Most Bengals fans recognize Dan Hoard as the voice of the Bengals, but he is also a close friend of the Cincinnati Bearcats.
Hoard is also familiar with new head coach Zac Taylor because of the year he spent calling the Bearcats’ offense.
“We probably shouldn’t be overly concerned that UC went 4-8 in 2016 and didn’t post great offense stats in Zac Taylor’s only year as offensive coordinator,” said Hoard, via Bengals.com. “There likely would have been significant improvement if there had been a second season.”
Hoard cites the results from UC’s current offensive coordinator, Mike Denbrock.
“The Bearcats [in 2017] finished with a 4-8 record and only scored 20.9 points per game to rank 111th out of 130 Division I teams...This past season in Denbrock’s second year at Cincinnati, the Bearcats averaged 34.9 points and finished with an 11-2 record.”
Therefore, Hoard reasons, Taylor could have done just as well as Denbrock given a second year to work with the offense.
Speculation aside, Hoard spoke with some of Taylor’s former quarterbacks, and they all have high praise for the young coach.
“He’s an all-around great guy and I think he’s an even better coach,” said Desmond Ridder, 2018 AAC Rookie of the Year. “I think he’s really good on the field and off the field and I think he’s someone that you can talk to. If you ever need anything he’ll be there and I think that’s one of the reasons why I liked him so much.”
Ridder never had the chance to play for Taylor, but still had a great relationship with him. Taylor’s Bearcats were the only FBS school to offer Ridder a scholarship when he played for Louisville’s St. Xavier High School.
“He’s been busy lately but we did get to talk a couple of weeks ago,” said Hayden Moore, another former Bearcat quarterback. “I was going to the Gridiron Showcase (a scouting event for college seniors) and he was giving me pointers. I aspire to be what he is right now. He was so busy with the playoffs and the Rams and he took time out of his day to talk to me and give me advice on what I’m doing.”
Moore actually did play under Taylor’s coaching. Even though he was one of three starting quarterbacks in 2016, Moore loved the level of professionalism that Taylor brought.
Of course, both players are happy to see Taylor getting the Bengals’ job. It’s both a step in the right direction for Taylor, and a short trot from UC’s campus.
“I think it’s going to give the Bengals a new look and I think his mind and his attitude is going to give them the spark that they need,” said Moore. “I think he’s going to thrive and I think it was a good decision.”
At least, that’s what we’re hoping for.