With a Paul Brown quote freshly painted on one of the walls facing the team meeting room, rookie head coach Zac Taylor’s best player gave him one of The Master’s greatest compliments coming out of Tuesday’s first team meeting at Paul Brown Stadium that opened the Bengals’ off-season workouts.
“It’s like he’s been there before,” said wide receiver A.J. Green. “He’s definitely a leader. It doesn’t look like his first head coaching job with his tone, the way he presents himself to the team.”
- For the first time in a generation, the Bengals are beginning the season with a head coach that’s also a play caller and the keepers of the offense, Green and quarterback Andy Dalton, get the idea that Taylor is going to be hands-on. He certainly was Tuesday when Dalton said Taylor was the guy installing the scheme.
“I think he’s definitely going to be hands-on. That’s good,” Green said. “He’s young. It looks like the offense is going to very high flying. We have the talent to be real good. We just have to put everything together … There’s a different energy in this building.”
- Both Green (toe) and Dalton (thumb), who suffered season-ending injuries last year, say they’re ready to go. Dalton figures to be on the field in six weeks when the practices start, but look for them to ease Green along. But Green did run with the team Tuesday.
- The offense finally got the playbook, but not much can be made of it yet except it is clearly out of the West Coast school and with five of his eight seasons under Jay Gruden and Hue Jackson, Dalton is quite familiar with the concepts. But like he said Tuesday, Taylor’s version is going to have a different spin.
“We can get lined up. We’ve got the formations,” Dalton said with a laugh. “We’re not ready for the snap yet.”
Welcome back to the Jungle! Check out photos of the Bengals arriving at Paul Brown Stadium for the first day of the team's off-season program on April 9, 2019.
- Left tackle Cordy Glenn certainly likes the scheme and offered an unsolicited endorsement.
“I like Coach’s energy,” Glenn said of Taylor. “I definitely like the O-line friendly scheme.”
Asked to elaborate after meeting with new line coach Jim Turner, Glenn said he’s also watched a little bit of the Rams’ offense Taylor helped craft the past two seasons.
“You don’t have to drop back 30 and 40 times a game. The defensive ends are good,” Glenn said. “Keep (the defense) on their toes. Have them guessing. Have them think a lot.”
- Glenn found a familiar face a few lockers down in starting right guard John Miller, his former line mate in Buffalo the Bengals signed in free agency last month.
“Big Dog. They’ll love him,” Glenn said. “Tries hard. Does everything hard. High intensity in the weight room. Everywhere. He’s going hard and giving everything he has.”
- Taylor unveiled his motto in Tuesday morning’s meeting: “It’s About Us.”
Dre Kirkpatrick, a starting cornerback and the most senior secondary player in his eighth season, took it like this: “Worry about us. Re-focusing. Coming together. Building a bond. Don’t worry about outside distractions, but what we can build on as a team. Be great communicators. His message got across pretty clearly. He just wants us to go out there and win.”