Bengals Rumors

Bengals Eyeing Lou Anarumo For DC

Giants defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo is set to interview with the Bengals on Thursday, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link) hears. At the moment, he is the frontrunner for their defensive coordinator job, according to Pelissero. 

Anarumo worked with new Bengals head coach Zac Taylor in Miami from 2012-15 and both men finished out the ’15 season as interim coordinators on opposite sides of the ball. After that, Anarumo reverted back to being Miami’s defensive backs coach under Adam Gase and hooked on with the Giants in January of 2018.

Outside of Anarumo’s interim DC stint in South Beach, he has exclusively served as a defensive backs coach for the last two decades. However, he’s a highly-respected coach and his history with Taylor may allow him to climb the ranks.

The Bengals have been left at the altar a few times in this cycle. Previously, they were close with coaches like Jack Del RioDom Capers, and Florida DC Todd Grantham, but they were unable to seal the deal.

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Bengals Requested Interview With Ohio State DC Jeff Hafley

The Bengals have struck out on yet another name in their seemingly never-ending search for a defensive coordinator. The team wanted to interview Ohio State defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley for the position but Hafley turned them down, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Hafley is currently the defensive coordinator at Ohio State, a job he took just last month. Sources told Garafolo that Hafley didn’t want to “renege on his commitment” to the Buckeyes. Before joining Ohio State, Hafley had been a defensive assistant in the NFL since 2012, most recently serving as the 49ers’ secondary coach for the past three seasons.

It’s yet another blow to Cincinnati as new head coach Zac Taylor looks to fill out his inaugural staff. Just yesterday they were blocked from interviewing Saints assistant Aaron Glenn. Earlier yesterday they were shot down by Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who had initially appeared very likely to take the job. They had previously offered the job to and been turned down by former Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers.

The Bengals are likely looking at a rebuild, which could be scaring off veteran coaches. They do have some talent on defense, and it’s pretty surprising that they haven’t found somebody yet. They were granted permission to talk to Rams cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant earlier this week, so perhaps they circle back to him.

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Saints To Block Bengals From Interviewing Aaron Glenn

It appears another Bengals path toward a potential defensive coordinator hire will close. The Saints are planning to block them from interviewing Aaron Glenn, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

The Bengals requested a meeting with the Saints’ secondary coach earlier on Thursday. This represents the latest in what’s been a series of barriers impeding a Bengals DC hire.

This is the second Saints coach the Bengals have tried to meet with regarding their DC position. The team sought a meeting with Saints DC Dennis Allen, whose previous contract had expired after the 2018 season, but Allen and the Saints agreed on a new contract.

Cincinnati has been connected to other veterans like Dom Capers, Jack Del Rio, Mike Nolan and John Fox. The team moved forward with Capers and Del Rio. Capers turned the Bengals down, and nothing came to fruition with Del Rio. Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham then looked like the pick, but the Gators are keeping him. The Bengals requested meetings with former Falcons DC Marquand Manuel and Texas A&M defensive boss Mike Elko.

The Rams have granted the Bengals permission to meet with cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant, however. Mere permission on this front, which would make Pleasant a first-time coordinator, could be critical given the way this process has unfolded.

A 15-year NFL veteran as a corner, Glenn has been a coach for five seasons — the past three as Saints DC. As long as he is under contract, the Saints can block him from an interview to become a coordinator.

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Bengals Request Interview With Aaron Glenn

Aaron Glenn is in the running for the Bengals’ defensive coordinator job. On Thursday, the Bengals requested an interview with the Saints secondary coach, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). 

Glenn caught the Bengals’ eye earlier this month after deals with Jack Del Rio and Dom Capers went south. Glenn lacks the previous DC experience of Del Rio and Capers, but he is a highly respected coach with recent playing experience.

Glenn played for the Jets, Texans, Cowboys, Jaguars, and Saints over the course of his 15-year career, which ended in 2008. In 2012, he hooked on with the Jets as a personnel scout and later joined the Browns as their assistant DB coach. The Saints brought him on board as the top DB coach in 2016 and he may now have a chance to vault up the coaching ladder.

The Saints’ secondary has lacked talent in recent years, but Glenn has been lauded for developing the younger players in his group.

The Bengals’ latest would-be DC hire, Todd Grantham, opted to stay with the University of Florida rather than join Cincinnati.

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Todd Grantham Turns Down Bengals

Todd Grantham opted to stay at the University of Florida instead of pursuing the Bengals’ defensive coordinator job, according to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). Grantham is intrigued by the possibility of returning to the NFL, but he’s apparently not interested in the Bengals job this year.

After Grantham oped to stick with Dan Mullen & Co., the Bengals are in familiar, yet uncomfortable territory. Over the last several weeks, the Bengals have been on the precipice of deals with several established DCs only to watch things fall apart. Jack Del Rio and Dom Capers both seemed close to signing at different points, but things went sideways in both pursuits. You can add Grantham to that list, leaving the Bengals to scan for a Plan D.

Before the club’s second meeting with Grantham on Wednesday, the Bengals also showed interest in Rams cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant and other younger candidates.

Bengals Zeroing In On Todd Grantham

The Bengals have narrowed their defensive coordinator search to focus on University of Florida DC Todd Grantham, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Grantham returned to meet with the Bengals on Wednesday morning, but they still have their work cut out for them as they try to lure him away from UF, Rapoport reports. 

Grantham reportedly made $1.4MM last year with the Gators, so the Bengals will have to come with a competitive offer to lure him away from one of the nation’s top college programs. Still, the Bengals job clearly holds appeal for Grantham. With Cincinnati, Grantham can return to the NFL with a step up from his previous defensive line coach duties. He’ll also have a great degree of control over the defensive as new head coach Zac Taylor will be focused on the offense.

Over the last week or so, the Bengals have also looked into Rams cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant, former Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel, Texas A&M DC Mike Elko, and Saints defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn for the role. Prior to that, the Bengals seemed close on deals with established vets Dom Capers and Jack Del Rio.

 

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Bengals To Interview Todd Grantham

The Bengals are set to interview Todd Grantham for their defensive coordinator vacancy, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Grantham has been on the team’s radar in recent days after potential deals with Dom Capers and Jack Del Rio went sideways.

The Bengals also recently received permission to interview Rams cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant, so their DC search is moving along. Former Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel, Texas A&M DC Mike Elko, and Saints defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn are also said to be on the radar.

Grantham, 52, offers more experience than the Bengals’ other candidates. He served as the defensive coordinator of the Browns from 2005-07 before heading to the college ranks with stops at Louisville and UF. In the past, he’s also served as a defensive line coach for the Cowboys, Texans, and Colts.

Grantham reportedly made $1.4MM last year with the Gators, so the Bengals will have to come with a competitive offer if they want him on the sideline.

Bengals Hire High School Coach To Staff

  • The Bengals looked to the local high school ranks for a staffer, hiring Cincinnati Moeller head coach Doug Rosfield to become the assistant to Zac Taylor, per Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Rosfield spent 11 total seasons at Moeller. In between those stays, he worked as the University of Cincinnati’s director of player development for three years.

Bengals Claim QB Brad Kaaya

The Bengals will bring in some additional Andy Dalton insurance. They added Brad Kaaya via waiver claim on Monday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

The Colts waived Kaaya on Friday. He lands in a spot with more potential upward mobility and with a revamped coaching staff.

Cincinnati opted not to bring in a veteran backup to replace A.J. McCarron last year, and when Dalton went down last season, former sixth-round pick Jeff Driskel finished the season as the Bengals’ starter. Driskel’s 176 career pass attempts are 176 more than Kaaya has attempted.

But new Bengals HC Zac Taylor will attempt to see what Kaaya can do. New Bengals quarterbacks coach Brian Callahan likely played a role here; he was Kaaya’s position coach with the Lions in 2017.

A 2017 sixth-round pick, Kaaya will head to a fourth NFL city. The Lions, Panthers and Colts have cut ties with the former Miami quarterback who was once viewed as a possible first-round pick. Inconsistency dropped him to a Day 3 prospect.

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Bengals Granted Permission To Interview Aubrey Pleasant

The Bengals requested permission to interview Rams cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant for defensive coordinator last week, and Cincinnati has now been granted that opportunity, according to Vincent Bosnignore of the Los Angeles Daily News (Twitter link). Pleasant, regarded as a rising star in the coaching ranks, worked for the Browns and Redskins before joining Los Angeles in 2017. The Bengals’ DC job is the only vacant coordinator position remaining in the NFL, and a number of candidates (Dom Capers, Jack Del Rio, Dennis Allen) have bowed out of the running to become a top aide to head coach Zac Taylor. Other coaches who have been linked to the job include Saints linebackers coach Mike Nolan, former Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel, Texas A&M DC Mike Elko, Florida DC Todd Grantham, and Saints defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn.