NFL notebook: Bengals hope to hire Rams QB coach Taylor
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The Cincinnati Bengals would like to hire Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor to be their next head coach, multiple media outlets reported Thursday.
No team can hire Taylor until the Rams' season is over, but Taylor reportedly is the Bengals' top choice. ESPN reported that Taylor also wants to be in Cincinnati, where he coached as the Cincinnati Bearcats' offensive coordinator in 2016.
Taylor, 35, would become the second-youngest active head coach in the NFL, behind only his current boss, Rams head coach Sean McVay, who turns 33 on Jan. 24. He interviewed for the Denver Broncos' and Arizona Cardinals' head-coaching vacancies before those teams hired Vic Fangio and Kliff Kingsbury, respectively.
A former Nebraska quarterback, Taylor is in his first year as QBs coach with the Rams after spending 2017 as assistant wide receivers coach.
--Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II cast serious doubt about the future of wide receiver Antonio Brown with the team, in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
"As we sit here today, it's hard to envision that," Rooney said when asked if Brown would be with the Steelers when they open training camp in July. "But there's no sense on closing the door on anything today."
--Arizona interviewed Steve Sarkisian for their offensive coordinator vacancy and Joseph for their defensive coordinator vacancy, according to ESPN.
Sirius XM NFL reported that Sarkisian, who was fired last week after two seasons with Atlanta, and former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett are also contenders for the coordinator vacancy in Detroit.
Multiple outlets also reported that former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo would interview for a job on head coach Kliff Kingsbury's staff.
--The Cleveland Browns have yet to officially announce Freddie Kitchens as their new head coach, but they are moving to fill out his staff.
NFL Network reported that former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken will interview for the same position in Cleveland. ESPN reported that Vance Joseph, the ex-Denver Broncos head coach, will interview for the defensive vacancy.
--The Broncos agreed to terms with longtime defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to become the 17th head coach in franchise history, general manager John Elway announced. Fangio, boasting 32 years of NFL coaching experience, succeeds Joseph for his first stint as an NFL head coach.
"Vic really impressed us with his attention to detail -- his focus is on teaching the fundamentals, technique and playing disciplined football," Elway said.
Former Houston Texans and Broncos coach Gary Kubiak will come down from the Denver front office to oversee the offense of the Broncos.
--The New York Jets' hiring of Adam Gase as head coach has received a major vote of approval from at least one important voice on the team -- starting quarterback Sam Darnold.
"It was a tough decision, but I think Gase and the things he's able to do, the way he's able to lead, I think is the best thing for our team," Darnold told ESPN during a phone interview on Thursday.
"I'm really, really excited about this opportunity and all the things Adam can bring this team," said Darnold, who spoke with Gase on FaceTime for 10 minutes on Monday. "For us, it's about winning. How do you do that? You score more points than the other team."
--Running back Leonard Fournette met with Jacksonville vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin and the rest of the team's brass to clear the air, NFL Network reported. The meeting apparently went well on both sides, and Fournette should be part of the team's 2019 plans.
Fournette and fellow running back T.J. Yeldon drew Coughlin's ire for sitting on the team's bench for the duration of the season finale, prompting Coughlin to say both players were "disrespectful, selfish and their behavior was unbecoming that of a professional football player."
--The legal team for Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid rejected the findings in a report released Wednesday by NFL/NFLPA that there was no evidence he was targeted for drug testing and are demanding a response on the matter, according to a report by CBSsports.com.
--Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Ryan Grant has been ruled out of Saturday's divisional playoff game at Kansas City due to a toe injury. Safety Malik Hooker was also listed as questionable with a foot injury.
--Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley and tight end Blake Jarwin missed practice again with ankle injuries and are listed as questionable for Saturday's divisional playoff game against the Rams.
--Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry (heel), wideout Sammy Watkins (foot) and running back Spencer Ware (hamstring) are all questionable for Saturday's playoff game against Indianapolis.
--Cleveland announced that guard Joel Bitonio has been added to the 2019 AFC Pro Bowl roster, replacing injured Steelers guard David DeCastro.
--The Jets are considering three former head coaches to fill their defensive coordinator position under Gase, according to multiple reports. The list includes Gregg Williams, who was let go by Cleveland earlier this week.
NFL.com reported that Joseph is also under consideration, and CBSSports.com reported that former Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano is on the list.