LOS ANGELES — The Cincinnati Bengals were never a trendy Super Bowl pick, yet here they are about to square off against the Los Angeles Rams behind the stellar play of star quarterback Joe Burrow and an aggressive defense. As a result, Bengals ownership is rewarding their assistant coaches in advance of the Super Bowl, with head coach Zac Taylor expected to receive an extension soon after.
The Bengals are in the process of signing several of their assistant coaches to contract extensions, maintaining continuity with the staff, including receivers coach Troy Walters, linebackers coach Al Golden, tight ends coach James Casey, defensive line coach Marion Hobby, and head strength and conditioning coach Joey Boese, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly.
According to sources, the Bengals are expected to work on a contract extension for head coach Zac Taylor at some point after the Super Bowl. They want to maintain a talented staff that includes offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, and special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons after this breakthrough season.
“We expected to be here,” Taylor said this week. “We know we had a great team. We’ve been playing some really good teams all year long. Win or lose we’ve learned a lot from those games. We’ve always felt like we should have won the games as you walk off the field. Certainly, we’ve been battle-tested these last couple weeks. Our guys know we belong on this field on Super Bowl Sunday, and I expect to see our guys’ best.”
Taylor was 6-25-1 after two seasons. This season cemented his future.
“Personally, if I coached at any other organization in football, I probably wouldn’t be here right now in the third year,” Taylor said. “That’s the truth.”
Prior to the AFC Championship Game, Taylor referenced a 2-14 season in his first year and the struggles to block Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald in a loss.
“I wrote up on my board, ‘Remember when,’” Taylor said. “And there’s going to be a day where we reflect back on this moment, when we’re struggling to get a yard on a game plan call sheet, and we’re going to say, ‘Remember when we couldn’t even figure out a way to get a yard on the L.A. Rams?’ Trust me, I look at that every day.”
The Bengals went 4-11-1 last season.
How Sean McVay impacted Taylor’s career
Taylor’s background with Rams head coach Sean McVay has been a plus for his career.
“The joke is always if you had a cup of coffee with Sean McVay, then you’re going to be a head coach in the NFL,” Taylor said. “There’s a ton of truth to that. If you spend time around the guy, he gives you a ton of confidence in yourself. He’s shown a lot of us young guys you can do it your own way. It doesn’t have to be the way it has always been done for the last 20 years around the league. There can be a different way of doing things.”
Taylor, 38, has his team in the Super Bowl, and he has stayed the course.
“I believed every step of the way here we were going to get to this point.”