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Cincinnati Bengals to retain coach Zac Taylor for third season

Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown won't make a swift coaching change.

In a statement released Monday morning, Brown made it clear Zac Taylor will return for a third season.

"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. "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's squad wrapped up a four-win season Sunday with a 38-3 loss to division foe Baltimore. In two seasons at the helm, Taylor's squad has a 6-25-1 record, worst in franchise history. Taylor has a .203 win percentage. The next-worst by a Cincy coach is .267 by Dick LeBeau.

The 2020 campaign marked the first time since 1999-2000 that the Bengals went back-to-back seasons with four or fewer victories -- Bruce Coslet was fired during the 2000 season.

Taylor told reporters Monday, "We do feel we're close to turning the corner," and added that it is his expectation that 2021 will be a winning season.

Joe Burrow, the franchise QB who saw his rookie season cut short to a torn ACL and MCL, tweeted Monday that he has faith in the direction the organization is going.

Since Taylor took over, the Bengals have ranked last in record, last in turnover differential, last in sack differential, 31st in points per game and 27th in points allowed.

The Sean McVay disciple was brought in to jumpstart the offense. Due to a plethora of reasons, Taylor's offense has stalled. Since 2019, the Bengals rank 26th in total yards per game, 25th in rushing yards per game, 27th in 3rd down percentage, 28th in passer rating and 32nd in red-zone TD percentage.

Burrow's impressive start to the season, however, likely helped save Taylor from getting a short leash. The Bengals have promising offensive weaponry with Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon to buffer the young signal-caller. The offensive line needs a ton of work, and the defense needs a massive overhaul, however.

The Bengals moved on from Marvin Lewis, the winningest coach in franchise history, in favor of Taylor. One of the most patient owners in the NFL, Brown won't change course after just two years.

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