Bengals’ Zac Taylor makes changes to coaching staff

The Cincinnati Bengals lost assistant Rob Livingston to Deion Sanders’ staff at Colorado this week, but already have filled his spot as safeties coach and made two other changes to the staff.

Jordan Kovacs, who spent the past two seasons as assistant linebackers coach, assumes the role vacated by Livingston with his hire as Colorado’s defensive coordinator on Wednesday. Livingston had been on the Bengals’ staff for nine years.

Additionally, the Bengals announced Thursday the hiring of former Vikings assistant Justin Rascati as pass game coordinator, a newly created role, and promotion of Brad Kragthorpe to quarterbacks coach, the spot opened with Dan Pitcher’s promotion to offensive coordinator.

Kovacs will be entering his sixth season in Cincinnati. He arrived in 2017 on Marvin Lewis’ staff and remained on board when Zac Taylor was hired in 2019. Kovacs, who played 28 games in the NFL as a safety with the Miami Dolphins in 2013-15, served as defensive quality control coach through 2021, before becoming a secondary/safeties coach for the past two seasons. He also previously coached at the University of Michigan.

Rascati spent the past two seasons as assistant offensive line coach with Minnesota and previously served as an offensive quality control coach with the Denver Broncos from 2019-21.

Prior to his NFL coaching career, Rascati spent seven years in assistant roles at the collegiate level with University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (2017-18), Tennessee Tech (2016), the University of Tennessee-Martin (2014-15) and Weber State (2012-13). He played quarterback at the University of Louisville in 2003 and James Madison University in 2004 through 2006, including an FCS national championship his first season with the Dukes.

Kragthorpe has been with the Bengals since 2019, initially joining Taylor’s first staff as an offensive assistant. In 2021 and 2022, he served as an assistant wide receivers coach and moved to the role of assistant quarterbacks coach last season.

The former quarterback spent the 2018 season as an offensive analyst at LSU, working with an offense that featured current Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Kragthorpe, who played at Idaho State and LSU as a reserve quarterback and holder on kicks, began his coaching career as an offensive graduate assistant at Utah State in 2016 and 2017.

About the Author