Moments after his contract extension had been announced, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said he sees good things for the next five years.
"I'm excited for everybody. I feel like the future is bright," Taylor Zoomed with the media. "There's a lot to build on. There's a lot of people that were a big part of this season. Some will get the praise and some won't because they're behind the scenes."
And he proceeded to name much of the support staff beyond players and coaches.
"It starts with the players and coaches. There were a lot of great moments we'll have a chance to reflect on and be appreciative of. Certainly ownership for being patient with us."
The 2026 season would be Taylor's eighth, tying him with Paul Brown and Sam Wyche for second most seasons as Bengals head coach behind Marvin Lewis' 16.
Taylor also touched on:
_Injuries: Quarterback Joe Burrow won't need surgery on his dislocated throwing pinky or his sprained MCL in his right knee. He also doesn't think tight end C.J. Uzomah needs surgery on his sprained MCL after playing 80 percent of the snaps in the Super Bowl.
"That's a four-to-eight week injury,' Taylor said. "The fact he came back from it in two speaks to his toughness and character."
_ On Burrow getting sacked 70 times between the regular season and postseason: "We just have to be better as a unit … I think that we'll just look to improve the team any way that we can and not specific to one necessary group. The offensive line helped us get to the Super Bowl. They gave us opportunities to go win the Super Bowl. Everything always falls on them statistically, but that's not always the case. There are play calls that could be better to help put them in a better position. There is a lot that plays into all that. They were an offensive line that helped us get to the Super Bowl and gave us opportunities to win and I think they should be commended for that."
_On Samaje Perine carrying the ball on third-and one in the last drive and not Joe Mixon:
"We were in 2-minute mode and Samaje has done a great job. His role has really been as a protecting back and a lot of the things that come with that, off of that. It's one of those situations where I called the play a little later on the clock. And so, I was the one that said leave him in there. Justin Hill, our running backs coach, asked if we wanted to make a change. I said, just leave Samaje in there.
"Obviously, it didn't work out for us. Whether Joe is in there or not, he's certainly deserving of the opportunity in a key moment in a key game to try to get it for us as our featured back. But again, that's just one of the decisions you make in the moment and you've got to move forward with it. There's other things I certainly could have done over the course of the game that would have put us in a better position. Unfortunately, we couldn't get it done."
_On re-signing free safety Jessie Bates III: "He's a big part of what we do. We're really proud of how he's led this team and how he's played for us, really over the last four years. Those are conversations that will always be ongoing. I think everyone knows we want Jessie to be a part of this, and we'll just continue to work through those discussions."