The Bengals reward Taylor with extensions through ’26

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CINCINNATI – The Bengals have extended their contract with coach Zac Taylor through the 2026 season, the team announced on Wednesday.

The deal comes a few days after the Super Bowl LVI, in which the Bengals lost to the Los Angeles Rams 23-20. It was the franchise’s first appearance in the game since 1989.

Talks in Los Angeles with team president Mike Brown about being on the same page and moving forward culminated in the overtime that ended Tuesday.

“This is not really about me, it’s about all the people in this building who are working towards a really solid future for all of us,” Taylor said. “And so I’m excited about everyone. I definitely feel like the future is bright. There’s a lot to build on.”

Taylor, 38, entered the final season of the original four-year contract signed in 2019.

The Bengals got their first playoff victory in 31 seasons on their way to winning the AFC Championship. The team went 10-7 in the regular season and won the AFC North title.

In three seasons with the Bengals, Taylor has a 16-32-1 mark.

“Zac has entered the league and is working to develop the foundation for a winning program that can be successful over time,” Bengal President Mike Brown said in a statement. – The fruits of Zac’s efforts were seen this year, and Zac is well respected by our players and coaches.

“I know the effort and passion Zac brings to the building and our team, and I’m happy with his approach. And I think the city of Cincinnati sees him as the players and I do. He’s brought excitement to the city and deserves credit and recognition. before that.”

A large crowd of Bengals fans waited in the center outside Paul Brown Stadium to greet the Bengals on Monday night after the team returned from the Super Bowl in Los Angeles. City officials planned another rally in Washington Park on Wednesday to congratulate the Bengals on their run.

However, that fervor has not always been present. Empty spots were plentiful in Taylor’s first season as the Bengals sputtered to 2-14 – the worst record in the NFL and straight to the worst in franchise history.

After the Bengals beat the Las Vegas Raiders in the AFC Wild Card game, Taylor said any other organization would probably have fired him after six wins in two seasons. He credited the bindings inside the building for the ability to navigate the pressure of the eloquent warm seat.

“Every year you have to have the same urgency,” Taylor said. “I know a lot is being done to go into this season, but for us it does not change our process at all. I think what it does allows you to endure it and feel confident. , are the relationships. “

While fan support waned in the mid-2021 season, it increased towards the end. A capacity of 66,277 that saw the Bengals beat the Raiders was the largest for a professional football game in Cincinnati.

Taylor praised the fan support at his press conference on Wednesday.

“It’s rare to be in addition to support that way,” Taylor said. “And then again, just very grateful that we get those moments, that we get a chance to really enjoy it with the fans.”

Taylor’s extension strengthens a young core with quarterback Joe Burrow and several other players fueling Cincinnati’s best season in three decades.

Although he is only a few days away from the dramatic Super Bowl loss, Taylor longs to reach those heights again.

“When you get there and it goes the way it did, it’s just an instant fire that burns even stronger than it did before, to do everything we have to do to get back,” Taylor said.

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