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Bengals keeping Zac Taylor for 2021 season

Taylor will return for a third season in Cincinnati.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, Zac Taylor will remain head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals for the 2021 NFL season.

Taylor, who’s 6-25-1 following his first two seasons at the helm in Cincinnati, will get at least one more season to prove he’s worthy of being a head coach. Obviously, six wins in 32 tries is painfully inept, but the organization believes he’s shown enough potential that he could get this franchise back to winning and contending for the playoffs.

While 2019 was an absolute disaster, 2020 did provide some promising moments for Taylor. The Bengals managed to beat Titans and Steelers teams that clinched playoff spots, and there were six other games they were within one score of victory, including last-minute losses to the Chargers, Browns, Colts and Giants.

The belief around the team has been Taylor would be back regardless of how the final three games, and the two-game winning streak vs. the Steelers and Texans seemingly ended any chance of the second-year coach losing his job. Especially since it was the Bengals’ first win over Pittsburgh since 2015, and the triumph in Houston was the franchise’s first road win since Week 4 of the 2018 season.

However, following the 38-3 loss to the Ravens in Week 17, Pro Football Talk reported that Taylor’s job wasn’t as safe as everyone assumed. And if a change was made, Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady would be a candidate to replace Taylor. The connection with Brady is he worked with Joe Burrow during his 2019 breakout season at LSU, which propelled him from being projected as a Day 2/3 pick to having an all-time season for an FBS QB, winning the Heisman Trophy, and going No. 1 overall to Cincinnati in the 2021 NFL Draft.

But while Brady may have helped Burrow develop into what looks like a franchise quarterback for many years to come, the rookie QB has been effusive in his praise of Taylor, which likely helped him remain head coach.