Notable comments from Bengals head coach Zac Taylor, quarterback Joe Burrow and more in the lead up to the Week 13 game vs. the Los Angeles Chargers.
Head coach Zac Taylor on Justin Herbert
"I think he does a lot of things really well. Certainly, it was easy to see why he was going to be a high pick and in the conversation for the number one pick [in the 2020 NFL Draft.] What I saw from him was that he was a big guy who's a tremendous athlete for his size. Really strong arm, could make all of the throws effortlessly. Was really smart [in college], he mastered all of the things Oregon wanted him to do."
Taylor on coaching Herbert in the 2020 Senior Bowl
"I just saw him over the course of the week prepare the right way ... I think we had a walk through on Friday, the day before the game, I remember exactly where we were where [and] he had just taken over complete command of the offense. He was at the line of scrimmage, very commanding … Just really impressed overall with his poise and his preparation over the course of the week to get him ready for the game on Saturday … It's no surprise to see that he really started off on a fast start these first two years in the league."
Taylor on the Chargers offense
"I think Keenan Allen is one of the best receivers in the game of football. He's been that way for a long time ... We saw them [on tape] against [Las Vegas] that was a bunch of tape we watched on offense. They put on a heck of a performance, they won 28-14, they played very much how we wanted to play that game. I've got a lot of respect for what they are doing, they are capable, they have tons of weapons, tight ends, backs, linemen, great quarterback. It's a challenge and we will not look past them for one second..."
Quarterback Joe Burrow on meeting Justin Herbert at the Senior Bowl and facing him on Sunday
"He was a fun guy to be around. I follow him. He's been playing really good football … He's fun to watch. Big, strong, strong arm, makes a lot of plays. Good player ... Everybody likes to talk about the quarterback matchups, but we're playing on offense against their defense and their defensive coach. I'm excited to watch him play, he's a fun player..."
Burrow on the Chargers defense and Derwin James
"You can tell that they really want to take away the big plays … Derwin is one of the best players in the league, he's fun to watch on tape, he makes a lot of plays and really impacts the game … They tend to mix it up more than some of the teams we've seen this year. They do a really good job of disguising coverages."
Safety Jessie Bates III on Justin Herbert
"I think what makes him special is that he can get out of the pocket and throw it at the same time. The side arm; the Mahomes-type throws as compared to Trevor [Lawrence.] He has that smooth release when he's in the pocket. It's just really smooth. Very accurate. So I think he does a really good job, like I said, getting outside of the pocket, kind of like Patrick Mahomes and stuff like that. I think that's what this kind of quarterback league is starting to get to, the side arm throws, getting outside of pocket, extending plays, so that's what he does well."
Bates III on Derwin James Jr.
"Derwin James is a dynamic safety for sure. (We) have the same agent. I've always been able to watch Derwin's game throughout Florida State. We always played him in the ACC. He's really gifted genetically. It's unfortunate he hasn't been healthy these last couple years. You can see what kind of player he is. I think he has three forced fumbles and like two interceptions. He's having a really good year. "
Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie on Justin Herbert
"Great young quarterback ... I know that Herbert has played really well the past two years and has developed into a really good leader of that team, able to make all the throws and able to run the ball as well; very good dual-threat. It's going to be exciting to play against him, it's going to be my first time, it's going to be a challenge."
Offensive coordinator Brian Callahan
"They do a really good job at holding the disguise of their coverage, they disguise their leverages. They do a nice job of not letting you know what exact coverage they are playing and you can tell it's part of what they coach and teach and how they operate … This is a week where you have to be pretty dialed in to the post-snap coverage rotations and changes."
Callahan on Derwin James
"He's a great player. He's physical, he's fast, you can tell he's a smart player. They use him as a safety, as a linebacker in some of their dime packages. He's a great blitzer, hard for running backs to protect against. He's a really good player and you always have to know where he is. They've got a lot of guys that can wreck a game and he's one of them."
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