Is Mark Carrier The Latest Bengals Coach To Leave Cincinnati?

It appears that the Bengals will be starting from scratch with their top four defensive assistants following a mass exodus since the conclusion of the regular season.

If published reports are true, the Bengals are looking for a defensive line coach and a defensive backs coach, or two, following the departures of Jay Hayes, Matt Burke, Vance Joseph and possibly Mark Carrier.

Their exits follow the leaving of offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, who stays in the AFC North as Browns head coach. Destinations are also known for Hayes and Burke (Tampa Bay) and Joseph (Miami), but not Carrier.

The Cincinnati Enquirer said "league sources" told it "that co-secondary coach Mark Carrier has left the Bengals, completely opening that position group." Carrier completed his fourth season coaching Bengals defensive backs, sharing the load with Joseph. A former three-time Pro Bowl safety, Carrier and Joseph were in charge of the team's largest position group

Joseph, a former NFL cornerback, wrapped up a contract with Cincinnati, completing his second year on the Bengals' staff. He's a first-time defensive coordinator on a second opportunity. The first was nixed by the Bengals last year when Denver asked permission to interview Joseph for its DC position. Cincinnati did not grant it.

Burke was in his second season with the Bengals, coordinating the linebackers. He follows Hayes to Tampa Bay to become the Bucs' linebackers coach in another lateral move away from Cincinnati.

Hayes, who's been on staff since Marvin Lewis has been head coach, concludes a 13-year stay in Cincinnati. A trusted and relied-upon Lewis confidant, his departure is the most surprising in part because it's a lateral move to a team farther from the playoffs, and farther from family. He parts ways with tight ends coach Jonathan Hayes, his brother, and Lewis, who grew up with the Hayes brothers in western Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh.

If reports are true about Carrier moving on, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther is looking at a completely revamped staff of assistants missing all four of his top aides from 2015.

One spot has been filled by former Saints head coach Jim Haslett, who moves in as Bengals linebackers coach.

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