Email List Google Plus
 

Football FridayTracking EbolaReal EstatePump PatrolGolf CardPhoto GalleriesKnow Your Candidates
WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: Sports - Local Sports - Bengals name Paul Guenther as defensive coordinator

Bengals name Paul Guenther as defensive coordinator

CINCINNATI -- Paul Guenther, entering his 12th season as an NFL coach and his 10th with the Bengals, was named today as Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator. Guenther has spent the last two seasons as Bengals linebackers coach, overseeing the rapid development of a number of young players, including 2013 season Pro Bowl selection Vontaze Burfict.
   Guenther replaces Mike Zimmer, who yesterday was named head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. Zimmer had been Bengals defensive coordinator since 2008. Guenther worked as a key aide to Zimmer in the formation of defenses that helped lead the Bengals to the playoffs four of the last five years. Last season, as  the Bengals finished 11-5 to win the AFC North Division championship, the defense ranked first in the AFC and third in the NFL in fewest yards allowed (305.5), despite suffering significant major injuries. The Bengals ranked tied for fifth in the NFL in fewest points allowed (19.1).
   In 2012, the Bengals ranked sixth in net defense and eighth in scoring defense.
   “Paul has been Zim’s right-hand man the last few years, so we’re moving in the direction of keeping a good thing going with our defense,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. “He knows what we do and how we do it, and he had a hand in creating it. Paul and I have been mostly together since when we were both on the Redskins staff (in 2002). I’ve seen him grow over the years and really have sort of been grooming him for this kind of opportunity.”
   Guenther’s premier player project has been Burfict, who joined the Bengals from the college free agent ranks in 2012, Guenther’s first season as LBs coach. Burfict has been one of the NFL’s most prolific tacklers in each of his two seasons and is in this season’s Pro Bowl after leading the team with 204 tackles.
   Also in 2013, the Bengals saw the strong emergence of third-year LB Vincent Rey, another original college free agent signee. Guenther meanwhile oversaw an improved 2013 performance from starting MLB Rey Maualuga, a fifth-year player, and Guenther worked well with five-time Pro Bowler James Harrison, who had a productive season at age 35 after joining the Bengals as a free agent.
   “I’m obviously very excited about this opportunity,” Guenther said. “I like the players we have and what we’ve already done to get a good defensive team in place. I’m looking forward to working with all of them, in a new role for me, and continuing to improve us and make us better.
   “I want to thank Mike Brown and Marvin for all they’ve done for me over the years and now for this chance. And I also want to thank Zim for working with me so closely and helping me become a better coach.”
The 42-year-old Guenther is a native of Richboro, Pa. He played LB from 1990-93 at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa. and coached in the college ranks for seven seasons before entering the NFL. He was the youngest  head coach in college football in 1997, when at age 25 he took the reins at Ursinus for a tenure that would last four seasons and include two playoff berths. He joined the NFL with Washington in 2002.
   Guenther joined the Bengals in 2005. Before taking over the LB coach position, he worked primarily as an assistant position coach with LBs, special teams and/or defensive backs.
            
MARVIN LEWIS ON MIKE ZIMMER’S DEPARTURE

   Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, on the Minnesota Vikings’ signing yesterday of Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer as head coach:
   “Zim did a tremendous job for us, and it’s fantastic that he is getting this opportunity now to be a head coach. I’ve talked many times about what he brought to our defense, and to me as the head coach. He has the players’ trust. He does a great job of identifying who to push, and when.
   “He is also exceptionally thorough. Everything in the gameplan is done with a thoroughness, and every player down to the last one is properly prepared. I’m happy for Zim and wish him all my best.”Bengals name Paul Guenther as defensive coordinator

Thursday, January 16 2014, 11:56 AM EST

Related Stories

Ohio Sports

BREWERS-REDS

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Johnny Cueto pitched seven solid innings, and the Cincinnati Reds stayed in the chase for the NL's top record by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 on Tuesday night after learning they'll be without their manager for the rest of the week.

The Brewers dropped back-to-back games for the first time in more than a month, and it came at a bad time. They started the day 3 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the final NL wild card spot.

They got no break from the Reds, who clinched the NL Central title on Saturday night.

Manager Dusty Baker met players before the game and revealed he suffered a mini-stroke in addition to being treated for an irregular heartbeat last week. The 63-year-old manager hopes to return to the dugout next week.

REDS-BAKER

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Dusty Baker won't manage the Cincinnati Reds until the final series in St. Louis, giving him time to recover from an irregular heartbeat that left him hospitalized last week.

Baker met with owner Bob Castellini and his team on Tuesday before a game against the Brewers. Bench coach Chris Speier said he'll manage the final three home games against Milwaukee and three in Pittsburgh over the weekend, with Baker taking over for the last three games next week.

The 63-year-old manager was hospitalized in Chicago last Wednesday for an irregular heartbeat, a problem he's had for a while. He was in the hospital for four days, missing the Reds' 6-0 win over the Dodgers on Saturday night that clinched the NL Central title.

INDIANS-WHITE SOX

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago White Sox have lost sole possession of first place in the AL Central race, with the Indians playing spoiler. Gordon Beckham hit into a game-ending forceout with the potential tying run on second base yesterday as the Indians downed the White Sox 4-3.

Down 4-0 in the fourth inning, the White Sox closed within a run when Paul Konerko homered off Chris Perez leading off the ninth. Perez walked a pair of batters with two outs, and Beckham grounded to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who threw to second baseman Jason Kipnis for the force.

Chicago (82-72) had held sole possession of the division lead since September 3. Detroit pulled into a tie for the division lead with its win over Kansas City last night.

T25-OHIO ST-MATCHING UP

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Through four games and four victories, Ohio State's defense has faced a continual drumbeat of short passes, quick routes, screens and sweeps.

Every opponent, it seems, has relied on a sleight of hand.

Now the Buckeyes are looking forward to getting into familiar territory when they open Big Ten play.

When No. 14 Ohio State travels to 20th-ranked Michigan State on Saturday, the Buckeyes anticipate they'll run into a more conventional Midwestern attack. Granted, that means having to counteract the 244-pound blasts of the Spartans' massive Le'Veon Bell.

But after a month of chasing people, the Buckeyes think they might benefit from a change of pace from the subterfuge and rush-avoiding quick-hitters in a trade for raw man-on-man power struggles at the line of scrimmage.

T25-UPTIGHT SPARTANS

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan State's lackluster win last weekend got to coach Mark Dantonio.

After the Spartans beat Eastern Michigan 23-7 Saturday, Dantonio hurried through a terse news conference full of abrupt answers. The Michigan State coach said "next question" seven times in under a minute and was clearly annoyed with the way his team played.

On Tuesday, Dantonio spoke with reporters for around a half-hour, but Michigan State isn't making any players or assistants available this week. The Spartans' coach is trying to send a clear message to his players that it's time to get serious.

Sports Stories

 

Tonight on ABC 22

6:00 pm ..... ABC 22 News at Six
6:30 pm ..... ABC World News
7:00 pm ..... Family Feud
7:30 pm ..... Family Feud
8:00 pm ..... Dancing with the Stars
10:00 pm ... Castle
11:00 pm ... ABC 22 News at Eleven
11:30 pm ... Jimmy Kimmel Live
12:30 am ... Nightline
Complete Schedule»