Bengals HC Zac Taylor (9.17.20)

Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor:

On the Browns’ running game being a big factor in the game and the Browns running more plays and having more explosive plays:

“We did not do a good enough job on offense. Some guys were out of gaps sometimes, and our tackling was very poor. You feel that they might have a ton of plays, but they ran a bunch of time off the clock when they were having some of those drives when they were really successful in the run game.”

On Bengals QB Joe Burrow’s performance:

“He did a good job. He gave us a chance, and we just came up short.”

On the Bengals’ number of pass attempts and if the team hopes to have a more balanced attach:

“We felt like we had a lot of success in the pass game. We scored on three of our last drives. We were down two scores in the fourth quarter, and this is the same thing that kind of happens to us. You get down and you are throwing the ball, and we were having success doing it. We have a lot of faith in Joe. It is just the way that it played out.”

On why the Bengals didn’t tackle as well tonight as in Week 1:

“That a great question. We will just have to address that when we watch the tape.”

On whether the tackling struggles were due to Browns RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt excelling at breaking tackles or other factors by the Bengals:

“It goes both ways. We have to get the guys on the ground when we have got them in our grasp. We have to do a better job just staying in our gaps and not letting the holes be as big as they were. Those are two good backs. We have to give them a ton of credit. Their line did a great job, as well.”

On the Bengals OL and G Fred Johnson’s performance:

“We will see. We will look it over and get a better sense of it. I thought they held off. (DE) Myles Garrett is a premier pass rusher in this league, and my eyes go to him quite a bit. They did a nice job on him for the most part. We will look at how it went. Joe does a good job also extending some plays within the pocket. That is just part of playing quarterback in the NFL. He does a nice job of that. We will keep looking at it.”

On if the Bengals did not play complementary football tonight:

“I would agree with that.”

On Burrow’s resilience in bouncing back from turnovers and keeping the team in the game:

“Absolutely. That is the No. 1 source of fumbles. The quarterback is in the pocket, it collapsed around him as he was about to throw and that can be tough to avoid sometimes when you are in your throwing motion and you get hit. It was unfortunate because our defense had just come up with such a great goal-line stand. You really felt the momentum start to swing there. We were going to try to put together a 99-yard drive and tie the game. It just didn’t work out that way.”

On the Bengals offense not being able to find explosive plays in the pass game:

“We pushed the ball down the field. We just can’t connect on any of them. We just have to continue to look at that and make sure that we are on top of the details.”

On if there is a concern about protecting the QB from hits during the game or if the sole focus is on trying to win the game, especially when attempting many passes late in the game:

“We have to go win the game. We are constantly trying to find ways to protect the edges, track where the rushers are and slide the protection certain ways. That is a conversation that happens over four quarters. At the same point, it stretches the defense a little bit more when you get more guys into the concept and not keep them all in the backfield.”

On whether the amount of hits Burrow has taken is going to be a problem over the course of a full season:

“I don’t ever like to see him get hit, but again, we are just doing what we have to do to win the game.”

On if there is an update on the severity of Bengals TE C.J. Uzomah’s Achilles injury:

“Not from me. I haven’t heard yet.”

On losing yardage when having first-and-goal from the 1-yard line:

“He got hit in the backfield. We were goal-line personnel on the 1-yard line. (RB) Joe (Mixon) got hit in the backfield and just tried to make it work and ended up losing four yards there. Then we got the option there on the give or read there and felt like he had a pull read so he pulled it.”

On tackling being an issue last year and now it continuing this year:

“We have a bunch of new guys and they are inside, and guys that just joined us. We will continue to evaluate it and see what our best options are there.”

On the decision to start G Fred Johnson and the Bengals OL after two games:

“I went with Fred. (C) Billy (Price) is still battling a little bit of an ankle injury, but starting to feel a lot better. I wanted to see what Fred could provide there. I don’t want to make any declarations after the game because sometimes you are quick to do it and you don’t always agree with what you would have said postgame. We will get a chance to check that tape out and make the right decisions.”

On Bengals K Randy Bullock bouncing back this week:

“I have faith in Randy. Randy has confidence in himself. He did a nice job today coming through for us.”

On whether the Browns did anything unexpected with their defense tonight:

“No, we felt like we had a pretty good sense of what they would be going with into the game. I would say for the most part, that held up.”

On the key part of the game and when it swung:

“On the 1-yard line. Gio (Bengals RB Giovani Bernard) scores a touchdown, and it gets called back. I am not sure how that happens to be honest with you. We dropped a pass. We had a MA (missed assignment) on the play, and then we dropped a pass, as well, that looked like it would have been a touchdown from my angle. We had some negative-yardage runs there that really killed us. That is the turning point right there. I think we were down eight at the time, looking to score and go for two. We already had a 2-point conversion called, and then the touchdown gets called back. That was the discouraging part of the game.”

On whether the Browns defense was specifically trying to key on Mixon, given Mixon’s statistics:

“No, we had some favorable fronts there. We just didn’t get enough out of them.”

On how a short week factored into tonight’s game and potential errors:

“It is just discouraging that we had a couple errors, but we will talk through it and see what they really were. Sometimes you think one thing on the field and you need a chance to look it over and make sure that you are really correct in your evaluation.”

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