NFL head coaches are stubborn. We can look back at the last few years of Marvin Lewis’ tenure for evidence to support that.
So, in a sense, Zac Taylor can say he’s qualified to be a head coach.
All jokes aside, Taylor has remained persistent and collected after each of his 22 losses in not even two full years on the job with the Cincinnati Bengals. One can say he’s been a little too persistent, as his weekly press conferences all seem to say the same thing.
“We keep doing everything that we believe in and keep making progress,” Taylor said on Monday. “I know there’s a day where we’re gonna bust down this wall and there’s gonna be some great times ahead. I know that. Right now it’s very difficult sometimes when you deal with these losses, but I also know what our future holds for us. We gotta keep working towards that. These two years that we’ve endured will serve us incredibly well in the future when we’ll win a lot of football games, [when] we’re playing for championships, these will be times that we look back and reflect on as almost necessary for where we end up being.”
These quotes came from this week, but if we didn’t specify that, you probably wouldn’t have been able to guess which week it was from this year, or last year.
Taylor continuously preaches the sense that “great times” are ahead, and there’s nothing wrong with his disposition being optimistic while his win-loss record reaches historically low territory. The issue seems to lie within the almost invisible hubris in his words.
In order for Taylor to achieve the progress he’s constantly predicting, some things do need to change. As the coach, it wouldn’t be right for him to call out his players; even if they are part of the problem to some degree. Players can ideally hold themselves accountable if their coaches can do the same.
Accountability seems to be the missing piece here.
What good is Taylor’s process if it doesn’t lead to any semblance of progress? At what point does the person who is most responsible for the losing realize he’s the variable that can cause the most change?
There’s no better time to address this problem. Taylor and the Bengals have five games left this season, and three of them come against teams with winning records. It’s entirely possible that the Bengals will finish the year with just two wins once again, and if Taylor continues to repeat the same jargon as that unfolds, he will do himself no favors with anyone.
Taylor’s rhetoric has been easy on our ears for nearly two years now. It paints a pretty picture in our minds, but it looks like an amateur Jackson Pollock painting in reality.