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By: Dadio Makdook
And how much will he help Joe Burrow?
The Cincinnati Bengals created a new position on the coaching staff, and now Joe Burrow will get to lean on another offensive mind.
Justin Rascati became the pass game coordinator today. How big of a deal is that? Let’s find out.
Who is Justin Rascati?
That’s a fair question. In fact, I didn’t know until a few hours ago.
Most recently, Rascati was an assistant o-line coach for the Minnesota Vikings. Before that, he was an offensive quality control coach for the Denver Broncos.
Before his time in the NFL, Rascati was an offensive coordinator and QB coach at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, an offensive coordinator at Tennessee Tech University, a passing game coordinator and WR coach at the University of Tennessee-Martin, and a QB coach at Weber State.
Rascati also played a little QB. In fact, he James Madison University to a 13-2 record and the program’s first FCS national championship in 2004.
Why Justin Rascati?
Another good question.
I mean, Zac Taylor is an offensive coach, right? He calls the plays. And he already gets input for in game prep from his now OC (former QB coach Dan Pitcher) and presumably his new QB coach (former assistant QB coach Brad Kragthorpe).
Perhaps the easiest answer is that Taylor is from the Sean McVay coaching tree. And during his time with the Los Angeles Rams as the QB coach, Taylor worked alongside Shane Waldron, who filled the role of, yep, you guessed it: pass game coordinator. (Side note: the Rams also had a run game coordinator, Aaron Kromer.)
In reality, this move shouldn’t come as a shock.
When it was made clear that Eric Bieniemy wouldn’t return to the Washington Commanders, I asked my longtime co-host John Sheeran if he thought he’d be an option for Cincinnati as a pass game coordinator.
earlier this week @dadiodefacto asked me about the bengals hiring a pass game coordinator. i scoffed at him.
in fairness he’s very scoffable.https://t.co/noIMyTUqbr
— John Sheeran (@John__Sheeran) February 8, 2024
The reason is that Taylor and the Bengals just lost Brian Callahan, and it’s not clear if Pitcher will be able to fill the exact same role (at least not immediately).
Further, it is clear that Taylor loves to divide up the game prep, and so, once given the opportunity to add to his staff, it seemed logical that he would go for the same coaching structure he had in Los Angeles.
What does this mean for Joe Burrow?
Quite simply, it means Burrow will get support from yet another former QB. Taylor, of course, played the position for 29 games in college and was signed (then cut) by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before joining the practice squad of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL.
Kragthorpe led Trinity High School of Louisville, Kentucky to a state championship as a starting QB.
And Rascati threw 51 touchdowns for JMU.
But it also means that Taylor will likely be better prepared and have less on his plate in terms of play-calling. That will help Burrow and the offense avoid dry spells that have plagued them in years past.
Rascati’s time as an OC suggests he’ll be very much involved in game preparation, which, with this being the golden age of pass rushers, is a good thing.
Lastly, Rascati’s experience as an assistant o-line coach could mean he will help update blocking schemes, making it easier for Burrow to stay upright.
Overall, there’s no downside to this hire, so Bengals fans should be optimistic about Burrow and the offensive looking even more explosive than before.
Originally posted on Cincy Jungle – All Posts