Bengals reportedly want to hire Rams QB coach Zac Taylor after Rams' season is done

Rams coach Zac Taylor is reportedly the Bengals’ choice as their new head coach. (AP)
Rams coach Zac Taylor is reportedly the Bengals’ choice as their new head coach. (AP)

The jokes about NFL teams hiring anyone who has any remote connection to Sean McVay are humorous because they’re spot on.

If you’re an NFL assistant with dreams of being a head coach, make sure McVay is one of your references. It seems yet another coach with a relatively thin resume will get a shot to be a head coach, as the Cincinnati Bengals want to hire Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor once the Rams’ season is over, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported. The Rams play the Dallas Cowboys in a divisional round playoff game on Saturday night.

Nothing can be official with Taylor until the Rams are eliminated and things can unexpectedly change — ask the Indianapolis Colts and Josh McDaniels about that — but it seems the Bengals found their coach.

Once the Arizona Cardinals made sure to mention that Kliff Kingsbury was friends with McVay in announcing he was their new head coach, it was clear the McVay infatuation was off the rails. If there’s a janitor in the Rams’ offices who wants to be a head coach, send your resume to Miami; the Dolphins are the last team with a head-coaching opening, and if you know McVay it’ll increase your chances.

Zac Taylor has some experience, despite youth

Taylor is 35, so he checks the box of being young. He’s an offensive coach, which every team except the Denver Broncos seems to want. He worked with McVay, which is basically becoming a requirement. It doesn’t matter that in 2017, Taylor was the Rams’ assistant wide receivers coach before shifting to quarterbacks coach in 2018. He is from the McVay tree, and that’s good enough for the Bengals.

Taylor was building a resume before becoming the Rams’ assistant receivers coach. He had been the quarterbacks coach of the Miami Dolphins for three and a half seasons, and then the team’s interim offensive coordinator late in the 2015 season before going to the University of Cincinnati as its offensive coordinator for a season.

Taylor could end up being a great hire. People questioned McVay’s age too, and in many ways it’s better to take a chance than play it safe and hire a coach that has little upside. But it’s also risky, for obvious reasons.

Taylor will have a challenge with Bengals

The tendency to hire young, offensive coaches with any connection to McVay will draw some more jokes, and it will draw some criticism because none of the NFL’s head-coaching hires this offseason are minorities. There are only two black coaches in the NFL. Five black coaches were fired since the start of last season, and all of their replacements are white, assuming Taylor ends up with the Bengals.

The Bengals are banking on Taylor being the right fit. It’s not an easy job. Marvin Lewis turned the franchise from one of the worst in the NFL to a regular playoff participant, though Lewis couldn’t win a playoff game. The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since Jan. 6, 1991. They also have a middle-of-the-road quarterback in Andy Dalton and have had three straight losing seasons.

There’s a reason the Bengals were the seventh team of eight to find a new head coach. It’s not an easy job. But the Bengals are swinging big, hoping to find the next McVay, which isn’t unique among NFL teams.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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