Zac Taylor Named Bengals Head Coach After Rams’ Super Bowl Loss to Patriots

Zac Taylor Named Bengals Head Coach After Rams’ Super Bowl Loss to Patriots
Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor is seen before the NFL football NFC championship game against the New Orleans Saints Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

The Cincinnati Bengals officially filled their head coaching vacancy Monday with the addition of Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor.

While the deal had been rumored for some time, the team had to wait for the Rams’ season to end to announce the hire. The Bengals finally could Monday after the Rams’ Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots.

Taylor discussed his excitement with the move in a statement:

“I am happy and fortunate to join the Cincinnati Bengals as head coach. This is a great organization with good people and a rich history, and I am excited to get started. I am looking to add to that history by setting high standards, and holding everyone here accountable to those standards. There is a lot of work to do, and this is day one. We’re going to attack every day with enthusiasm to get this team ready to go.”

The 35-year-old has spent the past two years with the Rams under Sean McVay, working as an assistant receivers coach in 2017 before being promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2018.

He served in that role with the Miami Dolphins for three years before being promoted to offensive coordinator on an interim basis for five games at the end of the 2015 season. He was also the offensive coordinator at the University of Cincinnati in 2016.

This came after a notable college career as a quarterback for Nebraska, winning the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year Award in 2006.

Despite having limited experience above the role of a position coach, he proved to be invaluable with the Rams in producing the league’s No. 2 offense.

“He’s instrumental in our third-down game-planning,” McVay said of Taylor, per Andy Benoit of Sports Illustrated. “And he doesn’t just agree with everything, he challenges you but in a way that’s very welcoming. … He has great emotional intelligence and awareness for how to communicate in a way that makes peoples’ guards go down. That’s a great trait for a coach to have.”

This endorsement and his work during the season made him a top coaching candidate for a long list of vacancies.

Helping the Rams reach the Super Bowl also likely aided his candidacy.

According to Albert Breer of The MMQB, Taylor had interviews with the Bengals, Broncos and Cardinals.

He landed with the Bengals, becoming the team’s first new coach in 16 years after the firing of Marvin Lewis.

Although the team is coming off three straight losing seasons, there are encouraging pieces on the roster such as A.J. Green, Geno Atkins and Joe Mixon, plus an established quarterback in Andy Dalton.

Taylor will try to put everyone in the right spot to help the organization win its first playoff game since 1990.

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