New Bengals quarterback Ryan Finley admitted some nerves, in anticipation of his starting debut Sunday against the Ravens.
And that’s a good thing, in his mind.
The Bengals named the fourth-rounder their starter before the bye, pulling the plug on longtime fixture Andy Dalton.
“Yeah, I would be worried if I wasn’t nervous because that would mean I didn’t care,” Finley said, via Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “But I’m more excited than anything. I feel like it’s been a while since I played in a football game, and it has been, but it’ll be fun to get out there.”
Aside from the preseason — which, it’s good to see even the people who play in it don’t consider it real football — Finley’s last game was the Gator Bowl on New Year’s Eve 2018, when his N.C. State team was stomped by Texas A&M. Now, he inherits the league’s only winless team, so he’s trying to take things on a snap-by-snap, drive-by-drive basis.
“My goal is to execute on every single play for the offense and stay on the field. I think we as a team need to be a lot better in the red zone and score points. That’s kind of an emphasis for us, scoring in the red zone,” Finley said. “I have all the confidence in the world in Zac to put us in the right situations. So, for me, I just think of the word executing. That’s just what keeps coming to me. Executing whatever is called and do my best to keep the chains moving, have a little bit of juice out there, some energy and get guys fired up and into a rhythm.”
That would help, and so would getting wide receiver A.J. Green back. Coach Zac Taylor said yesterday Green would play his first game of the year Sunday, but Green didn’t practice.