For the first time since before the Pittsburgh Steelers even drafted quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Cincinnati Bengals have a new sheriff in town, and they’re hoping he was worth the wait. After parting with Marvin Lewis at the end of the 2018 season, the Bengals are moving forward with Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor as their next head coach.
They had to wait until after the season was over before they could make it official, so Taylor had to fly to Cincinnati just hours after losing the Super Bowl with the Rams. While he was in town to complete his contract, he will not speak to the media at his introductory press conference until today.
However, before then, he did sit down for a very brief question and answer session for the team’s website in which he talked about some of the things he’s preparing for and what he believes he will bring to the team. His top priority is simply learning names.
“Getting to know the players that we have in his program, really evaluating them’, he said of his first goal. “I haven’t really had a chance to watch any tape on any of the guys so far, so certainly being in the league for a long time, having familiarity with the guys and the systems, I’m excited to get to know them, excited to build relationships, and then we’ll continue to build this staff”.
The Bengals were looking for more than just a change in head coach but also a change in philosophy when they shifted gears from the defensive-minded Lewis to Taylor, who is very much a part of the new wave of offensive coaches, helping Los Angeles score over 30 points per game.
“We want to have an attacking mindset and be creative and keep pushing the envelope”, he said of the offensive identity he wants to bring to Cincinnati. “So establishing a great coaching staff of guys who think outside the box and are going to be great teachers and great communicators and get the most out of our players” is his top priority.
It’s been such a long time since the Bengals have had anybody but Lewis at head coach that it will take time for everybody to figure out who this team is going to be moving forward. Cincinnati has allowed Taylor to rebuild this coaching staff, trusting him to put together a team that can succeed based on what he has learned from his previous stops.
“You’ve got the find what each guy does best and try to find a way to get the most out of those guys and really hone in on their strengths”, he said of his philosophy on coaching players, and how he wants those under him to coach. “I think that the guys are going to be excited to play in the system”.
A.J. Green is one player who has already said he is excited about it, and that’s a good name to have on board.