Perhaps there is no better example of this than head coach Zac Taylor.
While his first two seasons with Cincinnati had some major growing pains in the midst of a major transition phase, Taylor and the Bengals had a major breakthrough in 2021, which came oh so close to ending with a Lombardi Trophy.
While no one is calling Taylor a surefire top-10 head coach, he’s done enough to earn more respect than he was given at Pro Football Focus, whose coach rankings had him checking in at No. 22 overall.
22. ZAC TAYLOR, CINCINNATI BENGALS (8.4 – 8.6 RECORD WITH AVERAGE ROSTER)
Offensive Rank: 21/26 (+7 points scored a season)
Defensive Rank: 24/26 (+13 points allowed a season)
By the data, it is difficult to call Taylor’s regime in Cincinnati a success despite his postseason resume. The estimate suggests that Taylor is riding off the high of the tremendous amount of talent the Bengals have amassed in recent years.
This is also in the bottom tier of their rankings alongside coaches like Todd Bowles, Dan Campbell, Matt Rhule, Dennis Allen and Robert Saleh.
Guys like Arthur Smith, Kliff Kingsbury, Lovie Smith and Nick Sirianni are among the coaches ahead of Taylor.
Sure, Taylor needs to keep winning to prove he’s not a one-hit wonder, nor someone that’s winning because of how loaded the roster may be. After all, people forget the Bengals entered the 2021 season tied for the third-worst Super Bowl odds. Taylor still has a lot to prove, but he’s also done enough to earn more respect than this ranking gives him.
So, do you agree with this ranking? Sound off in the comments section!