Zac Taylor has been receiving a lot of praise this week for the way he handled Monday night's nightmare situation and deservedly so.
After Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field and was taken away in an ambulance, Joe Buck mentioned a few times that the teams had five minutes to warm up and get ready to re-take the field and resume play (Taylor politely sidestepped this when speaking to the media on Wednesday). The next thing viewers saw was Taylor and Bills head coach Sean McDermott speaking to each other. Players were then sent to the locker rooms.
The NFL can tell you what you want to hear, which is that "We didn't say they had 5 minutes to warm up!" but Joe Buck obviously got that information from somewhere. Joe Burrow obviously was instructed to get warmed back up and we saw him on the field throwing the football around. Why would he be doing that in that situation if he wasn't instructed to?
Had Taylor not taken the initiative to walk across the field and speak to McDermott and the Bills, these two teams probably would have continued the game. That seems unfathomable considering what happened on the field and what the players and coaches had to witness but the NFL was definitely planning to still have the game take place. Taylor put a stop to it.
Zac Taylor is the leader the Cincinnati Bengals need.
Look, fans have their opinions on Taylor as a coach. His play-calling can be questionable sometimes and fans have had issues with some of the decisions he's made during games. It's okay to be critical of a head coach but Taylor has proven that he is a tremendous person and leader. The Bengals are lucky to have this man leading them and now the rest of the NFL can see that too.
I'd hope that no other coaches would have done this but Taylor could have easily said "That's not our problem" and pushed to have the game continued due to playoff implications. He did the right thing though even with the No. 1 seed and the AFC North still up for grabs. These feel like stupid things to be worried about in times like these but some coaches might not have done the right thing here because of how focused they are on results.
Taylor also reportedly visited Damar Hamlin at the hospital following the game. He's just a really good guy and while some fans get frustrated with his coaching style, you can't hate who Zac Taylor is as a person. It's just not possible.