Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor admitted something this week that NFL head coaches usually never admit.
Taylor’s Bengals team has become known for the way they thrive off being disrespected.
Cincinnati’s players hear all the outside noise and they use that noise as fuel to play better.
From the NFL’s proposed “coin toss” to decide home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs to the tickets being sold for a potential AFC Championship game in Atlanta between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills, the Bengals use it all as bulletin board material.
A lot of teams across sports — professional and collegiate — will pretend to ignore the outside noise.
But not the Bengals. They embrace it. And it starts with Taylor.
The Cincy head coach admitted this week that he loves finding ways to motivate his team through various slights.
In fact, Taylor said he’ll search every inch of the internet to find potential motivation.
Despite being defending AFC champions, the Bengals were routinely pegged as regression candidates.
If a potential slight against his team exists, Zac Taylor knows it.@pauldehnerjr on Cincinnati’s Year in Disrespect.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) January 25, 2023
I love this from Taylor. But that’s because I think all teams should make it personal and use outside noise as motivation.
Why wouldn’t you?
Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time, used perceived slights — even ones that didn’t remotely exist — as motivation. If MJ did it, why shouldn’t every athlete and coach?
Joe Burrow put it best this week.
“Nobody in that locker room needs any more motivation than what’s inside of them and that’s why we’re so good,” said Burrow. “But whenever you can find some little thing externally, you might as well use it.”
It’s not that Cincinnati’s players need the motivation, but if it gives them that little edge that it takes to win a tough playoff game, why not use it? They’d be foolish not to use it.
Joe Burrow absolutely nails it when it comes to using outside noise as motivation pic.twitter.com/NGiYe72Rot
— zach ragan (@zachtnt) January 26, 2023
The Bengals have been taking this approach for the last two years. And for the second year in a row, they’re in the AFC Championship game.
It’s hard to argue with results like that.