The lingering questions regarding the Bengal coaching staff were put to rest today as the team announced the addition of former Safety Mark Carrier as defensive backs coach and the elevation of defensive assistant Paul Geunther to Linebackers coach.
Guenther has been with the Bengals since 2005 serving in a variety of roles. Most recently, he coached the safeties for former secondary coach Kevin Coyle and assisted Mike Zimmer and Darrin Simmons on various aspects of the defense and special teams.
Carrier may be best remembered from his playing career in which he was a force for the Bears. He also logged time with the Lions and Redskins before retiring in 2001 with 32 interceptions. He has experience coaching defensive backs as the secondary coach in Baltimore from 2006 to 2009, and worked for Rex Ryan and the Jets as defensive line coach since then.
Guenther is an uninspiring pick to most fans, but at just 40 years of age, he may be coming into his prime as an assistant coach. More importantly, he seems to have be the guy Marvin Lewis and Mike Zimmer wanted for the job.
“Mike Zimmer and I both have high confidence levels working with Paul,” Lewis said via a team release. “and we’re excited about what he can bring our defense in this new role.”
As for Carrier, personnally I’m jazzed. I liked the idea of Rod Woodson (though some disagreed), but I like this choice even better. Carrier knows what it takes to play for 11 seasons in the NFL (much like Woodson), but he also has 5 years of NFL coaching experience on some very good NFL defenses in Baltimore and New York. If he can get guys like Taylor Mays and Reggie Nelson playing to their potential, the defense will be all the better.
Rex Ryan’s take from Monday afternoon (from Bengals.com):
“Everyone already knows Mark Carrier as a player, but I also know him as an outstanding coach. He is one of the up-and-coming coaches in this league and did a great job working with me as the secondary coach in Baltimore and the defensive line coach here with the Jets. We had a veteran line in 2010 and had to break in a younger one in 2011, and in both seasons, the line’s play was strong. He’s a good man, an outstanding teacher and has a great passion for the game. I know he will do an excellent job for the Bengals and I wish him the best.”