The 2019 Cincinnati Bengals training camp is finally here! The Bengals will begin training camp on Saturday, July 27th and it marks a new era in Cincinnati. New head coach Zac Taylor is bringing a new energy to the team and it shows in interviews with players and staff. Throughout the Bengals training camp I will select a few quotes that stand out and present my own commentary on them. It’s time to kick off an exciting time in the Queen City.
Quote 1(per the team website):
“We’re playing music. We’ve got Zac going with music on the road,” Green said. “Coach (Marvin) Lewis, not that it was a bad thing, but he was like old school. He was like grind, grind, grind, grind. He had great teams here. But I think Zac just brings a different approach. He’s younger, so it’s more music, putting the ping pong table back in here, guys having fun.” -Wide Receiver A.J. Green
This may seem insignificant to people outside the Bengals’ organization and fan base but it is much more important than it looks. The Bengals had been spinning their tires for years under former head coach Marvin Lewis. Players were loyal to Lewis but seemed bored or uninterested at times due to his old-school style. Cincinnati players are having fun and getting excited to be a part of the team for the first time in years. This alone signifies a transformation in the culture.
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“The film speaks for itself. You see the Rams running wild all day,” said Mixon, the defending AFC rushing champion leering at last season’s 4.9 yards per carry and 17 touchdowns from Rams running back Todd Gurley. “We’ve got that same offense. I would think we have better players than them with these offensive weapons. I would think we can do the same stuff, if not more, than they can.” -Running back Joe Mixon
This quote should get every fan in the city of Cincinnati fired up. It remains to be seen if Taylor can replicate the success of L.A. Rams head coach Sean McVay, but this should provide optimism that he can. Mixon should be the focal point of the brand new offense and don’t be surprised if he puts up Gurley-like numbers. I agree with him that the weapons in Cincy are indeed better than what L.A. has, but it’s the offensive line that will hold them back. This offense averaged over 30 points per game during the first month of 2018, injuries struck and they struggled after that(as you can see in the table below). Now imagine what they’re capable of under an offensive-minded head coach with healthy personnel.