Bengals have youngest head coach/offensive coordinator duo in NFL

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It has become less unusual to see teams hire young head coaches in recent years and those teams have often paired those coaches with more experienced assistants, but the Bengals went a different way when they hired an offensive coordinator to go with Zac Taylor.

Taylor is 35 and Brian Callahan is 34, which gives the Bengals the youngest head coach/offensive coordinator duo in the league for 2019. Callahan said this week that he doesn’t “think age really matters” for the pair because both gained football experience by growing up as the sons of coaches and that their 22 combined years as coaches amounts to much more because of the demands of the NFL.

“I think years in this league are like dog years,” Callahan said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “The amount of experience you gain in one year in the NFL, I think, is different than the traditional work environment. It’s so high stress. There are so many things that happen and move so fast. The amount of things that go on into a 16-game season and through the course of an offseason, you learn at an accelerated pace. I think that’s why you have so many younger coaches being able to handle these things. The lessons you learn happen so much quicker.”

The Bengals haven’t hired a defensive coordinator yet and the list of candidates suggests that they will be moving in a similar direction on the experience front. Should that approach succeed, Callahan’s view on age and experience will likely get more popular around the league.

12 responses to “Bengals have youngest head coach/offensive coordinator duo in NFL

  1. If they go this young then Taylor needs to hire an assistant head coach to mentor himself and the rest of the staff much like they did in Miami with hiring Caldwell. A head coach and coordinators, all with no experience, will have a very high chance of failure.

  2. Yes the years are like dog years .You will be coaching against coaches with several more dog years under there belt than you so never hurts to have some old dogs around that have been there to help out…..Experience and wisdom can be invaluable in times of stress and game management… Ask McVey what it meant to have Wade Phillips…too bad he doesnt have a veteran guy to lean on for offense it may have made a difference down the stretch….

  3. JPOH33 says:
    February 10, 2019 at 1:39 pm
    If they go this young then Taylor needs to hire an assistant head coach to mentor himself and the rest of the staff much like they did in Miami with hiring Caldwell. A head coach and coordinators, all with no experience, will have a very high chance of failure.

    happy1114 says:
    February 10, 2019 at 1:50 pm
    Yes the years are like dog years .You will be coaching against coaches with several more dog years under there belt than you so never hurts to have some old dogs around that have been there to help out…..Experience and wisdom can be invaluable in times of stress and game management… Ask McVey what it meant to have Wade Phillips…too bad he doesnt have a veteran guy to lean on for offense it may have made a difference down the stretch….

    ************

    Taylor does have a veteran guy – Darrin Simmons has been special teams coach for 16 years under Marvin Lewis. It appears he is being retained and will fill that role.

  4. I’m a Bengals fan that’s worried about this youth movement. You find out the Dolphin’s new coach just hired Jim Caldwell as a quarterback coach and one begins to wonder why the Bengals are hiring, except for the loser Jim Turner, all inexperienced unknown coaches. Despite what is being said, these new guys are getting the same money as experienced coaches hired elsewhere. At this point I’m guessing two years and out for Taylor, and that’s only because Mike Brown shows loyalty to his employees.

  5. Youth in NFL coaching is really not a good thing. Yes, Sean McVay is the talk of LA, but really did he assemble the team? How much did he rely on Wade Phillips for the last two seasons? I get it Zac thinks he can do it all and is hitting the job working his tail off.
    But, is the issue Zac or the Brown family. It’s like giving a 16 year old the keys to a Bentley. It’s a train wreck waiting to happen.

  6. happy1114 says:
    February 10, 2019 at 1:50 pm
    Yes the years are like dog years .You will be coaching against coaches with several more dog years under there belt than you so never hurts to have some old dogs around that have been there to help out…..Experience and wisdom can be invaluable in times of stress and game management… Ask McVey what it meant to have Wade Phillips…too bad he doesnt have a veteran guy to lean on for offense it may have made a difference down the stretch…

    Marvin Lewis had all kinds of “dog years” under his belt and his game management
    skills were NO BETTER during year 16 than they were during year 1. He’d waste time outs
    and challenges. Make absolutely ZERO adjustments to either side (Offense or Defense), after
    half-time especially on defense and he got the job because of his previous defenses.
    For some reason he’d constantly go into “prevent defense” and all that does is “prevent”
    your team holding a lead and getting a Win!

  7. When I was young, i used to think age and experience was overrated too. Experience has taught me better.

    Belichick saw McVey coming from a mile away. Sure that might be because he taped his practices but still, McVey didn’t have the experience to adjust when his plan was blown up.

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