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.