Zac Taylor may not have completely secured his employment for 2021.
After beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in primetime and the Houston Texans on the road, the buzz surrounding Taylor was that he’d return for a third season. Even if those two wins ended up being losses, there was always a path for the Bengals to give Taylor another year.
According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, there is smoke that Taylor’s job security was still in question this weekend.
And Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady is a name to watch if Taylor gets canned.
In Cincinnati, a definite “we’ll see” vibe has emerged this weekend. Although NFL Media has reported that Zac Taylor is expected to return, there’s a rumor making that rounds that Taylor could be out.
Working against Taylor is the possibility of reuniting Burrow with former LSU offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who currently serves as offensive coordinator in Carolina. The Bengals may need to move now or risk seeing Brady get serious consideration for a head-coaching job elsewhere.
For starters, there’s no reason to outright believe this report. Taylor’s aforementioned wins over the Steelers and Texans undoubtedly gave him a case to show to the front office that progress was indeed being made on his part. Unfortunately, however, this obliterating defeat to the Ravens will now leave a lasting sting on his second season. Taylor’s record dropped to 6-25-1 on Sunday.
Considering the Bengals were heavy underdogs and undermanned in this game, it’s difficult to imagine Taylor’s future was going to be decided by one afternoon, unless Mike Brown and the Blackburns were leaning towards firing him anyways and this became the last straw.
There was ample enough reason to fire Taylor before this past game. His first two seasons already put him in Dave Shula territory, and his offensive line coach allowed his franchise quarterback to suffer a serious injury. The NFL is a win-now business, and Taylor has barely done that against quality teams.
The Bengals were utterly embarrassed by the Ravens. Taylor shouldn’t have had to coach a third victory in a row to save his job, but to be out-classed that poorly does not help him at all.
And if the Bengals were thinking “we’ll see” before Taylor’s maligned and injured roster was crushed by the Ravens, what are they thinking now?
All told, we should still expect Taylor to be back and firmly on the hot seat entering the 2021 season.