Duke Tobin, Cincinnati Bengals player personnel director, knew he had his guy minutes into the interview.
It didn’t matter that Rams assistant coach Zac Taylor was only 35 and had no head-coaching experience. Tobin said all of the members of the front office who were in the room felt the same way: Taylor was “absolutely” ready for the Bengals’ head coaching job.
Tobin never said exactly what about the interview made them so sure, but one thing probably stood out: What he lacks in age and experience, Taylor certainly makes up for in confidence and his ability to carry a room.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap
“Great guy, great coach,” new Bengals guard John Miller said. “Me personally, he’s a younger coach so I feel like I can relate to him more. I think he’s got a great feel for this team and the direction he wants to take us in.”
Wide receiver A.J. Green raved about Taylor’s energy to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on his podcast, noting that players are kept on their toes in meetings by Taylor’s tendency to put them on the spot with questions.
“It’s different to have your head coach be in the offensive meeting room going through every play, every detail to every guy, telling them why they need to run this way or what this concept is,” Green said. “It’s just a little different, but it’s fun. It’s awesome because he’s so smart, he’s so detailed.”nfl nike jerseys for cheap
Taylor has started shaping his team the way he wants, from releasing veteran linebacker Vontaze Burfict to cutting 2018 fourth-round pick Mark Walton, who was arrested in the offseason. The Walton move might not have registered on other teams, but it resonates with the Bengals considering they have been loathe to quickly part ways with draft picks.
On the first day of OTAs, Taylor and his staff moved $9 million left tackle Cordy Glenn to guard even though he hadn’t played the position in a decade. It probably is first-round pick Jonah Williams’ job to lose.
He raised some eyebrows in February when he hired Jim Turner as offensive line coach. This is Turner’s first job in the NFL since he was ousted from the Miami Dolphins in 2013 after he was identified as one of the key pieces in a bullying scandal.
Taylor said he felt comfortable with the decision, and that was that.
It’s certainly a new era for Cincinnati after 16 years with Marvin Lewis as coach, and the players have taken notice. During the Bengals’ defensive spiral last season, defensive end Carlos Dunlap noted they were doing the same thing over and over without results.