On Wednesday, Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher confirmed the reports that offensive line coach Jim Turner was leaving the program to take the same position for the Cincinnati Bengals under new head coach Zac Taylor. Taylor was a graduate assistant at A&M from 2008 to 2011, when Turner was the Aggies’ offensive line coach under Mike Sherman.
This is a significant blow for the coaching staff, as Turner was one of only two holdovers from the Kevin Sumlin era, and also coached some of the best offensive lineman to ever play in Aggieland. While Fisher says that a replacement will be named “very very very very quickly,” they’ll have some big pants to fill.
With Jim Turner taking an NFL job, the Aggies will have big pants to fill. https://t.co/pI3KcXybhK— cuppycup (@cuppycup) February 6, 2019
But the bad news may not end there. According to NFL reporter Tom Pelissero, the Bengals are also looking at Aggie defensive coordinator Mike Elko to add to their staff.
New #Bengals coach Zac Taylor is running thorough search for defensive coordinator/staff. Among those expected to get interview requests: ex-#Falcons DC Marquand Manuel, Texas A&M DC Mike Elko, Florida DC Todd Grantham, #Saints DB coach Aaron Glenn, #Rams DB coach Aubrey Pleasant— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 7, 2019
Elko also interviewed for the head coaching vacancy at Temple earlier this offseason, so we know he is at least open to the idea of leaving College Station if the right opportunity arises. While an NFL job is always alluring, Elko would also be hitching his wagon to a 35-year-old with no head coaching experience at any level and only two years of experience as an NFL coordinator.
In one year under Elko, the A&M improved from 78th in total defense to 32nd, 87th in scoring defense to 47th, and most notably, 71st in rushing defense to 3rd.
More on this story as it develops (maybe not on this site, but somewhere).