The Bengals liked Taylor-Britt’s energy, speed, length and enthusiasm, and as a former safety, wide receiver, quarterback and punt returner, he brings versatility – just like Hill, a hybrid safety and nickel corner.
With Taylor’s connections at Nebraska, where he played quarterback in 2005 and 2006, the Bengals had plenty of resources to research their new cornerback. In conversations with people, Taylor-Britt drew comparison to former Nebraska wide receiver and current Bengals practice squad player and special teams contributor Stanley Morgan, who quarterback Joe Burrow last season called “everyone’s favorite teammate.” That might have been enough to seal his fate with the organization on top of everything the Bengals liked about him on the field and in the measurables.
“When Stanley walks on the field every day, he’s gonna bring energy and competitiveness, and however many days he’s been here, he has done those two things every single day, and so when you hear that comparison of this is what he’s going to be like in practice, that’s a great thing,” Taylor said. “You know, that’s what we love. We want guys to bring energy because it’s a long season, and that’s a hard thing to do. And so the more guys that can bring that the better the team becomes, the more fun practices (are) … for us to be part of all year, and so that’s a really positive thing.”
Taylor-Britt took a top 30 visit with the Bengals about two weeks ago and said he left with a feeling he might end up in Cincinnati. He didn’t share that with anyone but his agent.
When he got the call from the Bengals on Friday, he said he could hardly speak.
“It was just a dream come true,” Taylor-Britt said. “You could say my visit there was amazing. You know just to even get picked up by a team and especially the Bengals is surreal to me right now, and of course you know that coach Zac (Taylor) played at the great University of Nebraska, that makes it even better.”
Taylor-Britt said the Bengals were professional and organized with his visit, even just in getting him from the airport on time and moving him from place to place on his tour. He said the conversations with the coaches were “genuine” and he felt he made an instant connection.
Coach Taylor made sure the player was aware of his decorated history at Nebraska, too.
From a standpoint of how Taylor-Britt fits into the defense, he could compete with Eli Apple for starting job or add depth at multiple positions. Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo said the first thing that jumped off the tape to him was Taylor-Britt’s tackling, but he does a lot of things well.
“He’s a good press corner, but he’s also shown some flexibility in playing in deep zones and some safety stuff but also as a corner so he’s done a little bit of everything, which is great,” Anarumo said. “You can see what we’ve been doing with that stuff and the more they can do the better. Some of the techniques that we’ll ask them to do involve playing in a deep zone so that can only help him, and you know, when you look at the guy’s measurables, he can really run, as Zac mentioned, and he’s got good size and he’s tough and so the more of those guys we get the better we’ll be.”