Another candidate passes on chance to become Bengals defensive coordinator

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The Bengals had to wait until after the Super Bowl to hire a head coach. They’re still waiting to get a defensive coordinator.

According to NFL Media, the Bengals wanted to interview new Ohio State defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley for the position. Hafley, however, declined.

As explained by Mike Garafolo of NFL Media, Hafley decided that “he’s not going to renege on his commitment to OSU after taking the job last month.” Intended or not, that’s a backhanded slap at Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, who did just that at USC, leaving the program after a month.

The fact that multiple college defensive coordinators have opted to stay put in lieu of making the jump to the NFL isn’t an ideal look for the Bengals. Regardless of how it looks, it will be hard for new coach Zac Taylor, an offensive specialist, to get to work until he has a defensive coordinator.

With the Scouting Combine less than two weeks away, Taylor and the Bengals surely hope to have a defensive coordinator in place before the trip to Indianapolis. If not, any available defensive coaches may want to hang around town that week, just in case.

32 responses to “Another candidate passes on chance to become Bengals defensive coordinator

  1. I’m available for a fraction of what other coordinators would cost, and can guarantee at least the same ranking as last year’s defense🙋‍♂️

  2. Apparently Mike Brown isn’t making it it financially worth their while. Now that Ralph Wilson is no longer around, Brown has to be the cheapest skate in the NFL.

  3. I mean – I dunno, this is weird. Bengals have some great players on that side of the ball, re-upped Atkins and Dunlap who are aging but still top 3 and top 10-15 at their positions, some solid CB’s and young blood like Bates, Lawson and Hubbard infused ….I mean the talent is there I don’t understand the apprehension or otherwise perceived shortcomings. It’s not money, the staff is well paid, it’s not talent, I can think of more than a few team working with less…what’s the hang up? What D is Taylor looking to implement?

  4. “…Hafley decided that “he’s not going to renege on his commitment to OSU after taking the job last month.” Intended or not, that’s a backhanded slap at Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, who did just that at USC, leaving the program after a month.”

    I’m sorry, but in my world that’s what’s known as Character.
    You’re stretching it to associate Hafley’s decision with a slight of Kingsbury. Is that really what you mean or are you referring to the continued-exposure of Kingsbury that this puts back into the light for a moment.

    Summary: Bungles.

  5. Comparing Hafley and Kingsbury’s situation and considering it a “backhanded slap” is ridiculous. Completely different set of circumstances. Stop trolling, you’re better than that.

  6. Just promote Livingston and hire a DB coach to replace him . He’s a young, bright coach.

  7. I’ve been saving this joke, but maybe now it’s not such a joke, but Marvin Lewis was a pretty good defensive coordinator in his day. On another note, I wonder if they’ve looked at any of the AAF coaches. Surely, one of them would like to get to (or back to) the NFL.

  8. Unnecessary cheap shot at Kingsbury. Hafley would leave OSU in a second to be an NFL head coach.

  9. “When did $85,000 a year become an unreasonable salary for an NFL DC?” – Mike Brown aka C. Montgomery Burns

  10. Kingsbury left an OC job for a HC job. Hafley is a DC and turned down chance at NFL DC job. Not the same thing at all

  11. What’s the hurry? Austin was fired mid season and everyone thought it should of been done sooner. Take your time and find the right fit. That said, expect a signing in the next 72 hours.

  12. Hafley’s situation is much different than Kingsbury’s, that’s a flatout cheap shot. Hafley would be making a lateral move basically, in fact the OSU job is probably a more sought after job than a small market DC job w/ the Bengals. Kingsbury left his post as OC @ USC for a Head-Coaching position in the NFL, Far different situation and much more involved. If Hafley was offered the Bengals head coaching job how much you want to bet he’d be out the door in a minute? I’d bet my mortgage payment on it.

  13. I think the problem is the owners. No one wants to play their and no one wants too coach their that’s why Marvin was their so long cuz he sucked but they had no one else. Ownership blows fellas

  14. Hiring coaches is not an exact science. Sometimes your second or third choice ends up being better than your third choice. Remember when the Colts got “stuck” with Frank Reich? That actually worked out ok. I also remember when Bill Belichick reneged on the Jets and went to New England. It’s a free country.

  15. This may be because people don’t want to work for Mike Brown. It also might be a perception that Taylor won’t be there very long. If you don’t think Taylor is going to last as an NFL head coach, a lot of assistants won’t want to uproot their families only get let go after a year or two. I know that’s a risk for any NFL coach, assistant or otherwise, but it might speak to the perception coaches have of the guy they’re going to be working for. (If you’re going to take backhanded slaps at people, this makes more sense to me.)

  16. Bengaljuice is a homer but for once I appreciate the objective perspective. I don’t care what org gives me a chance, I take the chance. Worst that can happen? Doesn’t work…like that doesn’t happen every year and yet people still get jobs. For me? I bet on myself.

  17. The hurry is that the defensive coaches are expected to also serve as scouts and provide evaluation of players in the draft. This team needs to draft players that are fits for their defensive scheme, NOT the NFL Combine workout wonders that invariably turn out to be busts. The longer their defensive staff is empty the greater the likelihood they’ll draft guys that are poor fits for the eventual coach’s scheme, which is why LeBeau’s defenses were poor in Cincinnati yet dominant in Pittsburgh.

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