Bengals news: Zac Taylor reacts to the return of Vonn Bell

Bell played three seasons in Cincinnati before joining the Panthers last offseason.

Cincinnati Bengals safety Vonn Bell (24) recovers a fumble in the first quarter during an NFL
Cincinnati Bengals safety Vonn Bell (24) recovers a fumble in the first quarter during an NFL / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

It's safe to say that Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor is excited about the return of veteran safety Vonn Bell.

Bell suited up for the Bengals for three seasons from 2020 to 2022, and he was a key piece of the team's defense when they went to consecutive AFC Championships in 2021 and 2022. Bell started 48 games for the Bengals during his three seasons in Cincinnati and served as a team captain. He recorded 288 tackles and five interceptions during his time with the team.

Last offseason, Bell, 29, left the Bengals and signed a three-year deal with the Carolina Panthers. He started in 13 games for the Panthers last season and he recorded 69 total tackles and an interception. However, he was released by Carolina after just a single season, opening up a path for him to return to Cincinnati. Taylor is happy about the way things worked out.

“You guys have heard me talk about Vonn a million times, and he’s the ultimate standard setter," Taylor said. "His process is always positive in the locker room; tremendous presence,” Taylor said. “He’s been a part of some of the biggest plays in Bengals history and we’re happy to get him back here. We’ve got to create many more of the greatest plays in Bengals history. Very happy that Vonn’s back here.”

Bell will turn 30 in December. While that's considered pretty young in most aspects of society, it's not necessarily young for a safety in the NFL. But, the good news for the Bengals is that Bell still feels fresh, and is eager to show just how much gas he still has left in the tank.

“I still feel young, I’m ready to run around and make plays and help lead and contribute any way I can,” Bell said. “I’m just happy for the opportunity.”

Bell is happy for the opportunity, and his coach is happy to have him back. This reunion is off to a solid start.