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Bengals defensive coordinator list is a long one

Russell Wilson, Marquand Manuel

Russell Wilson, Marquand Manuel


The Bengals went young at head coach, and aren’t straying from that path in their search for a defensive coordinator.

According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the Bengals have a long list of candidates for their lead defensive job under new coach Zac Taylor.

Among the names expected to get interview requests are just-fired former Falcons coordinator Marquand Manuel, Texas A&M coordinator Mike Elko, Florida coordinator Todd Grantham, Saints secondary coach Aaron Glenn, and Rams defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant.

If you think that’s a list short on experience, you’d be correct.

The Bengals spoke to both Jack Del Rio and Dom Capers about the job, but both apparently passed according to multiple reports. That’s possibly a worrying sign for Taylor as he assembles a last-minute staff (yet another reason the league should consider letting new coaches become official before they’re officially official).

Taylor’s 35 years old, and has never been a head coach. He hasn’t been an assistant that long (seven years in the NFL). Having a veteran on staff with some knowledge can help, as Wade Phillips was a good hire for Sean McVay when he was in the same spot with the Rams. But the Bengals apparently either can’t or don’t want to provide Taylor with the same kind of safety net.