Report: Bengals Eye Ex-NFL HC Jack Del Rio as DC, Raiders' Brian Callahan as OC

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2019

CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 31:  Head Coach Jack Del Rio of the Oakland Raiders looks on during the first quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center on December 31, 2017 in Carson, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals are prepared to hire Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor as their new head coach when the Rams' playoff run ends, and he's reportedly expected to target former Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio as his defensive coordinator.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the update Sunday and added Cincinnati is also considering Raiders quarterbacks coach Brian Callahan as a candidate for offensive coordinator:

Del Rio owns a 93-94 record across 12 years as an NFL head coach (nine with Jacksonville and three with Oakland). His teams qualified for the playoffs just three times and never advanced beyond the divisional round. He was fired by the Raiders after posting a 6-10 record in 2017.

The 55-year-old former NFL linebacker also has four years of experience as a defensive coordinator in stints with the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos.

Del Rio's defenses ranked third or better in yards allowed three times in those four seasons, per Pro Football Reference. They also ranked in the top five in points allowed twice.

He'd inherit a Bengals defense that allowed the most yards per game (413.6) in 2018.

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Meanwhile, Callahan was on the same Broncos staff as Del Rio, working his way up from coaching assistant in 2010 to quarterbacks coach in 2015. He also coached quarterbacks for the Detroit Lions in 2016-17 before filling the same position for Oakland.

Callahan is the son of former Raiders and Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Bill Callahan. His only stint as an offensive coordinator came at Junipero Serra High School in California in 2008-09.

He'd be tasked, alongside the offensive-minded Taylor, with building a more explosive offense; the Bengals ranked 26th in yards per game (310.8) last season. That could mean a change at quarterback, though Andy Dalton is under contract through 2020.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk listed Cincinnati as a potential trade destination for Philadelphia Eagles backup Nick Foles, the Super Bowl LII MVP.

The Bengals' plans should come into focus once the Rams' postseason ends. Los Angeles will visit the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday but hopes to conclude the season by raising the Lombardi Trophy in Atlanta on Feb. 3.

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