The differences between Zac Taylor and Marvin Lewis span beyond age and coaching philosophies. A defensive-minded coach through and through, Lewis never once called the plays for the Bengals’ offense in his 16-year tenure.
Starting in his first year as Lewis’ replacement, Taylor will be the offense’s play-caller, per Richard Skinner of Local 12.
Zac Taylor just said in one-on-one interviews with TV that he will call play for #Bengals— Richard Skinner (@Local12Skinny) February 5, 2019
Kat Terrell of ESPN later confirmed Taylor will run the offense and has not committed to a style of defense he’s seeking from his future defensive coordinator:
Interviews with Zac Taylor are done for the day. Lots of good stuff from him. He'll call the offensive plays. No comment on defensive philosophy. A LOT of talk about culture and clear communication. He made it clear he's not trying to be the next Sean McVay.— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) February 5, 2019
At the professional level, Taylor has only been an interim offensive coordinator and play-caller back in 2015 when he was with the Miami Dolphins. He replaced Bill Lazor at that position for just five games when Lazor was fired during that season. He spent 2016 calling plays for the University of Cincinnati as their offensive coordinator before joining the Rams in 2017.
This brings up an interesting question with Brian Callahan, who will be Taylor’s offensive coordinator. Callahan has designed his own offense and has never called plays, so it makes sense that his new boss, who at the very least has experience doing so, will be taking on those responsibilities. The question then becomes: what will Callahan’s responsibility be?
Entering last season, the slight majority of NFL offensive coordinators called plays. 18 offensive coordinators ran and operated their own offense, while 14 head coaches were responsible for those tasks. Two of those 14 were amongst the eight that were by the conclusion of this season in Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers and Dirk Koetter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both of those teams brought in new head coaches with offensive backgrounds, but only one of them will have him call plays, that coach being Matt LaFleur, now of the Packers.
It’s possible that Callahan will ultimately become Taylor’s pass game coordinator, as his experience with coaching quarterbacks gives him ideal experience for a more modest promotion. But when there’s a pass game coordinator, there’s a run game coordinator as well. We don’t yet know who that will be, if that position will even become a thing for Taylor’s staff.
Taylor at least has an offensive coordinator by name ready to join him. He can’t say the same about a defensive coordinator. Make sure to stick with us at Cincy Jungle to update you on the latest with Taylor’s coaching staff.