Bengals beat reporters Fletcher Page and Paul Dehner Jr. discuss the losing of coach Marvin Lewis.
Cincinnati Enquirer

The Cincinnati Bengals’ coaching search has recently produced an inevitable in-house interview and the beginning and end of the candidacy of two offensive coordinators under consideration.

Todd Monken is the emerging candidate. 

The Bengals have requested an interview with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator, according to an ESPN report. Monken isn’t under contract for next season and could be on the market for a new job depending on the results of the Bucs’ head coach hunt.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, the former Bengals quarterback who split starting duties in Tampa Bay this season, has advocated for Monken’s ability to lead a team. Monken has never been an NFL head coach. He guided Southern Miss to a 13-25 record, with one winning season, from 2013-15. 

“I’m telling you: He’s got it,” Fitzpatrick told the New York Daily News. “He’s got the ‘It factor’ as a head coach.”

The Bengals organization has kept moves involved in the search close to the vest. 

More: Editorial: No margin for error in Bengals’ coaching search

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More: BX: Bengals face risk in chasing next young offensive mind

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But one thing seems clear: Josh McDaniels will not get the job. Or rather, the New England Patriots offensive coordinator doesn’t want it, according to an NFL Network report.

McDaniels declined the Bengals’ request for an interview, though it seemed unlikely he would seriously be considered after he agreed and backed out of the Indianapolis Colts’ job last offseason. 

Put simply: The feeling here is McDaniels was never going to be the guy. 

Yes, Hue Jackson was interviewed.

The former Cincinnati offensive coordinator, special assistant to Marvin Lewis and Browns head coach met with Bengals representatives Wednesday. Jackson’s coaching record, 11-44-1 in four-plus seasons with the Browns and Oakland Raiders, and connections to former coach Marvin Lewis, will make it difficult for some fans to accept. But an in-house staffer with head coach experience and previous success with the franchise as a coordinator deserved consideration. In-house candidates Bill Lazor and Darrin Simmons were interviewed Tuesday. 

Still, those clamoring for a fresh perspective could get their wish, especially after owner Mike Brown’s success going away from familiarity when he hired Lewis in 2003. 

The Bengals are expected to interview Los Angeles Rams assistants Zac Taylor and Shane Waldron and Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator and former Bengals running back Eric Bieniemy this weekend.

More candidates are likely to emerge after this weekend’s playoff slate. Coaches on competing teams in the wild-card round will be available for interviews next week.