The Bengals have been rounding out their new coaching staff under former Rams assistant Zac Taylor, with the important position of defensive coordinator proving especially difficult. Maybe the challenge of turning around the league's worst defense a year ago is just too daunting for some coaching prospects.
Reportedly, both Jack Del Rio and Dom Capers, both of whom have some pretty good defensive credentials in their background (Ravens, Jaguars, Panthers, Steelers), decided the job wasn't a good fit for them. It might be just as well, since those coaches most recent work wasn't particularly impressive anyway.
Del Rio spent 2015-2017 with the Raiders, while Capers worked in Green Bay from 2009-2017. Neither coached in 2018, and while they might be able to do something with a Bengals defense that ranked last in yards last season -- can't make it worse -- they wouldn't have been great bets to turn things around, either.
In Del Rio's time as head coach of the Raiders, the defenses ranked 22nd, 26th and 23rd in the league. In Capers' last three year in Green Bay before being fired, his defenses ranked 15th, 22nd and 22nd. (Table sorted by 2018 defensive ranking.)
|DEFENSE RANKINGS (YARDS ALLOWED), 2015-2018|
There's nowhere to go but up for the Bengals, but they can aim higher then a couple of guys who did their best defensive coaching work a long time ago.