The Cincinnati Bengals will not be joining the group of NFL clubs looking to reset at the head coaching spot heading into the 2021 offseason. On Monday, the day after Cincy's 2020 season came to a close following a 38-3 loss at the hands of the Ravens, owner Mike Brown came out with a statement backing head coach Zac Taylor going forward, signifying that his job is safe. The Bengals went 4-11-1 this season and were able to be scrappy down the stretch, winning two of their last three.
"Our fans wanted a fresh new direction two years ago, and that is what we aimed to do in hiring a bright, energetic head coach in Zac Taylor," Brown said in a statement released by the team. "We remain bullish on the foundation Zac is building, and we look forward to next year giving our fans the winning results we all want. In Zac's two years, we have added many new starters and contributors through the draft, we have invested heavily in free agency, and we have acquired a talented young quarterback with a bright future.
"This season we faced challenges with injuries at key positions and missed opportunities. I am proud of our football team for fighting hard through adversity. That adversity and hard work will help us next season. We'll enter the offseason looking to shore up our weaknesses and amplify the strengths of our talented young core. We are not discouraged, but instead feel motivated and confident that next year will reap the benefits of the work that has been done to date. We must capitalize on the opportunities in front of us. Next year we will earn our stripes."
Taylor arrived in Cincinnati in 2019 after serving on Sean McVay's staff for two seasons in Los Angeles. Over the course of his two-season tenure, the Bengals are 6-25-1. This season, Taylor's club averaged just 319.8 total yards per game, which was the fourth-fewest in the league. Defensively, they allowed 26.5 points per game, which was just outside the bottom-10 in the league.
Despite those less-than-stellar marks, Brown is right to note that the future for Cincinnati is bright, especially with No. 1 overall Joe Burrow coming into the league as-advertised. So long as he can return to full strength after tearing his ACL in Week 11, the Bengals have the most important piece of their rebuild intact going forward.
The club is also armed with the sixth-highest projected cap space heading into free agency along with the No. 5 overall pick at the 2021 NFL Draft to further improve the roster. for Taylor. With all that in mind, it's hard not to be optimistic about the Bengals going forward, which is why ownership seems to feel so strongly about the overall positive direction that Taylor is taking them.