Zac Taylor got off to a late start building his coaching staff because of his duties as the Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach during their run to the Super Bowl. Taylor, 35 and a former quarterback himself from Norman Oklahoma, has had some coordinator experience with the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bearcats, respectively. However, with zero head coaching experience it was important for Taylor to follow McVay’s blueprint bringing in a defensive coordinator with head coaching experience to compensate for Taylor’s lack of head coaching experience. Shockingly, Taylor did not take this route.
Taylor having an offensive background with an innovative ideological mindset put most Bengals fans at ease when he was hired. The problem stems on the defensive side of the ball where linebacker and the defensive line are glaring holes that need to be fixed via free agency or the NFL Draft. Enter Lou Anarumo as the defensive coordinator. Taylor’s extensive search almost came to an end with Todd Grantham, who most Bengals fans believed would have been a good hire since Grantham has head coaching experience and extensive knowledge on the defensive side of the ball from his time as the Browns defensive coordintor, and currently with the Florida Gators, where he elected to stay.
The 52-year-old Anarumo seemed to be one of the last candidates for the defensive coordinator position considered. Taylor wanted a defensive coordinator with like-minded ideas that he could trust. With both Anarumo and Taylor spending time as the interim defensive coordinator and offensive coordinator together in Miami after head coach Joe Philbin was fired by the Dolphins, the two got to know one another very well. Taylor helped the New York Giants defensive backs coach land the job as the Bengals new defensive coordinator after an interview last Thursday in Cincinnati.
Media and fans are concerned Anarumo has no head coaching background and limited defensive coordinator experience. Anarumo pointed out, he’s been a football coach since 1989 and carries experiences with multiple head coaches and coordinators, the 52-year-old Staten Island native said. The safe way to go would have been Jack Del Rio, Dom Capers, or Dennis Allen, all three had former head coaching experience. Anarumo said in a press release he will be brutally honest and transparent with his players; Anarumo wants to build trust with his players so the defensive unit will be successful this season. Anarumo will keep the 4-3 defense in place, the defense will present multiple fronts and be hard to predict. The key to Taylor’s staff will fall on the defense, and how quickly Anarumo can turn around one of the league’s worst defense’s next season.