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Bengals hiring Mark Duffner as senior defensive assistant

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The Bengals are bringing back a familiar face to assist their defense in 2019.

Cleveland Browns v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Cincinnati Bengals seemed to have had their 2019 coaching staff in place when they announced it last week, but apparently there is at least one more addition. The team is bringing back former defensive coordinator Mark Duffner in an assistant capacity.

Duffner was most recently the defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He wasn’t retained under Bruce Arians’ new regime, and he spearheaded a Bucs unit that finished No. 27 in overall defense in 2018. Tampa Bay was also 26th against the pass and 24th against the run.

Prior to that, Duffner was a linebackers coach for the Packers (2003-2005), Jacksonville Jaguars (2006-2013) and Miami Dolphins (2014-2016). He also headed up the Buccaneers’ linebacker group from 2016-2018.

Bengals fans probably recognize Duffner’s name, as he was an assistant in Cincinnati from 1997-2002. He also headed up the linebackers throughout his Queen City tenure and coordinated the defense for two years before Marvin Lewis’ entrance as head coach in 2003. Duffner was also a head coach at the college ranks for 11 total seasons with Holy Cross and the University of Maryland, respectively.

Needless to say, Duffner’s specialty is working with linebackers. While it’s unclear exactly what responsibilities he’ll have on Zac Taylor’s staff, it’s safe to assume that Duffner will have a hand in rebuilding the Bengals’ beleaguered linebacker group.

What’s also interesting is that some of Duffner’s experience comes from a 3-4 defense. While the Bengals don’t seem to be heading in that direction entirely, it’s likely they have multiple fronts under defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo.