While the national media was not confident in the Bengals coming into the season, many fans had high hopes that a new voice on the sideline would make them more competitive.
Unfortunately, the Zac Taylor era in Cincinnati got off to a slow start. A very slow start.
It wasn’t long until people started using the “T” word. It’s funny how fans talk about tanking, but all the coaches and players talk about it winning.
Zac Taylor on what he wants to see from Andy Dalton over the next five games: "Just win. We just want to win. We just want to win. Just get us some wins."— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) November 25, 2019
Andy Dalton: “My whole goal is to win, and I want to win every single game we play.” #Bengals— Marisa Contipelli (@BengalsMarisa) November 27, 2019
Many people talked about the Dolphins tanking even before the season started. Their front office has made moves that have certainly made the team worse in the short term, but Brian Flores and his staff have no intention of rolling over and dying on Sundays. His Dolphins have now improved to 3-9 on the season after defeating the Eagles this weekend.
While losing games to set a team up for a franchise quarterback or a stud pass rusher like Chase Young may seem like a good idea on the outside, football is not as simple as collecting the most talented players. All you have to do to see that is travel 4 hours north on 71.
Yes, it would be great to have Joe Burrow, but it would be fruitless to bring him into a losing culture.
Winning is contagious, but so is losing. Coach Taylor and his staff should be spending the majority of their time instilling winning habits in this team. This will lay the groundwork for future success. Although there will be many new faces in the coming years, this group will be the foundation of the team moving forward. And some of the players who may not be part of the team’s long-term success will still play a role by helping to teach new players how things are done in Cincinnati.
They need to know how to compete. They need to know how to win. That is a coach's biggest job. It is not all about Xs and Os and being able to outsmart the other guy on Sunday. That plays a role, but the most important part is knowing how to fight and compete for a tough win.
While they are long out of the playoff picture, the Bengals can still establish these winning habits. And a win like they earned this Sunday can go a long way.
You can teach a player just about anything, but even the most coachable player in the world needs to be rewarded at some point. They may start off believing in a coach and what he is teaching them, but a steady stream of losses can kill that coach’s credibility. The next thing you know, the player reverts to doing their own thing, because they have had success with it in the past. At that point the coach’s lack of credibility snowballs and it is not long before they lose the player or the team.
Beating the New York Jets gives Taylor a leg to stand on. Now Taylor and staff can reference all of the little things their team did during the week to make the win happen. The players’ actions during the week and on gameday have now been reinforced and the coaches have gained credibility.
Winning is important.