The Bengals coaching staff will have some talent to work with this year and the onus will be on them to make sure the team starts strong and plays consistently all year.
Head coach Marvin Lewis will take the helm for a sixth season, with only the legendary Paul Brown and Sam Wyche have had coached the Bengals longer in the franchise's history. Both men coached the team for eight years.
Lewis has compiled an overall regular season record of 42-38 and is only the third coach in team history to have a winning record. Forrest Gregg (34-27) and Bill Johnson (18-15) are the other two.
The Bengals have made the playoffs once in Lewis’ tenure in 2005, losing to Pittsburgh in a game featuring a controversial hit on quarterback Carson Palmer that knocked him out of the game early.
In trying to get the team back into the championship hunt, Lewis has brought in a new defensive coordinator for 2009 in Mike Zimmer, who has eight years of NFL experience as a coordinator.
Paul Alexander will return for 15th season on the coaching staff and 14th straight as offensive line coach.
He will also serve as the team's assistant head coach, a position he has held since 2003.
Mike Sheppard might have the most daunting task on the staff this year. Sheppard has 15 years of experience as a coach in the league and will be the receivers coach for a second year with the Bengals.
He will have to make sure Carson Palmer and newcomer veteran Laveranues Coles mesh together while trying to reignite a fire under Chad Ochocinco. Quan Cosby, the rookie out of Texas, will also need a lot of work.
Bob Bratkowski is in his eighth year as Bengals offensive coordinator and he will once again have a healthy Palmer to work with. If running back Cedric Benson comes ready to play, the offense might not be half bad.
Other member of the staff:
Jim Anderson—running backs
Kevin Coyle—defensive backs
Jay Hayes—defensive line
Jonathan Hayes—tight ends
Chip Morton—strength and conditioning
Darrin Simmons—special teams