Best of Tuesday's Zoom news conferences from the Bengals assistant coaches ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl LVI against the Rams at SoFi Stadium. It's the first thing they did once they arrived at their Super Bowl headquarters on the campus of UCLA.
Some wide receivers are considered selfish and divas. The Bengals wideouts, Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, break the mold.
Wide receivers coach Troy Walters: "They've come together as a unit. They're unselfish. They don't care who gets the credit, who gets the glory. They come to work every day. They bust their tails. Practice is important. Preparation is important. You put that alongside their athletic ability and the sky is the limit.
"Those guys are coachable. They want to be coached. They're hungry and they want to be great. It makes my job a lot easier because they come in every day wanting to be great, wanting to be coached and they go out there and they do well on the field."
More Walters: "We do a great job as a staff of recruiting and finding out what really makes the guys tick. So we knew drafting these guys … that they were team guys. They wanted to win, but at the same time they put the team first. …Tyler … hadn't experienced a lot of winning. So that's his main focus is just to win.
"I think it was the Detroit game. He didn't have many catches or targets. I sat next to him on the bench and I said, 'Hey, keep your head up.' He said, 'Coach, I'm not even worried about it. You know, as long as we're winning, I'm good.' Ja'Marr had at a game like that. Tee had a game and they're all about the team."
WHO DEY TREY
Defensive end Trey Hendrickson burst onto the scene with the Bengals' season record 14 sacks after signing in free agency.
Defensive line coach Marion Hobby: "The first thing you have to mention when you talk about Trey, you've got to talk intensity. He's an intense football player, he's intense in the meeting room. He's intense on the field. Then on game day he just tries to take it up to another level. He really wants to be a good football player. He works at it. He's a pleasure to coach.
"He wants to know why are we doing it this way. Not in a bad way, but it's just … he wants to be precise. I think Trey has figured this out, 'The more you know, the more knowledge you have, the faster you will play.' … He's one of those guys that every coach will want to have in their meeting room."
More Hobby on Hendrickson: "(When I) got him on the football field. He's bigger than I thought he was … You see tape. You look at measurables. But, when I got a chance to get out on the practice field and sit there and talk to him, and I said, 'Man, you know, Trey is a much bigger guy than I thought he was. He's just a big strong athlete.'
"But even day one, in shorts, his passion for it. His work ethic. All that stuff jumped out there, too. I think people don't realize how big he is and that he does have those great first steps off the football. His hand-eye coordination with the ball is really good."
SAM THE MAN
Opposite Hendrickson is Cincinnati's favorite son, defensive end and team captain Sam Hubbard. Hubbard sacked Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes on back-to-back plays to force the Chiefs to kick a field goal to go into overtime in the AFC championship game.
Hobby: "Leadership. That's an easy answer, his leadership qualities are unbelievable. Those guys love it. When he talks, they listen. He doesn't talk that much but when he does talk, they listen. He's the right kind of person, as well as the right kind of football player. He's another great guy to coach. Any message you want to get to the players, Sam is definitely the one that'll deliver it. "
APPETITE FOR SUCCESS
There are talented players and there are hardworking players. Chase, everyone's rookie of the year, is both.
Walters: "He's a rare type of guy where success really doesn't change him. He's been the same person, even in the preseason when he had all those drops. He hadn't changed.
"So he doesn't change whether things are going well or things aren't going well. … Very humble. Very even keel. Tremendous worker. … He doesn't get too high, doesn't get too low. If he messes up, he's hard on himself. … He wants to correct it.
"I don't ever see him getting that big head, becoming a diva. I'm going to stay on him. I let those guys know, even after his 200-yard performance, I let them know the next day that was the past. It's all about what have you done for me lately. He gets it and he puts the work in."
RAMS No. 9
Mahomes and Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford aren't all that different.
Hobby: "Both of them really have strong arms and both of them can kill you with their feet. Oh my God. Both of them have weapons all over the football field. I can't say that upfront we're going to just take a different approach because we watched tape and we see that they can make all the throws
"They will scramble. … Mahomes is going to run a little bit more than Stafford. … Both of them are really, really good football players. When I say football players, I say a quarterback who's trying to win the game at all costs. He'll do whatever he has to do to win the game. Both of them have that same trait."
BATTLE IN THE TRENCHES
Hobby: "They're all long, big athletic guys from tackle to tackle. They play well together. You can tell that they're really well-coached. Man, they're good. They're really good. When they decide they want to run it, when they decide to pass it, we've definitely got our hands full with this group. They have special players."
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: ANARUMO
Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo has had the breakout year that everyone around him knew he was destined to have.
Hobby: "He does a great job of letting his coaches coach. … Everybody's responsible for a different part of the field, different part of the game, different situations. He lets you hold accountability. … Then he wants to hear from everybody. I think his leadership qualities are outstanding as a defensive coordinator.
"He's always around the players. They like it. He's always talking to them individually. He does a great job of managing that. You can tell he's been a position coach at this level before he was a defensive coordinator because he's been in those meetings rooms with them. He knows (how to deal with) different personalities. He does a great job of managing that. I think that's probably the one thing I sit back and I'm more impressed with."
Wide receiver and special teams ace Stanley Morgan has embraced his new role in the NFL. Walters was the offensive coordinator at Nebraska when Morgan played in Lincoln.
Walters: "At Nebraska he was the No. 1 receiver. He was a guy we tried to get the ball to. … His role was being the No. 1 receiver making plays and now his role in the NFL is being a special teams guy. Doing whatever it takes to be in all the special teams. He's a core special teams guy. One of the captains, in my opinion, on the special teams and all the coaches love him.
"They love his attitude. They love his love for the game. He never has a bad day. … When he gets in on offense, he does his job. Sometimes we ask him to go in and block a safety or block a linebacker, crack a defensive, and he does so and does it well. He's really made a niche. it's just being a roll guy. …Wherever, whenever you put him in wherever you put him in, he's going to get the job done.
"A lot of competitive guys have an ego and they see themselves as just a starting receiver, but (in) this game (there are) only two or three starting receivers. (In order to) make the team, you've got to be able to do more things."
No. 11 AS THE 11TH MAN
Wide receiver and punt returner Trent Taylor delivered on a two-point conversion that tied the AFC championship game at 21 in Kansas City. His clutch performance would help push the Bengals to a 27-24 win on Jan. 30.
Walters: "The thing about Trent is he comes to work every day, no matter if he's on the practice squad or the active roster. Majority of the time spent for him is on a practice squad and you never hear him complain.
"When we were game planning, a certain play came to mind where it was really an option route. … We felt like he was the best player to do it, to perform, to be successful. So we weren't scared of his lack of reps, his lack of playing time.
"We knew that if he was put in that situation, he'd be ready for it. We practiced that route probably three or four weeks before the Kansas City game. … He was ready. Joe (Burrow) was confident in him. I kept telling him on that drive, 'Get ready, get ready. (If) we score, we're going to go for two and that's the two-point play.'
"It's a credit to his character that even though he's a veteran, he's been on a practice squad for the first 14-15 weeks. He never hung his head. … (When) his number is called, he's ready to make a play."
Going against consensus, the Bengals drafted three defensive linemen with consecutive picks. Unfortunately, defensive end Joseph Ossai (third round), and defensive linemen Cam Sample and defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin (both fourth round), along with seventh-round defensive end Wyatt Hubert, have all dealt with the injury bug at some point. Ossai and Hubert have been on injured reserve before the start of the season.
Hobby: "I'm definitely excited about (them). Joseph got hurt early in the preseason. He was coming on pretty good. Same thing with Wyatt, he got hurt before camp. So those were two guys that I really didn't get a chance to spend a lot of time with before they got injured. They're good football players. Then Tyler Shelvin has played sparingly throughout the year. I just watched him get better over time. It's a good group of guys"
More from Hobby: "Cam has been hurt. … Big Tyler (was) a little beat up early. (We want) those guys to stay healthy so we can get a really good evaluation on them. … When Cam Sample has had a chance to play, I've been impressed with him.
"He's an old-school throwback football player. He's good in the run game. He can play multiple positions. He's smart. So (you're) kind of throwing him in a lot of places. He's played (defensive end). He's played outside linebacker. He's (rushing) as a three-technique."