Late-game scenarios haven’t always favored the Bengals.
Many of us still remember the 2015 playoff game against Pittsburgh, right? Just to remind you, Cincinnati was up 16-15 and could’ve iced the game before a lost fumble and two ridiculous penalties.
Well, Zac Taylor is doing his best to make sure that type of collapse doesn’t happen again.
Taylor recently charged Dan Pitcher with game management, taking a step back and confronting in-game scenarios before they happen.
While it may not be a totally new position, it should change some of Pitcher’s responsibilities. It’s also unique. According to Bengals.com writer Geoff Hobson, one veteran coach commented on Taylor’s aggressive approach.
“And Taylor knows the importance of it. He appointed Dan Pitcher, an offensive assistant, to be in charge of game management and situational issues and devoted an OTA practice to Pitcher’s checklist. One veteran NFL coach who has been with several teams said he’d never seen such an extensive situational period this early in the season.”
This is a novel approach and one that doesn’t seem capable of backfiring. However, we are Cincinnati sports fans so never count out the impossible. That being said, expect to see well-executed late-game scenarios this season.
While that will matter, there will obviously more pressing issues to deal with throughout the season and these game management strategies could get rather complex. Health and matchup will force these situational issues to be unpredictable.
Let’s just say Pitcher has his work cut out for him.
With most outlets projecting the Bengals the bottom of the AFC North, Taylor and his new cohort of coaches and players have something to prove. The team needs this resurgence just as much as Taylor does.
This appointment of Pitcher and the forward-thinking change by Taylor should help take the team to the next level. At least that’s the hope.