Bengals coach Zac Taylor tells Ohio prep coaches establishing culture is key

COLUMBUS -- Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor told attendees at the Ohio State Football Coaches Clinic his first task upon getting the job three years ago was to establish his culture.

“I think that’s the biggest thing we’ve gone through in Cincinnati is just making things different and fresh and new towards how we wanted to do it,” Taylor said Friday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

“First thing we said was I don’t know if we’re going to the Super Bowl in year one. I don’t know if we’re gonna win a game in year one, but the most important thing is we’re gonna set standards, and they’re gonna be the exact standards as when we are playing for a Super Bowl some day as in our very first year. We’re gonna hold these guys accountable. We’re gonna raise the bar. We’re gonna hold them to it and at some point they’re gonna get there, but it’s not gonna change based on where we are in year one.”

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Taylor’s first team took its lumps, going 2-14, and the second year wasn’t much better.

The Bengals went 4-11-1 in 2020, but they enjoyed a breakthrough campaign last season with a 10-7 mark and a trip to the Super Bowl.

His team came up just short in the final, falling to the L.A. Rams 23-20, but the team’s late-season run behind quarterback Joe Burrow, play-making receiver Ja’Marr Chase and an opportunistic defense validated the off-the-field approach Taylor took from the start.

So what’s next?

“Every year is a new year, so there’s a lot of things that we’ll take from last year,” he said in a side interview after finishing his presentation. “That fuel is certainly burning inside of us right now because we cam up short, but we’ll take a lot of those lessons and start over. You can’t just count on the camaraderie we had in the past. You’ve got to re-develop that. Our players report May 2 so I’m excited to see what they’re all about when they come back.”

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