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TOPIC: SEATTLE (AP) — Welcome to being an NFL head coach

SEATTLE (AP) — Welcome to being an NFL head coach 1 month 2 days ago #16893

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Marshawn Lynch Color Rush Jersey , Zac Taylor.The newest member of the NFL’s under-40 coaching fraternity will make his debut on Sunday as the head man in Cincinnati in perhaps the most challenging circumstances possible.Taylor and the Bengals will open in Seattle, facing a Seahawks team expected to be a contender in the NFC with the new highest-paid player in the NFL in quarterback Russell Wilson, the highest-paid inside linebacker in the league in All-Pro Bobby Wagner and a brand new shiny toy to unveil after the acquisition of pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney.Article continues below ...With the challenge ahead, Taylor hasn’t taken much time to think about the context of his first game as a head coach.“You don’t allow yourself to think about it, to be quite honest,” Taylor said. “There’s so many other things on my mind this week. … Right now, that’s too hard to think about.”Taylor is taking the reins after 16 seasons where Marvin Lewis was in charge in Cincinnati. While Lewis was mostly successful with the Bengals, he could never break the stigma of going winless in seven playoff appearances during his tenure.Seattle would be a prime example of what Taylor would like to see the Bengals become.Last year was supposed to be a rebuild for the Seahawks as the stars of their championship-contending teams from earlier in the decade cycled out of Seattle and new, younger options took over.But Pete Carroll’s crew proved ahead of the curve and thanks to a recommitment to being a run-first offense, the Seahawks won 10 games and earned a wild-card berth in the NFC.There were already expectations for Seattle to be in the playoff hunt in the NFC this season, especially after locking up Wagner and Wilson to long-term extensions. Answering their biggest lingering concern heading into the regular season by acquiring Clowney has amplified the hopes of how good Seattle could end up being.“It’s going to be pretty exciting football,” Wagner said. “The offense has a lot of weapons. Our line is great, (Russell) is great, our running backs are great, receivers are great, D-line is amazing, and our linebackers are pretty good too. I’m really excited to see all of that come together.”Here’s what else to watch as the Bengals and Seahawks open the season.HOLD THE LINECincinnati’s offensive line has been a problem the past few years Earl Thomas III Color Rush Jersey , and it’s in precarious shape heading into the opener. The Bengals drafted rookie left tackle Jonah Williams in the first round, but he’s out indefinitely with a severe shoulder injury. Left guard Clint Boling retired before the start of camp because of a blood clot. Left tackle Cordy Glenn was in concussion protocol this week, leaving Andre Smith in line to play against Seattle. The line had penalties and miscommunications during preseason and can’t afford that to continue in Seattle.“When you’re playing in noise, you just have to have great communication,” quarterback Andy Dalton said. “We know it’s going to be loud, the first game of the year and Seattle’s already a loud place. We can’t have the mistakes, we can’t be jumping offside, we can’t do the stuff that will set you back.”SET THEM LOOSEClowney had 18½ sacks the past two seasons combined and is an immediate upgrade for Seattle’s defensive line after trading Frank Clark to Kansas City in the offseason. But he’s not the only pass rushing defensive end set to make his Seattle debut. Ziggy Ansah only returned to practice a week ago, but is set to play against the Bengals. If fully healthy, the Ansah and Clowney partnership could end up being among the best pass rushing duos in the league.“It’s going to take us a while to get to our best. We are just so new, brand new guys,” Carroll said. “We’ll see how it goes. Our expectations will be really high as we move forward.”WHAT’S IN STORE?Taylor played his regulars sparingly during the preseason and went with simple schemes, so the Seahawks aren’t quite sure what they’ll be getting from Cincinnati’s new offensive and defensive systems and coordinators. Taylor will call the offensive plays in addition to his head coaching duties. Running back Giovani Bernard is excited to finally show the Bengals’ new look.“We definitely held back plenty,” Bernard said. “We’re just really excited for this week. It’s an opportunity for us to show everyone what we can do.”RUNAWAY TRAINLast year the Seahawks had the top rushing offense in the NFL, averaging 160 yards per game and only a little bit of contribution from Wilson.Expect more of the same from Chris Carson and the rest of Seattle’s running backs.Carson rushed for 1,151 yards in the regular season last year and the Seahawks are expecting much of the same this year. But there is hope that Carson won’t be alone in carrying the load. Look for Rashaad Penny and C.J. Prosise to get additional carries to balance out the work.PERFECT MARKThe Bengals will be trying to accomplish something that hasn’t been done since Carroll arrived in 2010. Over the previous nine seasons, Seattle is 14-0 in home games in September. One stat on Cincinnati’s side: Dalton is 2-0 in his career against Seattle. The Seattle Seahawks have given away the football just 10 times through 15 games this season. If they can get through another 60 minutes of football Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals without a turnover Chris Carson Color Rush Jersey , they’ll equal the league record for fewest turnovers in a season.The record of 10 turnovers in a season is shared by the 2010 New England Patriots and 2011 San Francisco 49ers.Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll can be like a broken record to his players emphasizing his belief “it’s all about the ball.” Turnovers are perhaps the single thing he harps on most as a coach, so the thought of potentially matching the league record for fewest turnovers is music to his ears.“It’s the No. 1 thing that we emphasize and we’ve been doing it for a long time,” Carroll said on Wednesday. “What our challenge is, is how well can we emphasize it? And how well can we transfer than emphasis so they adopt that as part of their play? The mentality of it; there is a constancy that just goes away if you don’t. You have to be on it because there are unnatural aspects of it when you play the things that you have to do. You have to train and drill with the highest of expectations to get it done.“It is such a big deal around here that guys get put on the screen and they get hammered and they get whatever – they get hooted out or whatever if they’re even loose with the ball a little bit.”Much like the increases in completion percentage and passer rating in recent years, teams have become far more adept at not giving the ball away. As recently as a decade ago, the best turnover seasons in league history had been somewhat dated. The 1982 Kansas City Chiefs held the record with just 12 turnovers. The 1943 and 1990 New York Giants, and 1959 Cleveland Browns were tied for next on the list with 14 turnovers.However, the top of the list has been flooded in the past few seasons. Assuming the Seahawks don’t turn the ball over more than twice on Sunday, eight of the nine best turnover seasons in history will have come since 2010 with six of those coming in the last three years.The 2016 Atlanta Falcons (11), 2016 New England Patriots (11), 2017 Kansas City Chiefs (11), 2016 Buffalo Bills (12) and 2017 New England Patriots (12) all have joined the top of the list. The 1982 Chiefs are the only team outside of the last decade still in the conversation.The Seahawks had five turnovers in their first two games – three interceptions from Russell Wilson and lost fumbles by Wilson and Chris Carson. They’ve turned the ball over just once in their last five games.Seattle also leads the league in turnover margin at plus-14. The Chicago Bears and Houston Texans, both at plus-12, are the only other teams with a turnover margin of at least plus-10.
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