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Zac Taylor: Time with Rams helped during rough first year as Bengals head coach

Former Rams assistant Zac Taylor went 2-14 in his first season as Cincinnati Bengals head coach.
Former Rams assistant Zac Taylor went 2-14 in his first season as Cincinnati Bengals head coach.
(Bobby Ellis / Getty Images)

His first season as coach of the Cincinnati Bengals was rough, but Zac Taylor said the foundation he gained as an assistant for two seasons under Rams coach Sean McVay served him well.

“Sean was so good with dealing with adversity and making sure the culture was built the right way before you go into the season, which you have to draw on that once adversity strikes,” Taylor said this week before a news conference at the NFL scouting combine. “We faced plenty of it.”

The Bengals lost their first 11 games in 2019 before defeating the New York Jets. They concluded the season with a victory over the Cleveland Browns and finished 2-14. They now hold the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft.

“I always saw how Sean treated people the right way and so you try to emulate that the best you can — what’s natural to you — and it serves you well in the season,” Taylor said. “We played our best football in December despite being 0 and whatever. Our guys still rallied, found us two wins and kept believing in the process. And they know that there’s better days ahead.

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“I do attribute that to my time in L.A.”

Quarterback Joe Burrow, the presumptive No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, apparently is not planning to make like John Elway or Eli Manning.

The Bengals are evaluating quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa as their possible selection with the No. 1 pick.

“We don’t need to be premature about it,” Taylor said during his news conference. “Everybody wants it to happen today. They want to hear who we’re going to pick. We’re going to go through our process and make sure we’re finding the right guy who’s a fit for the Bengals. “


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