After being spurned by Dom Capers, the Bengals are expanding their search for a new defensive coordinator.
According to NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero, Cincinnati is scanning the NFL and college football landscape:
New #Bengals coach Zac Taylor is running thorough search for defensive coordinator/staff. Among those expected to get interview requests: ex-#Falcons DC Marquand Manuel, Texas A&M DC Mike Elko, Florida DC Todd Grantham, #Saints DB coach Aaron Glenn, #Rams DB coach Aubrey Pleasant— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 7, 2019
The only coach in that group with actual NFL experience is Marquand Manuel, The Bengals actually selected Manuel in the sixth round of the 2002 NFL Draft, and he played for the team for two seasons in 2002-03.
After his playing career ended, Manuel quickly rose up the coaching ranks before being named defensive coordinator of the Falcons from 2017-18, though it was a forgettable stint that saw him fired after just two seasons.
Aaron Glenn helped develop what was a strong Saints secondary in 2017 that featured Defensive Rookie of the Year Marshon Lattimore. However, his unit took a big step back this past season, as New Orleans finished 29th in passing defense.
Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko obviously has a connection to new Bengals offensive line coach Jim Turner. He’s also had coordinator stints with Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Bowling Green and Hofstra.
Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has been a good defensive play-caller in the college ranks, and it’s no secret he wants to be a coordinator in the NFL. He was actually offered a job as the Raiders’ defensive coordinator while Jack Del Rio was running the show, but Grantham declined since Del Rio has a big say in the defense. Grantham wants full control if he’s coming to an NFL team. He’d obviously get that in Cincinnati.
And of course, Aubrey Pleasant is someone the Bengals want to interview, though it’s unclear if the Rams will give them permission.