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Bengals News (9/4): Zac Taylor opens up about debuting as Cincinnati’s head coach

Zac Taylor is going to focus on being himself Week 1.

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Indianapolis Colts v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images

Taylor-Made Takes: For Openers, Be Yourself senior writer Geoff Hobson will sit down with head coach Zac Taylor every week for some quick Taylor-Made Takes off the last game and heading into the next one. Here are some of his thoughts on the verge of his first game as a head coach Sunday (4:05 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Local 12) in Seattle.

Bengals Sign Bernard To Contract Extension
Bernard, a seventh-year player, originally was a Bengals second-round draft pick out of the University of North Carolina in 2013. He has 744 career rushes for 3111 yards (4.2 average) and 19 TDs, and ranks second in team history in both receptions (265) and receiving yards (2278) by a running back, trailing only James Brooks (297 and 3012).

Bengals Extend Gio Through '21
That would be the 5-9, 205-pound Bernard’s ninth season as a Bengal, believed to be more than any running back in club history, eclipsing the eight seasons of three other mighty mites, Essex Johnson, Archie Griffin and James Brooks, in a line that goes all the way back through the ‘70s and ‘80s before representing the first two seasons of the ‘90s. With his low-to-the ground lunch-pail style Bernard has moved within 33 catches of passing Brooks with the most receptions by a Bengals back and 617 yards of passing Harold Green into sixth place on the all-time rushing list.

Gallery: Giovani Bernard Through The Years
Bengals running back Giovani Bernard signed a two-year extension with the team. A look back at his career in photos.

Game Preview: Bengals at Seahawks
In the seven months since his hiring, Taylor has created a new work environment for Bengals players at Paul Brown Stadium. He has introduced a significant number of tangible alterations, including an expanded coaching staff, new decor in the players’ facilities, improved room configurations in the coaches’ office areas, and a new approach to team practices and meetings.

NFL Week 1 - Suspended players for opener (and beyond)
What it means: The undrafted free agent out of UCLA started 15 games at right guard in 2018 and tested positive for a banned substance during the offseason. When Redmond is available starting in Week 5, he will likely be the backup to fifth-year guard John Miller, who has been the starter throughout the preseason, even after Redmond was cleared to practice. At the very least, Redmond will provide depth on an offensive line littered with question marks heading into the season. With Redmond coming off the bench, all three interior starters will be new in coach Zac Taylor's first season. -- Ben Baby

Bengals sign RB Bernard to 2-year extension
According to ISA Sports & Entertainment, the agency that represents him, the deal is worth $10.3 million and includes $600,000 guaranteed, to be paid in March 2020.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Dalton plans to keep playing
“It’s a decision he had been thinking about a while,” Dalton said. “At the end of the day, he’s thinking about his health and the quality of life he wants to have. I think one of the things he said is he hasn’t been the person he wants to be. That can weigh on you when you’re going through whatever you’re going through. He felt like it was a better decision for him to walk away. I’m happy for him that he has that peace and clarity.”

NFL free agency: Bengals host 7 players for workouts ahead of Week 1
ESPN’s Field Yates centered in on Josh Wells, Ryan Groy, Bryan Wietzmann for good reason. All three are offensive linemen, with Ryan Groy arguably the most notable, as he’s a 28-year-old veteran who last worked with New Orleans but had been getting first-team reps in practice with Buffalo last year while competing with — you guessed it — Russell Bodine.

And then there were four: Bengals buck convention by going thin at linebacker
A corner booth at the local Applebee’s could accommodate a Bengals linebacker meeting after the team trimmed the group to four heading into Sunday’s season opener at Seattle.

Around the league

Ezekiel Elliott agrees to 6-yr, $90M contract extension
A press conference is set for Thursday as Elliott rejoins the Cowboys, Slater added. As for the season opener, Elliott, who hasn't practiced with the team since June, is likely to see 20-25 reps, Slater reported, with rookie Tony Pollard behind him and fullback Jamize Olawale taking on the role of being the best blitz-pickup option on third downs. Slater pointed out that was the plan as of Tuesday, but obviously things can change.

Le'Veon: Steelers 'had something special and let it go'
"I'm thinking I'm going to show everybody," Bell said via USA TODAY's Lorenzo Reyes. "I'm going to show people that, look, Pittsburgh had something special and they let it go. That's what I'm going to go out there and do."

Jon Gruden: Keelan Doss 'was not my storyline'
"That was your storyline. That was not my storyline," Gruden said. "Just so we're on the same page. He did a heck of a job. We tried to keep him on practice squad. He felt he had a better opportunity to make the team in Jacksonville. So we hate to see him go. We're happy for his future."

Rams, Goff agree to terms on 4-year, $134M extension
Goff was drafted 1st overall by the Rams in the 2016 NFL Draft right before Wentz. After the Eagles inked Wentz to a massive contract in June, coach Sean McVay stated 'it's a matter of when, not if' when asked if the Rams were committed to Goff long-term.