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Sporting News ranks Zac Taylor as second-worst head coach

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The Zac Taylor disrespect is real.

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Fans of the Zac Taylor-led Cincinnati Bengals are not going to like Sporting News’ most recent head coaching rankings.

With the Patriots’ Bill Belichick rightfully claiming the top spot, Zac Taylor found himself at the 31st spot of the 32 ranked head coaches. The Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury, who won’t have many high-value assets to work with, was the only coach below him.

With that said, four of SN’s bottom five were rookie head coaches. Of the six first-year head coaches, all were ranked 20 or below with the Browns’ Freddie Kitchens as the highest-ranked rookie coach at 20.

As for Taylor, there wasn’t much criticizing the former quarterback coach. Given the cards he’s been dealt, Taylor’s first season will be judged by a playoff berth if the team can, for the first time in years, keep their stars injury free.

Here’s what Sporting News said about the Bengals and Taylor.

“The Bengals finally moved on from Marvin Lewis and became another team to hire a McVay assistant. Taylor has ties to the city after a one-year stint with the Bearcats in 2016, and he should bring much-needed creativity to a franchise that needs it after falling behind in the AFC North to the Steelers, Ravens and even Browns.”

It’s interesting that they mentioned how the Bengals have slid behind the ball in the AFC North. While the Browns are the clear favorite, there shouldn’t be much separating the remaining three teams. To be fair, the Browns haven’t quite proven themselves yet either.

With Antonio Brown gone from the Steelers and Lamar Jackson leading the way for the Ravens, the AFC North is truly up for grabs. With Taylor at the helm, the Bengals, with a successful 2019 season, can revive a fanbase that’s witnessed three-straight losing seasons.

Cincinnati believes in Taylor. The players believe in Taylor. And, for now, that’s all that matters.