First Year Under Zac Taylor
Throughout the long off-season, we have seen quite a few statements from players and coaches about the new culture being instilled in Cincinnati. Zac Taylor is intent on bringing changes to the Bengals and here are a few quotes showing how:
“I like the way Zac has really slowed down the teaching process. If there is a mistake made, it’s not the end of the world. It’s “Let’s coach through it and make sure everyone is on the same page.” That’s really been the thing that has stood out to me is the way he’s really in the teaching progression.”- Alex Van Pelt, QB coach
“It’s different to have your head coach be in the offensive meeting room going through every play, every detail to every guy, telling them why they need to run this way or what this concept is…It’s awesome because he’s so smart, he’s so detailed. I think the biggest thing for us, we have two team rules … be on time and protect the team. I think that’s the biggest thing, the two rules for us and holding everybody accountable, holding everyone to a high standard. I think that’s the biggest change from Coach Lewis. Everybody’s held accountable, everybody’s held to that high standard.”- AJ Green, Wide Receiver.
Tight End CJ Uzomah described the organized team activities as “fun”.
“I’ve got about a month or so under my belt working with them, and it’s pretty similar to what I was used to at Ohio State. The energy they’ve brought in and the new attitude, the winning culture they’re trying to create, I love every minute of it.”, Sam Hubbard, Defensive End
There are many more, but I wouldn’t want to bore you. This past month has probably done that already.
Better? Worse? It’s Definitely Different
Look at how the players are talking! Sam Hubbard says it feels like a “winning culture” and Green says people are “being held accountable”. The Bengals NEEDED this culture change.
For the past few seasons, Marvin has gotten a lot of heat. I don’t mean to be negative on him again, but it was clear that the Bengals weren’t winning with Marvin at the helm. Players never described OTAs as “fun”. He was an older style coach, and that just does not work with today’s NFL. Even though the Bengals started hot last year, the energy quickly died down.
I can’t promise Zac Taylor will be a homer hire. He’s a big wildcard still, but he has sparked a change in this organization. He is using a coaching style that makes everyone happy; he’s making sure players are being held accountable; he’s actually making players believe they can be a winning team.
That’s not to say older Bengals teams didn’t have a winning culture under Marvin, but it’s clear there hasn’t been a true winning culture felt in Cincinnati for years.
Even if Zac Taylor bombs as head coach and Cincinnati goes 0-16 this year (not going to happen), the Bengals made the right choice by moving on from Marvin. The Bengals desperately needed a culture change, and that’s what they are getting with Zac Taylor.