The media had a chance to catch up with Zac Taylor, the newly appointed head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals.
One of the questions asked, how does the process for free agency work for the Bengals?
“We sit down and talk about our roster in and out. What is best for us? What do you think? What do you think? ‘OK we like this guy, let’s pursue this guy.’ It has been as clear and open communication as I’ve ever been around,” Zac Taylor said in an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Taylor also spoke on the upcoming NFL Draft and confirmed that the Bengals are open to all possibilities at pick No. 11. He also spoke about potentially trading up or down but stressed the team wanted to take the best player available.
The Bengals recently sent Taylor to check out Ohio State’s pro day to see the crown jewel Dwayne Haskins. The Ohio State quarterback is rumored to be picked by the Giants at pick No. 6. Therefore if Taylor really likes Haskins and wants him as the heir apparent to Andy Dalton, then the Bengals, and Director of Player Personnel Duke Tobin will have to make a trade with the New York Jets and move up to pick No. 3. The Jets need multiple picks to bolster a depleted roster on the defensive side of the ball and the New York brass stated earlier this week that they’re willing to trade down at the right price.
Owner Mike Brown had a chance to speak to local Cincinnati media at the NFL meetings in Arizona and stated that he likes how Taylor has assembled his coaching staff. In fact this coaching staff is one of the largest groups in franchise history which intertwines with the slogan “New Dey” an offshoot of “Who Dey”, Cincinnati’s traditional war cry. Brown said he’s looking to get an extension done with A.J. Green and that no extension would be given to Andy Dalton before this season is complete. Dalton has two years left on his deal. Brown said he would like to see Dalton stay healthy, return to Pro Bowl form and then potentially a deal could be worked at the end of the season. This makes it a “prove it year” for Dalton with the Taylor era beginning in the Queen City. This will give Taylor a year to evaluate Dalton and see if he is the quarterback moving forward.
If Taylor falls in love with Haskins, then Dalton could groom Haskins this season which has been sucessful in Kansas City with Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes. Not too long ago Jon Kitna groomed Carson Palmer in Cincinnati. This could be the perfect scenario for Haskins. Redshirting a season would not be a terrible idea for the Ohio State quarterback as he only started one full season in college.
As NFL meetings come to a close the 2019 NFL Draft is just around the corner marking exciting times in the Cincinnati. Can Brown, Taylor and Tobin restore the roar in the Jungle?