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Volume 25 No. 192
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NFL Franchise Notes: Bengals New Coach Must Galvanize Fan Base

The Rams' Zac Taylor has been tied to the Bengals' coaching vacancy, and THE ATHLETIC's Jay Morrison wrote whomever the next coach is "will be in charge of a significant rebuild in terms of the fan base." There probably is not anyone the Bengals can hire "who will create an immediate spike in season-ticket sales." It will be a "long, slow process to win back many of the people" who think that former coach Marvin Lewis' departure was "only half of what the franchise needs." Bengals Owner Mike Brown "ceding control" to his daughter and son-in-law, Bengals Exec VP Katie Blackburn and VP Troy Blackburn, is "as close to a front-office shakeup in the family-run organization as there is ever going to be" (, 1/9).

KNOW YOUR ROLE: THE ATHLETIC's Jason Lloyd wrote under the header, "Jimmy Haslam's Fingerprints Are Not On Freddie Kitchens Hiring." Lloyd wrote Haslam "hasn't done much right since purchasing the Browns, but give him credit for this much: He finally seems to have recognized it was time to get the hell out of the way." Hiring Kitchens was "perhaps a matter of not overthinking matters." The "applause" for Haslam and Browns GM John Dorsey is for the "discipline both men showed throughout this process." Depending on "how things go, this might have been Dorsey's first and only shot at hiring a head coach." It would have been "easy for him to go back to Green Bay or Kansas City and pick someone he knows." The fact that Dorsey "didn't dip into his pocket and pull out his list" is a "credit to him for not trying to get too cute" (, 1/10).

KANGOL KOOL: In Tampa, Rick Stroud wrote the Buccaneers have not had a coach "with as much swagger" as Bruce Arians has since the days of Jon Gruden. Arians "commanded the auditorium" during his introduction Thursday. He worked for CBS this season, though he "got the itch again to coach" midway through the campaign. He said, "After about eight games of broadcasting and going to practice and watching each team do it ... I almost stepped out on the field in Houston and corrected [Texans S] Tyrann Mathieu. I was like, 'Whoa. That's not my team.' Yeah, that started a fire again" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 1/11).

CLOCK IS TICKING: In Detroit, Bob Wojnowski wrote this may be Lions Exec VP & GM Bob Quinn's "last best shot, entering his fourth season, to show he can do it, and he needs to treat it that way." Quinn needs to "embrace the possibility with aggressive moves that deliver short-term benefits, not just long-term promises." Wojnowski: "He doesn't need to make a bunch of huge, showy moves, but he can't act like he has time for a leisurely rebuild" (DETROIT NEWS, 1/10).