#Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen is expected to receive a new deal in New Orleans and stay there, sources say. Key move for Sean Payton and that impressive defense, as Allen’s deal is being finalized.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 3, 2019
Now, it appears Dom Capers is a strong candidate to be the Bengals’ next defensive coordinator, according to Alex Marvez:
Capers was out of football this past season after being fired by the Packers, where he called their defense from 2009-17. He actually had some strong units early in his tenure there, but they struggled mightily over his last several seasons, leading to his firing in the 2018 offseason after his unit finished 22nd in total defense in back-to-back seasons. They finished 15th in 2014 and 2015 after finishing 25th in 2013.
Capers also specializes in 3-4 schemes, while the Bengals have been running a 4-3 for almost two decades now.
This certainly wouldn’t be the best hire Cincinnati could make, but if things fell through with Del Rio, Capers is one of the most veteran candidates around that has head-coaching experience. He coached the Panthers when they were an expansion team and even made the 1996 NFC Championship. He finished with a 30-34 overall record before being fired following the 1998 season in which he went 4-12.
Capers later took over another expansion franchise in Houston, though he finished with a Hue Jackson-like 18-46 record, and if you include the last season in Carolina, that’s 22-58 over his last 80 games.
Still, head-coaching experience is ideal for at least one of Taylor’s coordinators, so Capers may be the best they can do.