Before the Bengals returned to the Kettering Health Practice Fields Sunday, middle linebacker Logan Wilson and defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo met the media to discuss his contract extension through 2027.
Wilson left no doubt that a major reason he wanted to stay in Cincinnati is because of the player-friendly environment head coach Zac Talor has built. Wilson, a third-round pick in the franchise-changing 2020 draft, arrived in Year Two of Taylor's re-build:
"He's such a players' coach. He takes care of us like no other team does, Wilson said. "Guys recover better because of that. He takes care of us if we're injured. All of these different things that go into it. He's awesome. He's been tremendous to play for and there's just no other coach I wanted to play for."
_Wilson says it was an injury that has been his biggest obstacle and turning point on his road to becoming one of the NFL's top middle-men. It will be recalled on Dec. 5, 2021, he injured his right labrum and instead of sitting out the season, he missed just three games and didn't miss another snap all the way through the Super Bowl.
"Going through that injury, how much pain it was to even get the tearing, the dislocation done. That was horrible, Wilson said. "Then going from questioning whether or not you were going to be able to play again that year to rehabbing for three weeks, coming back, playing and then I thought I played pretty well for the most part coming back from a shoulder injury like that.
"I think that's where I kind of grew the most, just understanding what I can endure in this game. Because it is a game of pain, whether or not you want to say it like that. To go through that shoulder injury and bounce back from that adversity the way that I did, I think helped me grow."
_The new deal didn't hit him until he walked through the door of his home.
"My wife was in tears of joy," Wilson said. "It was one of those things where it's a sigh of relief in a sense that you've got that security and it's done and now you can move forward and be in Cincinnati for the next five years."
_Now that Anarumo has his pair of three-down 245-pound linebackers that play the run as well as the pass while doubling as coaches on the field locked down through 2026, don't expect him to tell you linebacker isn't a premium position.
"I feel like we have one of the best tandems at linebacker in the league and now to be able to keep Logan for an extended amount of time," Anarumo said. "Leadership to start, they know the system inside and out, both Germaine and Logan are forward thinkers when it comes to game day problem solving all that stuff. So you have great football conversations with them. They're literally you know, the old cliche of coaches on the field, there's two of them there. So they can really affect the game in so many ways."
_Dr. Lou knows his guys. Wilson said he didn't really celebrate Saturday's signing even though it was a day off because he still had a regimen to attend to, although he did manage to take his wife to breakfast.
Anarumo then followed Wilson into the room.
"If you talk to our guys about their day off, it's not necessarily a day off," Anarumo said. "They're still doing the Pilates, the massages, the cold tub, the hot tub, getting a lift in. They're not just sitting on the couch. Knowing him he probably enjoyed some time with his family and maybe checked his bank account. I don't know."