AFC Notes: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers


Bengals HC Zac Taylor‘s job is probably safe for a long, long time after helping lead Cincinnati to the Super Bowl this past season and signing a new extension that runs through 2026. Taylor added that even after his first two seasons when he compiled a 6-25-1 record, he never felt like his job was in jeopardy like he may have with other organizations. He credits Bengals owner Mike Brown for that, as the two men communicate regularly. 

“I always felt like I was going to get another opportunity,” Taylor said via NBC Sports’ Peter King“I think we all understood that we needed to start winning a lot more games than we were. But the beauty of working for Mike and the family here is you meet almost on a daily basis. There is no earth-shattering conversation that needs to be had after a season because you have that conversation every day in the offseason, training camp, during the season. We’re always on the same page to where there’s not these big State of the Union meetings that need to happen where there’s been no communication for weeks or months. I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. Makes sure we’re always on the same page.”


Ravens GM Eric DeCosta was pretty upfront about what the top priority would be for the offense this offseason. 

“For us to be the very best offense we can be, we have to have a strong, commanding offensive line that can control people at the point of attack,” DeCosta said via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.

“You win and lose in the trenches, and that’s where it starts,” Ravens HC John Harbaugh added. “Yes, you’ve got to have playmakers … but no skill player can do anything without the lines in front of them doing that work. So, to me, and in our offense especially, it’s just critically important that we have a really good offensive line.”

DeCosta noted the Ravens could make two additions to the line and Hensley expects those to be at center and tackle, with Bradley Bozeman a pending free agent and injury questions for Ronnie Stanley and Ja’Wuan James.


  • Steelers GM Kevin Colbert says that he is stepping aside due to both personal and professional reasons, not retiring: “When we’re 9-7-1 we’re not good enough. When we’re not winning a Super Bowl, we’re not good enough. I don’t know that we’re stale, but we’re not good enough.” (Brooke Pryor)
  • Colbert revealed the team hasn’t decided if they will pick up LB Devin Bush’s fifth-year option, mentioning his ACL injury is certainly a factor: “I think Devin Bush will be a better player in 2022.” (Pryor)
  • Colbert praised 2021 third-round OL Kendrick Green and is curious to see if he is better suited as a guard or center in 2022: “Kendrick did a lot of good things for us, and when he hurt the calf, he wasn’t benched for inefficient play. He was benched because he was hurt. We know that Kendrick can play guard. We know he can play center. Is it our best option? See where we go in the next two months.” (Pryor)
  • When it comes to the future at quarterback, Colbert noted the team would certainly be adding one this offseason, however, he is confident in Mason Rudolph as the starter: “We know we’re going to add to the position. I can’t tell you how at this point. We will go to camp with four. If we had to start today with Mason as our starter, let’s go. We’ll try to build the best team around him.” (Pryor)
  • Colbert also expects the team to tender QB Dwayne Haskins, meaning the team currently has two of the four quarterbacks they will head into training camp with. (Pryor)
  • On the defensive side of the ball, Colbert said the team has been in contact with DL Stephon Tuitt and the Steelers are open to him returning in 2022. (Pryor)
  • Regarding the hiring of Brian Flores, Colbert said: “We hired a very good quality defensive coach who can help us win games.” (Aditi Kinkhabwala)

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