Bengals HC Zac Taylor conference call (12.26.19)

Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor:

On what it showed about the Bengals to rally late from such a large deficit against the Dolphins to force OT:

“It shows our character, I think, because it was a really bad game. Six minutes left in the game, we were down 23 points, had not really done anything well the entire game and then the energy just changed on the sidelines. Guys started making plays, guys were believing we were going to come back. It says a lot, given the year we have had without a lot of success in the win column to be on the road in Week 16 and for our guys to fight back and get us back into a positon where we can go and win the game. It says a lot about the guys we have on this team.”


On what the Bengals can take away from their first meeting with the Browns and if he feels it was one that got away from the team based on their performance in the red zone:

“I just think you always look at it that way with these divisional games. You always feel like you should have won, no matter what happened so you end up focusing on things you feel like you made mistakes on or could have done better. That is obviously the things that we have highlighted are a lot of the opportunities that we let slip away the last time we played them.”


On how a close game with the Browns and a 23-point comeback against the Dolphins can give the team hope of success in the future:
“We have had moments like that every game this season where we do things really well for a stretch but we just have not had consistency for four quarters. You are playing Cleveland the first time, and they took advantages of the opportunities over there and we did not. It is as simple as that. They earned the win. We can say that about every game we have played this year. We just have to be more consistent for four quarters and we can’t have these moral victories. We have to start winning these games.”


On Bengals RB Joe Mixon being excited about his Week 14 performance against the Browns and being excited to face the Browns again and the mindset of the team:

“We want guys to be confident so anytime they go into a game feeling good – obviously, Cleveland is going to do a great job in their preparation to be ready for the things that we will throw at them – but I like that our guys are confident. That is a step in the right direction and a now our preparation has to meet that confidence. You can’t just talk the game. We still have to work all week and put in our preparation to be ready for the looks they will give us, but I like that he is confident going into the game.”


On what makes RB Nick Chubb so challenging to defend:
“He is a strong runner. He seems to have pretty good hands coming out of the backfield, as well. You just look at the big play he had against us, he broke several tackles, has good speed and finishes off runs. Obviously, he is the leading rusher in the AFC right now. He has put together a real good year, and he can hurt you in all different ways.”


On how excited he is to have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, despite that ultimately being the result of the team’s current record:

“It is really not something we have thought about at all. We have to take care of this last game we have on our season and then you start to think about and process all of the stuff that will happen in the offseason. Right now, we are just [working] as a team, we have one more game to play and then all of our focus turns to the offseason stuff.”


On the potential emotions of Sunday’s game knowing it could be Bengals QB Andy Dalton’s final game with the Bengals and if the team has discussed that this week:

“No because again, he is under contract for next year. This is just another game we have to prepare for. All those things that will happen in the offseason will happen in the offseason. Right now, there is really no time to discuss anybody’s future or anything like that. It is how do we stick together right now and go win a divisional game.”


On how unfortunate it was that Bengals WR A.J. Green has not been able to play in recent weeks:

“We lost A.J. in August. He has been a big weapon that we have been missing for the whole season, but it has provided an opportunity for a lot of other players to step up and really shine, and maybe they would not have otherwise gotten that opportunity. You are always going to face adversity in this league. You just never know how it is going to come. For us and A.J., it happened the first day of training camp and we never got a chance to see him play after that. It is just something that happens in this league, and you have to be able to rebound, focus and get everybody pointed in the same direction.”


On WR Jarvis Landry:

“He is one of the fiercest competitors I have ever seen in my life. He has aggressive hands. He never expects to go down on first contact. He can really separate from guys. I can’t remember how many years we were together in Miami, but we were always really impressed with him and the way that he approached Sundays and his exceptions for himself. He is a fierce competitor.”


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