Zac Taylor defends Bengals’ offensive line, says he can call better plays to improve protection

Super Bowl LVI
Getty Images

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was sacked a whopping 70 times between the regular season and postseason, but coach Zac Taylor says the offensive line doesn’t deserve as much blame as it’s getting.

Taylor said the whole offense has to improve in 2022, and that starts with Taylor’s own play calling.

“We just have to be better as a unit,” Taylor said, via “I think that we’ll just look to improve the team any way that we can and not specific to one necessary group. The offensive line helped us get to the Super Bowl. They gave us opportunities to go win the Super Bowl. Everything always falls on them statistically, but that’s not always the case. There are play calls that could be better to help put them in a better position. There is a lot that plays into all that. They were an offensive line that helped us get to the Super Bowl and gave us opportunities to win and I think they should be commended for that.”

It’s to Taylor’s credit that he’s willing to take some of the blame onto his own shoulders, and he’s right that Burrow’s sacks aren’t just on the offensive line. But there’s little doubt that improving the offensive line will be a priority for the Bengals this offseason. Cincinnati has plenty of cap space and a full complement of draft picks in 2022, and it will be a surprise if the Bengals don’t bring in multiple new starters.

37 responses to “Zac Taylor defends Bengals’ offensive line, says he can call better plays to improve protection

  1. No! No! No! Enough of the whole “It’s everyone” garbage. It’s not “everyone”. It was five men that couldn’t do their jobs. Maybe Jonah Williams and Jackson Carmen can be salvaged, but the others need to be replaced yesterday. Free agency and the draft MUST be utilized or Joe Burrow will get killed back there.

  2. It was a glaring weakness LAST offseason, and they didn’t fix it. Hope they do this year. Also, if they do, also makes run game more potent

  3. He had an entire season to call better plays. Some of that o-line needs to be changed or Joe Burrow will have a very short and painful career. How can Taylor not know this?

  4. Being intellectually dishonest is the path to never winning the Super Bowl. Dude, don’t ruin Burrow like Andrew Luck got ruined. Be honest, so you can get help to protect the reason you even made it to the big game. Geez.

  5. Coach speak. Hes not going to throw his players under the bus, three days after the Superbowl. Look for changes before the draft. Either Frank Pollack is not the right coach, or they have the wrong, or too young players. Changes have to happen.

  6. I think Taylor answered that about as well as a Coach can answer that. Also, I think they’ll bring in several new starters on the O-Line this offseason.

  7. i guess we now know their not spending on real NFL OL when free agency starts.
    i wish that if they do not bring in at least 2 top free agent OL Burrow tells
    them he is not risking his career under the current conditions. 70 sacks is
    ridiculous but it is an outright embarrasing.

  8. Mixon had 5 YPC and only 15 carries. You also stupidly went for it on 4th down on the first drive, handing the opponent points.

    Congratulations, dummy.

  9. It’s coach speak but it’s also good coach speak. Good on him for not tossing anyone under the bus. We know what we all saw. I hope they reload and come back swinging next year.

  10. Zac, sign a guard and tackle and then draft one too. I get defending your guys, but start thinking about the guy whose career you can ruin by neglecting the truth. And that guy is the reason you still have a job and can win a Super Bowl.

  11. He does need to improve his play calling. The rest of it is just Zac not wanting to call players out publicly.

  12. Burrow should refuse to play again until they improve their O line. 70 sacks! At that rate, he’ll be lucky to last three years in the league.

  13. You should’ve had you “better plays” for the Super Bowl. That O line was bad. You need to get some BIG experienced lineman. Burrow won’t last long if you’re just gonna call some better plays. Geeeezz

  14. The Bengal turnstyles, though not as bad as the 2002 Texans, were the sole reason they lost. After the Titans 9 sacks earlier in playoffs, Taylor should have added additional TE blocking help.

  15. Why were there no designed rollouts? Why leave this kid behind that line with the line eaters on the other side teeing off on your QB? This kid gets hammered more than David Carr did.

  16. Correct. Maybe you should have thought of that in the two weeks leading up to the Superbowl? The playcalling was atrocious. Imagine Tom Brady being sacked that many times, lol, yeah right.

  17. So,in Taylor’s mind, the really weak o-line is not a problem,even though it’s the first topic that comes up as soon as anyone mentions the Bengals. It’s not the play calling. The line is weak.

  18. Some of it is play calling. Miami had a poor oline but Tua wasn’t sacked nearly as often due to the play calls designed to get the ball out quicker. That’s what Zac is talking about, too much of the Bengals playbook is looking for the “big” play which that oline doesn’t allow for. Bengals need more short quick passes in that offense.

  19. They’re starting 3 of the 6 lowest rated OL in the league this year. It’s not hyperbole to say this is easily the worst OL to ever reach a SB.

    And while Williams has been ok and is young enough to still get better, we can all see he’s just better suited to play guard. The sooner they admit that the sooner they can get a better return on the #11 overall pick and upgrade the 2nd most important position on the team.

  20. Bengals 1st RT, 2nd C/G then watch them take another CB in the first(even tho it’s true Eli apple sucks gotta protect burrow)

  21. Mike Brown is saying he’s going to do some things to improve the team and help Joe Burrow. So that’s what’s really happening. Zac is not the guy who writes the checks.

  22. Taylor isn’t the best coach in the NFL. He’s got a lot of issues. To his credit though, his players play hard for him, the team has each others backs, and he he’s out there standing up for his guys despite knowing full well how bad that O-line is. I can appreciate that.

  23. Good teams and good coaches share the blame, even when it’s obvious where the problem is.
    Bad teams point fingers. Like how the Browns tried to scapegoat OBJ.

  24. …and the Pittsburgh Steelers, also desperate for offensive line help, will be sitting 11 picks ahead of them…decimating their draft board…

  25. As a coach you coach to your players strengths and cover as many problems they have. Problem is line is weak and your qb and wrs are great at go routes

    The lack of screens and draws falls directly on him an would have helped his line a ton slowing down the rush.

  26. he is NOT QUALIFIED to call plays. where are all the plays that were coming from the Rams?
    Mixon not in lineup on 3rd down final drive is idiotic. going for it on 4th down on their 1st drive at midpoint was dumb as all get out too.

  27. bd233 says:
    February 16, 2022 at 8:29 pm
    He does need to improve his play calling. The rest of it is just Zac not wanting to call players out publicly.

    TOTALLY AGREE. He’s being a decent coach and not flaming his players publicly.

    You can be damn sure they will bring in some OL during free agency.

  28. If I were the Bengals, I sign the best two FA guards available. I’m willing to give Jonah Williams one more year to prove he’s a legit NFL left tackle. Then draft the best available right tackle and center for when they pick in the draft. They also need to address the CB position. Eli Apple needs to be gone. Trae Waynes, who can’t stay on the field due to injury, will be a FA, so that money will be freed up to address the secondary. And, for the love of all that is good, re-sign Bates. Franchise him if you have to and then negotiate a long-term deal.

  29. They were a poor team in 2020 and got the 5th pick. You can’t fix everything at once, and for the Bengals to make that kind of jump in one year was nothing short of phenomenal. I have heard criticism for not taking the lineman with the 5th pick. Seriously? No one would pass on Chase given the season he had. If they can add to the great improvements of last year by chaning 3 of their linemen they will be formidable. The problem in the Super Bowl wasn’t play calling, it was a few linemen being beaten about 80% of the time. #77, the right guard, was absolutely abused.

  30. Yeah, don’t worry about it Zac. The Bengals won’t be returning to the Super Bowl anytime soon. You had your shot, and you blew it.

  31. Go get Laremy Tunsil from the Texans. If you draft someone, especially late 1st round, it will likely take 2-3 seasons to develop, wasting years of Burrough, never mind the bust-probability goes way up. Tunsil is guaranteed pro bowl caliber (voted 3rd best LT by his peers last year, in NFL top 100), ready to go day 1. Give the Texans your 1st and a bit more if it takes that. You’ve waited 50 yrs for Joe Burrough, don’t blow it.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.