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Lou Anarumo is still viewed as a strong head-coaching candidate

This is a yearly thing.

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NFL: NOV 12 Texans at Bengals Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last offseason, Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo was a prime candidate to become an NFL head coach. Leading a unit that excelled over the previous two seasons and his success against the Kansas City Chiefs had his name connected to head coaching vacancies around the league.

Anarumo made it deep into the process as the Arizona Cardinals selected their head coach. Anarumo was said to be the runner-up to Jonathan Gannon, who ultimately landed the job.

This season, with the Bengals’ defense not playing up to the standard Anarumo set in 2021 and 2022, some wondered if that would quiet down, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

The Athletic recently released its list of head coaching candidates for 2024, and Anarumo’s name is once again on the list.

“The 57-year-old Anarumo directs a defense that was among the league’s stingiest in points allowed in 2021 and 2022, and he is one of the few defensive minds who knows how to beat the Kansas City Chiefs,” Mike Jones wrote.

Zac Taylor, to this point, has been able to retain all assistant coaches that he wanted to. Anarumo was courted, as were offensive coordinator Brian Callahan and quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher, but none have made the move to this point.

As the Bengals move forward without Joe Burrow, they may rely on the defense now more than ever as the offense adjusts to Jake Browning under center. Anarumo could do even more to solidify himself as a top candidate if the Bengal defense stiffens up and helps lead the team to the postseason.