Zac Taylor's second season with the Bengals is taking shape and thus far it has stuck with a theme.
That theme is veteran experience.
From bringing in a 17-year NFL veteran like Steve Jackson to the additions of Al Golden and Troy Walters having extensive experience of coaching in college and the NFL, it's a seasoned group that should execute Taylor's vision for player development.
Even the newer staff hires like Colt Anderson and Dan Pitcher have plenty of experience in the league and will provide a fresh prospective in all three phases.
With that in mind, here are five unique things to know about the five new Bengals coaches.
Colt Anderson – Assistant Special Teams
Anderson might not have the coaching experience, but he's been in the league for nearly a decade. He was a safety and standout special teams player in the NFL who most recently played in the league in 2017. His last game against Cincinnati came during the 2015 playoffs when the Indianapolis Colts won 26-10 in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Anderson was born and raised in Butte, Montana where he was a star safety and running back for the Butte High football team. After graduating in 2003, he joined the Montana Grizzlies football program as a walk-on safety, going on to have a decorated career that saw him earn first-team all-Big Sky honors three times.
From there Anderson played In 84 career games and registered 111 tackles playing for the Colts, Philadelphia Eagels and Buffalo Bills.
Al Golden - Linebackers
When Golden took over the Temple program in 2005, there was a strong contingent within the university community that wanted to do away with football completely, or at least drop down a level. The program's academics were in such bad shape that the NCAA ruled Temple would lose nine scholarships.
Golden persevered and turned things around in his five seasons at Temple, transforming the Owls from a program that was 1-11 in his first season to winning 17 games in his last two seasons. In 2009 he led the Owls to their first bowl game in 30 years. He also presided over a dramatic improvement in the program's Academic Progress Rating, one Golden and the school have previously called the greatest turnaround in the NCAA's APR era.
One other note from Golden's early time at Temple, one of the assistants on the 2006 team was current Bengals wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell. Bicknell coached the offensive line that season before moving on to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007. That 2006 Temple team also had on staff two of football's most promising young coaches, Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule and Ohio State head coach Ryan Day.
Steve Jackson - Cornerbacks
Jackson spent the last two seasons as an assistant defensive backs coach with the Jets and he's also worked for Tennessee, Detroit, Washington and Buffalo.
But before his coaching days, Jackson spent time as a defensive back for the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Oilers/Titans from 1991-99. A big influence on his coaching career came working with long time defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Jackson under Williams' tutelage played linebacker, free safety, strong safety, dime, nickel and outside corner. That knowledge helped him in developing the Jets' Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye into what some believe is the NFL's best safety tandem.
Dan Pitcher – Quarterbacks
Pitcher isn't a new hire, but a promotion to quarterbacks coach after serving as an offensive assistant from 2016-19. He's considered one of the bright young minds in the game. Prior to joining the Bengals, Pitcher spent four seasons in player personnel with the Indianapolis Colts, serving as a scouting assistant from 2012- 13 and a pro scout from 2014-15.
He played quarterback at SUNY Cortland from 2008-11 and ended his three-year career as a ﬁnalist for the Gagliardi Trophy presented annually to Division III's best player.
Troy Walters – Assistant Wide Receivers
In 2017 at Central Florida, Walters was one of five finalists for the Broyles Award, presented annually to the nation's top assistant coach. UCF led the country in scoring at 48.2 points per game, and the Knights were the only team to score at least 30 points in every game en route to a perfect 13-0 season.
There are two immediate connections to the Bengals for Walters. Taylor was a graduate assistant for Texas A&M when Walters coached their wide receivers. Fast forward to 2020 where Walters will reunite with former Nebraska receiver Stanley Morgan. Morgan had the first 1,000-yard receiving season in Nebraska history under Walters' tutelage in 2018.