If you don’t think Zac Taylor is already an improvement over Marvin Lewis, you haven’t been paying attention.
The latest praise of the new head coach comes from Bengals safety Jessie Bates, who has only had two head coaches in his professional career.
“Last year the level of accountability wasn’t there,” Bates told Jeremy Rauch. “This year it is.”
Spoke with Jessie Bates on the defense (finished dead last in 2018):— Jeremy Rauch (@FOX19Jeremy) July 28, 2019
"Last year the level of accountability wasn't there. This year it is."
"I think we're exactly where we want to be. Nobody's talking about us. That's perfectly fine." #Bengals @fox19
It’s a little concerning that Bates’ previous experience is hallmarked with a lack of accountability, since Lewis took over defensive coordinator duties after Teryl Austin was fired mid-way through the season.
Perhaps Austin is responsible for the lack of accountability, which would explain why he got pink-slipped in the first place, and it got so bad that not even the head coach could fix it. However, it is still bad news if the head coach can’t even repair the culture.
One thing that Taylor has already done a great job of doing was setting a new culture in Cincinnati. A.J. Green, Andy Dalton, and William Jackson have been very outspoken about how much fun they are having under Taylor, and how things are different under new management.
It’s great news that a defense that was franchise-worst last season has an improvement in accountability. Bates also likes the fact that nobody seems to be paying attention to them.
“Nobody’s talking about us,” Bates said. “That’s perfectly fine.”
With new accountability and no pressure, let’s see where Taylor and Lou Anarumo can take this defense.