It’s a little easy to forget because the headlines focus on the Cincinnati Bengals’ humiliating 41-16 loss to the Cleveland Browns — but there was a good example of just how together this team is during that loss.
And not only was the sideline livid, left guard Quinton Spain and left tackle Jonah Williams ran up and started a skirmish with Clowney that needed to be broken up.
Asked about it this week, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor emphasized how much he loved it, per Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com:
“I didn’t like it, I loved it to be honest with you. They’ve got his back. It could be have been Joe Mixon, it could have been Tyler Boyd. There’s a fine line there, but we’ve got to protect our teammates when we feel they’ve put in a bad spot. I thought the response was tremendous from our guys. It was close to a penalty and I’m sure it could have been, but this is a team that I really do feel like represents what we’re about right now. They’re going to fight for each other. They’re not going to tolerate that stuff. I was proud of the way they stood up.”
This might seem silly or strange to onlookers. Big deal, right? But truthfully, this Bengals team isn’t that far removed from the days of a Bobby Hart getting visibly mad at Andy Dalton while the quarterback was still down on the turf.
Either way, the culture of the team is good and the leadership the same. All that remains for this sort of scenario is NFL officials actually giving Burrow the protection he deserves by flagging these plays.