Looking for better results, the Cincinnati Bengals fired longtime offensive coordinator Ken Zampese following two straight home losses in which the team failed to score any touchdowns. Zampese, who came to the team 15 seasons ago as the quarterbacks coach, will be replaced by Bill Lazor, the team’s current quarterbacks coach.
“Ken Zampese has done a tremendous job for us for my 15 years here, and I have the utmost respect for Ken as a person and as a coach,” coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement (via ESPN). “But I feel it best for the football team to breathe new life into the offense, and that’s why I am making the change.”
Lazor, Lewis added, “has great experience” and “I feel Bill can progress our offense the way we need.”
Zampese’s ouster marks the first time in the franchise’s 50-year history that an offensive coordinator has been replaced midseason, according to ESPN. The Bengals are the first team since the Philadelphia Eagles in 1939 to fail to score a touchdown in their first two games at home.
The news of Zampese’s firing will likely come as welcome to frustrated Bengals fans, who began calling for the 50-year-old’s ouster after the team lost 13-9 (points courtesy of field goals) to the Houston Texans on Thursday night.
Zampese has tarnished the family name- used to associate that name with good, creative offense. Maybe we’ll pick a lineman top 10 next year
— Jeff Davis (@jeff_t2green) September 15, 2017
Zampese is the worst offensive coordinator in the league
— Joe Dilbert (@I_Am_JoeDilbert) September 15, 2017
Bet you a Hudepohl the OC is fired over the long layoff as the scapegoat
— Steve Stallings Sr. (@stalls63) September 15, 2017
The team didn’t fare much better in its home opener, losing 20-0 to the Baltimore Ravens.
While Lewis was also the subject of fan criticism, he is likely to remain the coach for now. Lewis added he’s confident that the change in offensive coordinator will bring results by the next time the team takes the field on Sept. 24 against the Green Bay Packers.
“We have a lot of talent on offense, and we need to keep working to take full advantage of the personnel we have,” Lewis said.