Bengals ‘bullish on foundation’ Taylor building

  • ESPN Staff Writer
  • Previously a college football writer for The Dallas Morning News
  • University of North Texas graduate

The Cincinnati Bengals will bring back coach Zac Taylor for a third season.

In a statement released on Monday morning, team president Mike Brown said the franchise remains optimistic about Taylor despite going 6-25-1 over the past two seasons.

“We remain bullish on the foundation Zac is building, and we look forward to next year giving our fans the winning results we all want,” Brown said in a statement released by the team.

Brown’s comments came one day after the Bengals (4-11-1) suffered a 38-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the season finale and allowed a franchise-record 404 rushing yards. It was also a rare public comment from Brown, who has not held a news conference since July 2019.

Taylor’s second season provided flashes of optimism after the Bengals finished with the league’s worst record in 2019. Rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, the top overall pick in the 2020 draft, had a promising first season before he suffered a season-ending knee injury against Washington on Nov. 22. The Bengals were able to beat Pittsburgh for the first time since 2015 and won their first road contest since Week 4 of the 2018 season.

In addition to Burrow, the team had to contend with several key injuries by the end of the season. Running back Joe Mixon, defensive tackle D.J. Reader, cornerback Trae Waynes and left tackle Jonah Williams were all among the players who ended the season on injured reserve.

“This season we faced challenges with injuries at key positions and missed opportunities,” Brown said. “I am proud of our football team for fighting hard through adversity. That adversity and hard work will help us next season.”

The Bengals will have the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

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