Paul Guenther surfaces as a defensive coordinator candidate

Bengals linebackers coach Paul Guenther is emerging as a potential defensive coordinator in multiple places.

Guenther could head to Washington to be the defensive coordinator for new head coach Jay Gruden, as reported on Thursday by Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Adam Caplan of ESPN reported today that Gruden is interested in talking to Guenther, but that the Bengals could block that move because they might want to hold on to Guenther themselves so they can promote him to defensive coordinator if Mike Zimmer leaves to become a head coach elsewhere. It’s also possible that if Zimmer gets a head-coaching job, Guenther could follow him and become Zimmer’s defensive coordinator.

Guenther is under contract to the Bengals for the 2014 season, so he can’t leave to join another head coach’s staff unless Marvin Lewis OKs it. Guenther has particularly received credit for his work with Vontaze Burfict, who rapidly rose from undrafted rookie to one of the NFL’s top linebackers.

Guenther has been with the Bengals since 2005 and previously spent two seasons in Washington.

10 responses to “Paul Guenther surfaces as a defensive coordinator candidate

  1. Don’t pretend Burfict was an unknown, most had him going in the 1st round up until late April that year.

    Talent was there, focus wasn’t.

    Bengals have low standards on that stuff so they didn’t mind picking him up.

    Love his play before the whistle, still think he’s a punk after.

    Michael David Smith replies: I didn’t say he was an unknown, I said he was an undrafted rookie. Everyone knew Burfict had talent, but all 32 teams decided not to draft him because they thought he’d be more trouble than he’s worth. The Bengals’ coaching staff has done a good job of getting the most out of that talent. Part of being a good position coach is taking young players with off-field problems and getting them to focus enough on football to develop into professionals. Guenther gets some of the credit for that.

  2. I was just about to say pretty much what Smith said: Burfict puts his heart into his play now. Yeah he tries to get under opponents’ skin after the whistle, and it works a lot of the time. The positives though far outweigh the negatives with Burfict, and the Bengals coaching staff is mostly to thank for that. Most analysts and Burfict himself know that. I think you’re trying to combine the issues of the Bengals having players with character concerns off-the-field years ago, with players like Burfict who lacked focus on the field. Give Lewis credit for knowing he had nothing to lose with taking on the Burfict project, and Guenther for helping to mold him. And get out of the past.

  3. Mike Brown has already told Guenther that if Zimmer leaves he will become the D coordinator for the Bengals.

  4. Yeah the Bengals are screwed! With the talent the Bengals have on the defensive side of the ball,defensive coaches will be lining up outside of Paul Brown Stadium (more so than the fans lol) to get inside there to take that job!! If Zimmer gets a Head Coaching job, it will be deservedly so!! Bengals have one starting Free Agent coming up in 2014 on the defensive side of the ball and that’s Michael Johnson. Do I wanna see Mike Zimmer leave as a Bengals fan? Of course not! Does that mean the Bengals entire #3 defense in the league leave with him? Again, of course not! Keep on hatin’ haters! The one’s hating are probably the ones hoping Zimmer becomes their head coach!

  5. joetoronto says:
    Jan 11, 2014 5:12 AM
    The top 4 LB’s on the Bungals are turds, everyone of them.

    There’s no getting around that.


    You mad ‘bro?!

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