Cincinnati Bengals: 2019 preseason delivered most of what Zac Taylor needed
The 2019 NFL preseason wraps up for the Cincinnati Bengals when they play the Indianapolis Colts. For Zac Taylor, he can be pleased with many of the results.
The Cincinnati Bengals will wrap up their 2019 preseason with a profoundly meaningless game against the Indianapolis Colts. That’s a simple fact seeing as all the big stuff has been decided, and Thursday night’s game is nothing more than a revenue grab for owners.
Head coach Zac Taylor should be able to look back at an exhibition season that delivered many of the results he needed. I mean, even if A.J. Green had been healthy, does anyone really believe he would have seen any playing time to be evaluated in a new offense?
The preseason being what it is, it delivered in some key areas, especially on offense which is Taylor’s wheelhouse. The Bengals managed to identify a competent backup quarterback in Ryan Finley, who will allow Cincinnati fans to breath easy as the second QB on the depth chart.
Injuries played a significant role as well, but it allowed perhaps the biggest surprise to break through to the starting lineup. Undrafted wide receiver Damion Willis gets the Week 1 nod in place of Green. Green, who was last seen in a walking boot as recently as this past Sunday, is still rumored to be out for an extended period of time. The problem is no one knows what extended might be.
Taylor also made his first significant decision, benching 2018 first-round pick Billy Price. Price will begin the regular season on the bench. While it is way too early to label the former Ohio State lineman a bust, it’s a message that your draft status doesn’t mean much. Injuries aside, Price has a lot of work to do to get back on the field.
In the ramp-up to 2019 and Week 1 at the Seattle Seahawks, the Bengals look to be in the best place possible with one preseason game left. Taylor and his crew will steam into the Pacific Northwest with a few questions that won’t truly be answered until the wins and losses count.
For his part, Taylor has kept a locker room fresh, unearthed some unknown talent, and given fans much to look forward to. If the Bengals can hold the line until they get some of their health back, 2019 could still deliver some interesting results.