With Bengals training camp less than two weeks away, rookie head coach Zac Taylor did an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer. It contained a few nuggets that fans should like.
The first thing that jumps out is Taylor said he expects all his guys to be at the start of camp. As basic as this seems, this franchise has always had problems with veterans holding out. Additionally, getting rookies under contract quickly has been an issue. Even with the rookie pay scale, Bengals rookies missing a few days of camp wasn’t uncommon.
With a season ending injury to 2019 first round pick Jonah Williams and a career ender to stalwart Clint Boling, Taylor was not able to escape Cincinnati seemingly never ending bad injury luck. Thus, despite the organization’s best efforts, the offensive line remains a mess.
The good news is Taylor’s players have projected quiet confidence all offseason. Having them all present at the start of camp gives the team the best chance to find a suitable solution to the mess in the above paragraph and whatever other issues arise.
Perhaps the best news in the Enquirer interview for Bengals fans is that it contains the first public acknowledgement that the organization is at least having exploratory contract extension talks with A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd. The receiving duo is key to whatever offense the Bengals end up running. Both are entering the final year of their deals.
Extension talks have been on the minds of fans all offseason long, but nothing has come out until now. Moreover, the fact that both guys are expected at camp on time is a great sign that nothing has turn ugly. It also reaffirms what the pair has said about wanting to stay in Cincinnati long term. Losing either the seven time Pro Bowler or one of last season’s young breakout players after the upcoming season would be a huge blow for the franchise.