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Quick Hits: Oh Baby, What A Start To Bengals-Chiefs; Ja'Marr DNP; Taylor-Britt Goes Full; Dr. Lou Emphasizes The Big Play

Defensive Coordinator Lou Anarumo watches practice at the Kettering Health Practice Fields on Thursday, December 7, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Defensive Coordinator Lou Anarumo watches practice at the Kettering Health Practice Fields on Thursday, December 7, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The call came at 6 a.m. in Pittsburgh that her water broke. Sonny Brown was two weeks early and his dad is grateful that his mom is so understanding.

Barely had Bengals left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. stepped off the Acrisure Stadium field about 14 hours later, he got another call. This time it was a Face Time to watch Sonny's delivery, all seven pounds, 11 ounces.

"That's one of those things, at the end of day, I'm thankful she understands and my family understands," said Brown before Wednesday's practice, still beaming. "For me, football is kind of everything right now. You don't really get this opportunity back. You don't get the opportunity to see a birth, either. For me, it was important to be there with the guys in Pittsburgh and to be out there with them."

Sonny, named after his great-grandfather's uncle, joins two-year-old Orlando Brown III. His brother is named after two NFL players, but Sonny was actually born with his father watching from a postgame locker room.

"Everyone was home and healthy the next day," Brown said. "Just so thankful."

JA'MAR UPDATE: Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said Pro Bowl wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (shoulder) participated in Wednesday morning's walkthrough, but he didn't work in Wednesday afternoon's full-scale practice. He did do rehab work on the side.

"He'll continue to participate as we go through the week and just see what he can handle," is how Taylor left it.

Same with No. 1 cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt (ankle), just cleared to practice while on injured reserve and he did go full Wednesday.

"See how practice goes," Taylor said before they hit the field. He's been doing all the rehab stuff, but to see him doing some functional football stuff will be good. He's got a positive mindset; went through the walkthrough today. Everything was positive there, but we just got to see him on the field."

TAYLOR-MADE MESSAGE: If the Bengals win in Kansas City Sunday (4:25 p.m.-Cincinnati's Local 12) and then the next weekend (TBA), there's a 92% chance they'll make the playoffs. Taylor has his own playoff picture and he passed out the snapshot via his Wednesday morning team meeting.

"Focus on this game, that's all that matters," Taylor said at his weekly news conference.

"None of that matters to us right now, we've just got to win."

DR. LOU'S DIAGNOSIS: No one has been better at shutting down Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs' Super Bowl-winning offense than Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo.

But he doesn't want to hear how Mahomes has thrown a career-high 14 interceptions or how the Chiefs are the fifth least effective passing team in the league. He expects them to take their shots more than ever.

"I know this, they're the world champs. They've got arguably the best quarterback in our league for a long time," Anarumo said before Wednesday's practice. "They're a prideful group and they're going to look to get back on track and do what they do well. They're going to chuck it down the field even more, in my opinion.

"I see them just really being aggressive and that's not going to surprise me one bit. I really think that's how they'll come out and we've got to make sure we weather the storm there and take advantage. He's throwing more interceptions than he's ever had, so we've just got to catch him. If we get the opportunity, our guys will be ready. We know how to win there. We've done it. We've done it against them. We just got to go do it again."

Anarumo may have an idea Mahomes is going to come out flinging because the Bengals have been doomed by big plays all year. Saturday in Pittsburgh they allowed balls of 86, 66, and 44 yards and Anarumo isn't pleased.

"We can't win a football game if we give up 200 yards on three plays. We can't," Anarumo said. "So I told them the other day, I said, 'We are what we are right now. These things have to stop in order for us to be a consistent defense.' These are things that have not shown up in a long, long time, but they've shown up this year."

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