For so long, the Cincinnati Bengals’ rookie head coach Zac Taylor has preached accountability. For his linebacking core that was subpar at best against the Ravens, he’s now focusing on consistency.
The Bengals were absolutely embarrassed for a second time at home against one of their divisional rivals this past Sunday. Although Baltimore is a top-five team in the NFL, this type of dominance has no excuse.
Instead of calling for players starting role, Taylor is preaching consistency to his linebacking corp.
“Consistency. From the consistency, you can become a leader. It’s not one or the other. You can’t say things and then not do them. You need to be able to do them, and then guys will respect that and follow you. We just need some consistency from those guys at that position,” Taylor said of the team’s linebackers after a season-worst 36-point loss.
There were several issues that arose as Lamar Jackson ripped the Bengals on seemingly every play. One of his MVP-like efforts will undoubtedly wind up on ESPN’s Top 10 as he shifted by one defender and spun two into each other, embarrassing the Cincinnati defense.
#Ravens QB Lamar Jackson — Designed run concept. Watch him shake the safety. Then he hits CIN with the spin move. Jackson makes this BAL offense so tough to defend. @NFLMatchup @jamisonhensley pic.twitter.com/dwhy97uNKB— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) November 11, 2019
That huge 47-yard touchdown run was one of the many ways Jackson lit up Cincinnati on both the ground and in the air. But, if you look a bit closer, you can see linebacker Nick Vigil collide with Shawn Williams to both miss the elusive quarterback. Pratt was blocked out of the ball by one of Baltimore’s two disruptive tight tends.
Let’s just say the play of the linebackers didn’t sit well with Taylor.
“Yeah. Everybody just needs to do a better job. Linebackers, and everybody needs to fit their gaps and do their job,” Taylor reiterated as well.
That was even more evident when the Bengals cut Preston Brown, who has been one of the NFL’s worst linebackers this season.
The question that peaks my interest is what happens in Week 11 when this horrific tackling display doesn’t get better. If the Raiders and Josh Jacobs roll over the Bengals, are significant changes made in the middle of the defense?
Will Taylor starting putting to practice that talk on accountability?