Sooner or later, an NFL franchise is going to want Lou Anarumo as its head coach. The past two years of Bengals football has elevated the long-time assistant into the head coaching conversation.
The Cincinnati Bengals‘ defensive coordinator for the last four years has quickly emerged as one of the best play callers and schematic architects in the game, no matter what side of the ball that has your focus.
Anarumo has interviewed for two different teams since January of 2022, losing out both times towards the end of the hiring process. That’s great news for the Bengals, who want to keep Anarumo around to coordinate one of the best defenses in the league for as long as possible.
But the more Anarumo gets his name and voice out there, the more likely an owner and general manager will come to their senses and offer him a promotion.
It’s one thing to stockpile the defense with an abundance of talent like the Bengals have done for Anarumo since 2021.
Having the coordinator to not only put those pieces in the right place, but to also maximize their talents through honest coaching is a recipe for results. It’s what Anarumo shared during his appearance on the Bengals Beat Podcast, featuring his nickel cornerback Mike Hilton.
“I’ve always said to younger coaches, as long as the players know that what you’re telling them is going to help them get better and make him a better player, they’ll listen to you all day, every day,” Anarumo said of his coaching style.
“If you’re not truthful, if there’s some gray to what you’re saying, they’ll see that in a minute. And that’s some of the coaches that have trouble.”
“So be direct, be demanding, and know what you’re talking about, and you’ll have a pretty good career.” A pretty good career is what Anarumo had prior to arriving in Cincinnati.
Becoming the mastermind behind a unit that’s habitually limited the best offensive playmakers in the game over the past two years has skyrocketed his standing amongst the best coordinators in the game. Such success for Anarumo’s unit has come down to being amendable in every situation.
The ability to adapt while appearing the same has put some of the most potent offenses in a bind when the game comes down to the wire.
It’s a defense that rightfully demands a lot. You know he’s not bluffing when one of his veteran leaders wasted no time confirming his character.
“That’s as him in a nutshell,” Hilton said of his DC. “Now, of course, he’s gonna tell us exactly how he wants it done, and we know he’s gonna put us in the right position to make the play. We just have to make it and that’s kind of the trust that we have in Lou, and the trust he has in us.”