Today, all Bengals fans got the news they all feared and waited to happen after the latest playoff lost two weeks ago.
In a season, where the Cincinnati Bengals had high expectations coming in, and have it all ended with a third straight season of one and done in the playoffs. The news broke today that the Minnesota Vikings were hiring former defensive coordinator of the Bengals Mike Zimmer to the head coach position. Finally for Zimmer, the team’s coordinator since 2008 gets a chance to be the guy.
With Zimmer gone, let the potential decline of the Cincinnati Bengals begin.
Alright, so the team may look at linebackers coach Paul Guenther, right, to replace Zimmer. Last week, when former offensive coordinator Jay Gruden took the head coaching job at Washington, they were well prepared for a while for that coaching change.
Gruden’s replacement, Hue Jackson, the Bengals are expected to make the transition to their next defensive coordinator. Coach Guenther could be promoted to the spot. But there were reports, saying that Gruden and Zimmer may want him for their defensive coordinator openings.
The Bengals should not allow that to happen, if you want the pain to be less, you keep Guenther.
If Guenther leaves to go with Zimmer to Minnesota, he won’t be the only Bengal’s staff. Following him would be Zimmer’s son, assistant defensive back coach Adam Zimmer, could come with his father as well. The younger Zimmer inherited a secondary that was top 5 in the league against the pass this season.
The team could look at Jim Schwartz or someone else to become the next guy to lead the defense. But, one thing is for sure, the Bengals will surely miss Zimmer.
The next coordinator will be viewed to fans as a downgrade, and I totally understand. No disrespect to the next guy, but the things Zimmer has done the last six seasons in Cincinnati will be not be match.
The media gave praise to the Bengals for hiring Jackson as the new offensive coordinator because during his news conference last week, he preached that the team will run the ball a lot next season. Something, the Bengals have failed to do in their last three playoff appearances.
Now, back to why I think the new Bengals defensive coordinator will not do the things that Zimmer accomplished. He led his unit to a top five ranking four times in his six seasons. This season was the best, the team was number three in total defense in the NFL, and was the best in the AFC. That’s why Zimmer’s replacement is ought to be concerned with sticking to the same script of an aggressive, blitzing team.
If you ask the Bengals, they’ll tell you Zimmer’s teachings are the reasons why they should be fine even after his departure.
Cincinnati still has the players led by pro bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins will be coming back from a torn ACL. Cornerback Leon Hall and defensive end Robert Geathers also will return from their injuries, still have Carlos Dunlap, Domata Peko, Terrance Newman, and Adam Jones in the rotation. The Bengals must find a way to get through this change.
Whoever is the next defensive coordinator will have to have their voice respected right away. If it’s Guenther, Schwartz or someone else they are in for a big challenge.