Cincinnati Bengals: Taylor’s fun approach a sign of the times
By Steve Rivera
The Cincinnati Bengals are all in on new head coach Zac Taylor, and it makes sense. If the locker room buys in, the sky is the limit.
The “Patriot Way” looks to be more anomaly than a trend. The new wave of young coaches isn’t rooted in their predecessors who were more dictator than a buddy. For the Cincinnati Bengals, Zac Taylor is a dramatic departure from Marvin Lewis. The question now is whether the new can be more productive and produce more winning results than the former.
Taylor isn’t reinventing the wheel. He IS taking some cues from his previous job in Los Angeles, where a quick turnaround had many a general manager and owner chasing the same formula. For the rookie head coach, being an eyewitness to the success the Rams have experienced the last two seasons is an indicator of what could come to Cincinnati.
First, a few things have to break just right. Taylor can’t simply toss the ball to quarterback Andy Dalton and expect 11-5, which was Sean McVay’s first-year record. That said, what Taylor is doing is to lay the groundwork for something bigger, and likely down the road. His approach, different from past seasons under Lewis, is certainly a curious watch.
"“We want guys to be excited to walk into the building,” Taylor said. “That’s our No. 1 thing, that they don’t dread what’s going to happen when they walk in the building. That makes for a long season.”"
In Los Angeles, it was all about a change of culture after the dumpster fire that was the Jeff Fisher era. Fisher, who made an NFL career out of mediocrity, was finally jettisoned, making way for McVay who found a winning formula. Taylor, who saw a complete buy-in to McVay, is looking for the same result in Cincinnati.
Give Taylor credit. He’s seen the results first hand of an approach not necessarily taboo in the NFL, but not exactly “mainstream.” If it works, the Bengals could be on the verge of a kind of winning Cincinnati hasn’t seen in a long time.