Former Bengals QB reportedly interviewing for coaching position with team
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The first starting quarterback in Marvin Lewis' tenure as Bengals head coach might be returning to the team as an assistant coach.
According to SportingNews.com, Jon Kitna has interviewed for a position on Lewis' staff, presumably as quarterbacks coach. Bill Lazor started last season as quarterbacks coach, but was promoted to offensive coordinator after the second game when Ken Zampese was fired when the Bengals failed to score a touchdown in the first two games. Lazor recently signed a two-year contract to return as offensive coordinator.
Kitna was the Bengals starting quarterback from 2001-03. The 2003 season was Lewis' first as Bengals head coach. The team drafted quarterback Carson Palmer No. 1 overall in 2003, but wanted him to spend a season watching and learning behind Kitna, who guided the Bengals to an 8-8 record thanks to passing for 3,591 yards and 26 touchdowns with a rating of 87.4, which was the second-highest in his career.
Kitna spent the 2004 and 2005 seasons as Palmer's backup, playing in only seven regular-season games, including three starts. He was forced into action in the 2005 playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers when Palmer suffered a knee injury on the second play of the game. Kitna finished 24 of 40 for 197 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions as the Bengals lost 31-17.
Kitna left the Bengals after the 2005 season as a free agent and signed with the Detroit Lions. He started all 16 games for them in the 2006 and 2007 season and then four games in 2008. He returned to start nine games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2010 and played three more games for them in 2011 before retiring at age 39. He spent his first four NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks from 1997-2000.
SportingNews.com is also reporting that defensive backs coach Kevin Coyle won't be returning to the Bengals in 2018.
In addition to re-signing Lazor, the Bengals also announced on Monday they have hired Teryl Austin as defensive coordinator. He had served as Lions defensive coordinator from 2014-17.
Here are the other coaching moves the Bengals have been made since the season ended:
- Running backs coach Kyle Caskey, tight ends coach Jonathan Hayes, linebackers coach Jim Haslett and defensive line coach Jacob Burney are all expected to return per team sources, but none have been officially announced.
- Special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons is returning Lewis announced last Tuesday.
- The team announced on Monday that Bob Bicknell has been hired as wide receivers coach.
- Wide receivers coach James Urban left to become quarterbacks coach in Baltimore.
- Offensive line coach Paul Alexander opted not to return after 24 seasons to pursue other NFL opportunities.
- Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther is expected to be hired for the same position with the Oakland Raiders. That is set to be officially announced on Tuesday when Jon Gruden is hired as the team's head coach.