It’s hard to find anyone outside Cincinnati picking the Bengals to finish anywhere outside the basement of the AFC North. The Bengals placed 29th in PFT’s pre-camp power rankings.
The Bengals, though, don’t care what anyone outside the locker room thinks.
“I really don’t pay much attention to it, because I know the work that needs to go into it to be successful,” new Bengals coach Zac Taylor said, via Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We just measure ourselves against ourselves right now. What we are working on is making sure we set high standards for our coaching staff, our players and that we compete to that level every day and that doesn’t fall off.
“We know that if we do that and take care of those little things than we’ll have the success that we expect. It doesn’t matter what the media thinks about us. That all changes Week One when you put on the pads. The first game that stuff goes right out the window. We have our own tunnel vision to make ourselves as best as we can be.”
Other than hiring Taylor, the Bengals had a relatively quiet offseason. Their signings of John Miller, John Jerry and B.W. Webb in free agency didn’t exactly make headlines.
Taylor inherits a team that was 19-28-1 over the past three seasons, with two third-place finishes in the division and a move into the cellar last season. The Bengals have not made the playoffs since 2015 and have not won a playoff game since 1990.
“I’m aware of how we have done,” Bengals owner Mike Brown said, via Dragon. “I wish we had done better, and I look forward to the opportunity to try to do better. That’s what we’ve been about this whole offseason. It’s been a lot this offseason. We added a new coaching staff, and that’s a big turnover. These are different people; they have different ways for the players; they bring in a totally new system. There will be a lot of learning to do, a lot of catching up to do.”