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Head Coach Candidate: How ready is Zac Taylor to be a head coach?

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Taylor is scheduled to interview with the Cardinals, Bengals, and Broncos

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Zac Taylor’s Coaching History

NFL : Dolphins’ Assistant QB Coach (2012), Dolphins’ QB Coach (2012-15), Dolphins’ Offensive Coordinator (2015), Los Angeles Rams’ QB Coach (2017-present)

College: Texas A&M Graduate Assistant/TE Coach (2008-2011), Cincinnati Bearcats’ Offensive Coordinator (2016)

Analysis:

Taylor has six years of NFL coaching experience. He served as the Dolphins interim offensive coordinator for five games in 2015, after their previous OC Bill Lazor was fired. The Dolphins finished with a 2-3 record during that stretch of games. The Dolphins did not produce much differently with him in charge of the offense, but they did defeat the Patriots in their last regular season game.

The 35-year-old is credited for developing Ryan Tannehill, who threw for career-highs in passing yards (4,208) and touchdowns (27) under his watch. Jared Goff has thrived the past two seasons as the Rams’ franchise quarterback, after having a forgettable rookie season. There is no question that the Cardinals requested to interview Taylor due to his history of developing quarterbacks. But is that the only reason?

It’d be great if he can develop Josh Rosen but there are too many concerns with how ready he is to be a head coach. As the offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bearcats, they finished with the fifth-worst offense in college football in 2016 averaging only 19.3 points per game. The Bearcats finished with a 4-8 record that season before landing a job with the Rams as their quarterback coach in 2017.

The problem with Taylor is his lack of play-calling experience at the NFL level. It is completely understandable for teams to hire young and creative NFL coaches. The Cardinals want to find a Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay, and a Matt Nagy. Every team that has a head coaching vacancy wants to land a coach like them as well. But all three of those coaches had at least two full seasons as offensive coordinator with a lot of success before being hired as a head coach. Taylor doesn’t have that.

Steve Wilks was one-and-done with the Cardinals. If they’re not willing to be patient with him, how patient would they be with Zac Taylor? It really doesn’t matter whether the head coach is offensive or defensive-minded. But, Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim seem to be limiting their search to only offensive-mind candidates.

It will be very surprising if the Cardinals hire Zac Taylor as their next head coach. At this point Taylor seems to be nothing more than just a coach of interest, as the Cardinals try to evaluate all their options.