This week, the Cincinnati Bengals announced new additions to the coaching staff including a new passing game coordinator, a new quarterbacks coach and a new defensive backs/safeties coach. Some people may think that the promotion/addition of position-level coaches on the offense aren’t a big deal. Some people may not care about what happens amongst the coaching staff below the offensive/defensive coordinator levels. The reality though is that it is all an indication of how the team is run and what is happening in the front office.
Implications of the Changes on the Bengals Coaching Staff
The most significant change on the offensive coaching staff so far this season is the onboarding of Minnesota Vikings assistant offensive line coach Justin Rascati the the newly established position of passing game coordinator. To start with, the fact that the team is going to require a passing game coordinator might reflect that head coach Zac Taylor is finally complicating his incredibly simple passing scheme.
Over the past few seasons, the Cincinnati passing offense has been painfully simple as the team has generally relied far too heavily on the extraordinary talent at the quarterback and wide receiver positions. For the past several seasons, Cincinnati has generally had Joe Burrow use his incredible accuracy to get the ball to a place that either Ja’Marr Chase or Tee Higgins can make a spectacular play and fight for a contested ball.
It is possible that the team finally realized last season that when they lose Burrow, they had to completely overhaul the offense to find plays that a typical quarterback talent can make. It is also possible that they are envisioning that the team is going to lose both Higgins and slot receiver Tyler Boyd to free agency and they should probably start using scheme to help Burrow find an open receiver.
The promotion of Brad Kragthorpe to the quarterbacks position is further evidence that the team is going to drift even further away from a competent rushing attack. Even though it is a similar position to where the team has been for the past several seasons, there is not a single coach on the offensive staff who has favored a running game in the past and the play calling will likely push heavily toward the passing game.
The final coach hired also comes with some significant as the team promoted assistant safeties coach Jordan Kovacs to the full time position. The previous coach (Robert Livingston) was recently hired away by Deion Sanders at Colorado in a move that will likely end in farcical tragedy. Livingston’s exodus did open up the door for a new coach to make an impact on a group of young players that Cincinnati has invested heavy draft capital in.
Kovacs is also a University of Michigan alumni and one of the two starting safeties on this team (Dax Hill) also played his college ball in Ann Arbor. There is a possibility that the team kept Kovacs in an attempt to pull the best performance out of Hill after the 2022 first round pick has struggled to live up to the hype in his first two seasons in the NFL. Even though they had a disappointing season, all fans of this organization should be feeling optimistic after three rational and optimal coaching decisions to start the offseason.
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