Bengals head coach Zac Taylor didn't offer much in specifics during Monday's end-of-season news conference, but said it's too early to mark down LSU quarterback Joe Burrow as the team's choice holding the NFL Draft's No. 1 pick.
Or anybody else for that matter because the coaching staff has yet to look at any of the prospects. That's why he embraces Monday's expected announcement that his staff is to coach one of the teams in the Jan. 25 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
"You get to see these hands-on," Taylor said.
It was also too early for him to say which coaches to say were going to make the trip because he said the next few weeks are for finalizing up things but indications are most of his coaches are staying. He also said he and the front office are on the same page when it comes to free agency and that the nuts and bolts of the process are going to be ironed out before it gets underway during the second week of March.
Taylor said the 2020 playbook is going to be different than what he and his staff constructed this season. He wouldn't elaborate on how much different, but acknowledged they learned things during a season that saw the offense become more productive as it evolved from primarily a three wide receiver set to more uses of heavier looks with multiple tight ends and extra linemen.
Taylor repeated what he said after Sunday's 33-23 victory over the Browns. The 2-14 record is unacceptable. But he wanted them to remember how it felt Sunday: "This is what a locker room is supposed to feel like. This is what a full game is supposed to feel like. We have to try and capture that as best we can."
- Wide receiver A.J. Green reiterated what he's been saying the last month. He wants to stay with the Bengals on a multi-year deal and while he wouldn't like the one-year franchise tag he indicated he would report at some point and not sit out the season.
He also said even though he's missed 23 of the last 24 games with foot and ankle injuries, he believes there won't be a drop-off from his first seven Pro Bowl seasons.
"I'm done with rehab," he said. "I won't take much time off. I'll start working out right away."
And he likes what Taylor has going here.
"Zac's a great coach. I think he'll get it rolling here," Green said.
- Running back Joe Mixon went into the offseason with 2,931 yards in his first three Bengals seasons. Right in the middle of the franchise bests in their first three Bengals' seasons: Corey Dillon 3,459, Cedric Benson 3,109, James Brooks, 2,412, Rudi Johnson 1,024.
Three seasons also means he's eligible to talk a contract extension, but Mixon admitted he doesn't know much about the process. He just said, "I want to be a Bengal for life," and "The ball's in their court." Note: Mixon has the same agent, Peter Schaffer, that repped Rudi Johnson when he signed a big deal after he broke Dillon's club rushing record for a season in 2004.
- Classy to maybe the end, quarterback Andy Dalton shook hands with media members and said, "Thank you," and said with a smile, "See you in April." He also said, "I have no idea what's going to happen." He had a big
Dalton had a football in his locker, the one he knelt down with to end Sunday's game. Tight end C.J. Uzomah has the ball Dalton fired for his last (we'll see) touchdown pass, the 15-yarder Uzomah caught. Uzomah says if Dalton wants it, he can have it, but for now he may ask him to sign it.