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Around the AFC North: Bengals Aren't Losing Any Coordinators

Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo stands on the sidelines during an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Bengals: All Three Coordinators Returning

The Bengals reached the AFC Championship for the second straight year, but they still won't lose any of their three coordinators.

The Arizona Cardinals are hiring former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon to be their next head coach instead of Bengals Defensive Coordinator Lou Anarumo.

The Bengals also didn't lose any of their coordinators after their Super Bowl run in the 2021 season. Continuity is certainly a part of their success the past two years.

The Bengals had the NFL's 6th-ranked defense last year in points allowed per game (20.1), three spots behind the Ravens (18.5). Cincinnati's defense ranked 16th in the league in yards allowed per game (335.7).

Pittsburgh Steelers: Brian Flores Departs for Minnesota, Defense 'Still in Good Hands'

While the Bengals aren't losing any key coaches, the Steelers are, as Brian Flores was hired by the Minnesota Vikings to be their next defensive coordinator.

Flores spent the 2022 season as the Steelers' senior defensive assistant/linebackers coach under Defensive Coordinator Teryl Austin.

While Flores' departure does mean a former NFL head coach and respected leader will be elsewhere, the Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac wrote that the Steelers defense is still in good hands.

"There is little doubt the loss of Flores, who accepted the job as defensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings, will leave a void in Mike Tomlin's staff, just as it did when offensive line coach Mike Munchak (a former head coach) left to join the Denver Broncos after the 2018 season," Dulac wrote.

"But to think it will cripple the Steelers defense is unfair to the job Teryl Austin did with some additional freedom in his first year as a defensive coordinator and forgetting it is Tomlin who controls most of what is done on defense."

Cleveland Browns: Must Be in 'Win-Now' Mode With Limited Resources

The Browns are in a tricky spot following their last-place finish in the AFC North at 7-10.

With Deshaun Watson and others carrying big salary-cap hits, the Browns must find a way to turn things around despite limited resources.

"The Browns have to be in win-now mode. And not just for the job status of the guys who call the shots, but because of the investments already made in the roster," wrote The Athletic's Zac Jackson.

"The Browns gave out $400 million in guarantees last year through various contracts, extensions and reworked deals following trades they made to acquire Deshaun Watson and Amari Cooper. They've pushed major salary-cap commitments to 2023 and 2024 to put together a team that should be better than it's been the last two seasons."

The Browns will enter this offseason with about $13 million in cap space after rolling over what was left from last season.

They don't have a first-round pick after the trade for Watson, so their top two selections will be at No. 42 (second round) and No. 98 (third round). Watson currently carries an annual $55 million salary-cap hit over the next four seasons, per Spotrac.

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