During a press conference on Tuesday, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor discussed his philosophy of hiring assistant coaches and said he “would never do anything to tarnish the reputation” of the team by bringing anyone other than the right people into the organization.
Those comments got a second look on Thursday when the Bengals announced that Jim Turner will be the team’s offensive line coach. Turner was fired by the Dolphins in February 2014 after the release of the report about allegations of bullying levied by former Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin.
That report alleged Turner was aware of and participated in homophobic taunting of players and Turner was later suspended while at Texas A&M for including slides found to be offensive in a presentation during an event for female football fans. Turner remained at the school until taking the job under Taylor, who worked with Turner in Miami and helped bring him to the University of Cincinnati for a couple of weeks before A&M came calling.
Taylor explained why hiring Turner does not go against his earlier comments. Taylor said “on the surface sometimes things look a certain way,” but that he knows Turner and his familiarity with the past situations leaves him “very comfortable” with bringing him onto the staff.
“He’s a great person, great human,” Taylor said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “He’s somebody I trust … Everyone gets caught in some situations sometimes they wish they would do differently. I know those situations inside and out. I feel very comfortable bringing Jim in here and all the other guys we are going to bring in.”
The Bengals job is Turner’s first in the NFL since being fired by the Dolphins.