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Everything Zac Taylor Had To Say After the 2022 Season AFC Championship

Head Coach Zac Taylor walks onto the field before kickoff of the 2022 season AFC Championship against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, January 29 2023.
Head Coach Zac Taylor walks onto the field before kickoff of the 2022 season AFC Championship against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, January 29 2023.

Q: What did you see on the play with Joseph Ossai at the end of the game?

TAYLOR: "It is tough. It was a tough play, but it did not come down to that. You know there was a lot of other plays that we just missed out on, and they made one more play than we did."

Q: What do you say to him on the sideline to pick him up?

TAYLOR: "It is hard. We are emotional. We worked really hard to get here. Any play that people feel for, you are going to take it hard. We want guys like that this means a lot to. They care about it and their teammates. Joseph (Ossai) comes to work everyday man. He loves ball. He loves being a part of this team. It did not come down to that play."

Q: On offensive efforts tonight…

TAYLOR: "That is hard. We just didn't make enough plays and couldn't get it done today."

Q: What did the officials tell you about the third down do-over?

TAYLOR: "That they were going to do the play over and the whistle had blown somewhere."

Q: What were the challenges for trying to slow down Chris Jones?

TAYLOR: "It is hard. We tried to stop the line when we can. They did a good job with their packages. They make it really difficult. He is a great player. He is a defensive MVP kind of player. He stepped up really big in these moments today and you have to give credit to him. We have a lot of respect for him and he made some big plays today."

Q: What did you say to the team in the locker room after this game?

TAYLOR: "I am just proud of this team. I am proud of the character of these men, and this is where character is going to be tested the most in moments like this when it is fresh. You were so close to winning an AFC Championship back-to-back and going to the Super Bowl on the road. There have been a lot of obstacles thrown at this team, and they knocked them all down. We just couldn't get past this last one here. Again, we have great character, and we want to represent our team and our city the right way."

Q: What was your thought process on going for the 4th and six?

TAYLOR: "We wanted to go get a touchdown and Joe (Burrow) made a great play. We were just down seven, and you don't want to run the risk of not putting points on the board and making it tough and then you don't know how much time you are going to have left. I trust our guys. I think it was 4th and six. That was an area we talked about, even before the game started of potentially going for it. It matched up very well."

Q: Did you think there was a player in the area for the intentional grounding play?

TAYLOR: "It is hard to tell. I do not know."

Q: What did you think about the catch Ja'Marr Chase made on the six-yard line?

TAYLOR: "Awesome. It was a great play. Joe just put it up and let him make a play. They were trying to double him, and he split the double team. Ja'Marr does what Ja'Marr does and he made a big play for us."

Q: How do you think Joe Burrow handled the pressure he faced all day today?

TAYLOR: "Awesome. I thought that he extended plays when he needed to. He always kept his eyes on the field. He made some big plays with his feet. He had a great quarterback draw. He does what he does. He gives us a chance, and as a team, we just came up a little short."

Q: How big of a loss was Tyler Boyd with his injury?

TAYLOR: "That was hard. It was hard for him to get through it. I think there ultimately at the end Trent (Taylor) stepped up and he felt good about it and did a good job."

Q: Did Drue Chrisman miss the last punt? Was he supposed to punt it directionally?

TAYLOR: "We will talk about that one tomorrow."

Q: How do you feel about this organization's chance to be back in this game again next year?

TAYLOR: "It is a special organization. There are special people leading it. It is a special group of coaches and players who love representing our city and our fanbase. It is just time to get back to work. We will be using this offseason to get ready to next year."

Q: In the drive before halftime, were you taking a timeout and expecting a review?

TAYLOR: "You just have to call it like they give it to you. It is hard to tell."

Q: Was there any option to make a play with four seconds left before the half?

TAYLOR: "Four is the cutoff. Four means it is in someone else's hands of when that last second ticks off. A ball could get tipped and that causes an extra second or two to runoff. We knew going into that play that there were eight seconds before, had there been five, probably take a shot. Four seconds gets too dicey. You have to take the points."

Q: How different was the Kansas City defense today?

TAYLOR: "Really there was two sacks on third downs, we were just a little bit behind the chains there. I thought they really rallied. I thought it was a great chance and you know they have pressures and all that stuff. It is a really good defense. It is a pressure defense. They have a good front. I thought our line really fought hard and gave us a great chance to win the game."

Q: Does it ache even more since you have not lost in such a long time?

TAYLOR: "It aches, trust me. Our goal was to win the Super Bowl. To be seconds away again to get back there and watching them celebrate, it is horrible because this team has invested so much in each other to get to this point. We have been playing playoff football since Halloween, we just didn't know it. We had to win 10 games to be here. I am really proud of the way these guys show up. They are so consistent every single day. The way they fought until the final whistle today. It is hard to find anything you don't like about this team."

Q: On the disappointing last few minutes of the game…

TAYLOR: "There is no doubt. You think you are going to go down there and win the game winning field goal with no time left. Unfortunately, it just did not go that way."

Q: How would you assess the defense's performance today?

TAYLOR: "Our defense is outstanding, the men, the coaches. I am really proud of those guys. They fought every single week. They are dependable and they gave us a great chance today."

Q: When do you think you can fully appreciate everything this team accomplished this year?

TAYLOR: "I think I appreciate it now. You have been a part of enough of these now. I have been fortunate enough to go to two Super Bowls and now three AFC Championship games. You try to live in the moment. Last year just happened so fast for us. This year, it was an expectation, but you are able to appreciate every step of the way. There are four teams left, 28 at home. We do not take that for granted. We just appreciate every second with these guys at practice and at meetings. It is such a fun group. They love ball. They love each other. It is a great honor to be the coach of these guys."