When a team that was said to be in rebuilding mode starts 5-2, clearly has a franchise quarterback, a star wide receiver, a top running back, and an expensive defensive that comes together, the expectations change.
That is what happened to Zac Taylor and the Bengals. Now, just two weeks after being thrown into consideration for coach of the year, he’s back to where he was before the season started: being questioned as capable of coaching an NFL team.
The reality, though, is that the Bengals’ dismantling at the hands of the Cleveland Browns last week isn’t an indictment of Taylor’s coaching ability. Rather, it was one blowout loss in a crazy season that has been filled with them. Further, the franchise is obviously headed in a very positive direction, and a large part of that is thanks to Taylor.
Here to calm us down is official team reporter Marisa Contipelli, who interacts with Taylor on a regular basis. She recently joined us for a midseason review, which you can watch below:
Contipelli has seen how the head coach leads and has no doubt he’ll get this team turned around for good very shortly. Here’s what she told us:
Zac is absolutely the right man to be leading the charge. Every single player I’ve talked to over these last two years has just loved getting to work under him and really respects him as a coach and as a leader. And that’s the thing. Zac is not really one of those rah-rah guys... He strikes me more as under the radar, where he has a hold of this locker room. He has the respect from his players and the rest of this coaching staff... He brought in the right culture, He really emphasized bringing in the right people to complement what he’s building here in Cincinnati... There is no need to panic. He’s absolutely the right man for the job. Zac is going to get this team back on track.
Because of the positive direction she perceives from the team, Contipelli still thinks the team can win nine games. You can listen to the interview on iTunes or using the player below:
How will the Bengals finish the season?
This poll is closed
9 or 10 wins, borderline playoff team
11 to 13 wins, contender status