With his coaching staff still on break and the lone man at his Paul Brown Stadium desk (which can be raised and lowered according to what computer screens he's finessing), head coach Zac Taylor took a timeout from putting the finishing touches on his first training camp regimen to appear on the latest Hobson's Choice Podcast.
Among the topics:
Call it Camp Less-Is-More
"We'll have a couple of more days off than teams have historically done," says Taylor, who admits his camp won't look like what an NFL team did a decade ago. "When we're on the field we want our guys to play fast and physical. We're not going to be on the field for three hours. It's closer to two hours. That way our guys are fresh, top-notch and at their best."
You're right. That does sound familiar.
"From what I heard of Paul Brown, that's very similar. Making sure when the first game rolls around these guys are fresh, prepared and ready to go and be confident in what they're doing. Maybe not all that much different than what Paul Brown used to do."
Taylor isn't laboring over his inaugural address to his team the night before the first practice. It's comparable to the fireside chats he had during the spring.
"Sometimes you tend to overthink what you're going to say in the first meeting because as I sit right here, I can't remember specifically anything that's been said over the last ten years in the (first) meetings I've been in. I just want to make sure the expectations are understood. That's what we set up to accomplish in the first meeting."
On the rotation at left guard
"Some days you leave a guy in there for the entire day, some days you move guys in and out. Training camp tends to take care of itself with guys getting dinged up. There's enough reps to go around and evaluate guys."
One of Taylor's top three goals for camp is balancing snaps with rest.
"Developing depth across the board," he says of the main camp targets. "We certainly want to come out of camp healthy, but we want to make sure we allow those guys to compete and be physical and see what kind of depth we have on this team."
Taylor also talks about his relationship with quarterback Andy Dalton, how he uses father-in-law Mike Sherman as a sounding board (most recently last week while on Cape Cod) and what he's looking for from a linebacker group he calls "a position to be determined."