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Bengals to hire James Bettcher as new linebackers coach, per report

Cincinnati has a new defensive assistant.

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

James Bettcher of the San Francisco 49ers is set to become the Cincinnati Bengals’ new linebackers coach, per NFL insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.

While Bettcher was most recently with San Francisco as a senior defensive assistant, he was previously a defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals (2015-2017) and New York Giants (2018-2019). Bettcher had current Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo as the Giants’ defensive backs coach for the 2018 season, so the two have experience working together.

Bettcher initially worked his way up to coordinator status by working with linebackers. He was the linebackers coach for the University of New Hampshire in 2011, the outside linebackers coach for the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, and the outside linebackers coach for the Cardinals from 2013-2014. He’s also been a defensive ends coach and special teams coordinator during his now 18-year coaching career.

Cincinnati is hiring Bettcher to replace Al Golden, who recently became the defensive coordinator for Notre Dame. Golden coached the team’s linebackers as well as having a hand in the defense’s third-down pressure packages, so Bettcher’s diverse and experienced resume should come in handy if he’s to fill Golden’s responsibilities.

The Bengals should make the hire official whenever they announce their finalized coaching staff for the 2022 season.