The Bengals finished in the top 10 in both points and yards allowed last season, which earned a lot of compliments for the job done by defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.
Zimmer’s work has now been given some appreciation by the franchise as well. The Bengals confirmed Wednesday that Zimmer has agreed to a contract extension with the team. There were no details officially released, although Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the deal locks Zimmer up through the 2014 season.
It looks like Zimmer’s first order of business with his new extension will be to sort things out at cornerback. Leon Hall is still recovering from an Achilles injury and first-round pick Dre Kirkpatrick could miss most or all of camp after breaking a bone in his leg during the offseason. Nate Clements, Terence Newman and Adam Jones will likely be the first three players to get a chance at major playing time in their absences, but it definitely leaves the Bengals shorthanded at a key position.
If Zimmer can sort that out without the defense taking a backward step, it might mean he never sees the final year of this extension. Zimmer’s been up for several head coaching jobs over the years without getting one and a strong 2012 could be the thing that finally allows him to be more than a bridesmaid.