Bengals coach Zac Taylor passionately defended linebacker Logan Wilson on Friday, responding to criticism of Wilson’s tackle on Baltimore tight end Mark Andrews and other plays resulting in injuries to Ravens players during Thursday night’s game.
Taylor expressed frustration with the narrative surrounding Wilson, stating, “It’s kind of been brought to my attention, the narrative that’s out there right now, which I think is completely reckless.” He emphasized that Wilson plays the game with integrity and that labeling him in a certain way is premature, adding, “It’s frustrating to see that because I know what the guy is about. And I know that he’s trying to play the game the right way.”
During the game, Wilson employed the “hip-drop” maneuver to bring down Andrews, a legal move that has been a topic of discussion throughout the year. In March, the NFL Players Association advocated against banning the hip-drop, citing it as “unfair to players and unrealistic to implement.” However, in October, NFL’s vice president of health and safety, Jeff Miller, presented data at the owners’ meetings indicating a 25 times higher injury risk associated with the hip drop compared to a normal tackle.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh criticized Wilson’s tackle on Andrews, calling it a “definitely a hip-drop tackle” and questioning its necessity. Taylor, however, defended Wilson, stating, “He’s a guy I’m proud to coach and proud to be a part of this team.”
Wilson was not available to reporters after the game, but Taylor, after initially leaving the press conference, returned to issue a statement on Wilson amidst the backlash. Taylor acknowledged the unfortunate nature of injuries but reiterated Wilson’s commitment to helping the team win.
Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen defended the hip-drop, emphasizing the physical nature of football. Wilson was involved in other plays resulting in injuries, including a tackle on Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and chasing down Ravens wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who did not return to the game.
Harbaugh suggested that the Ravens would seek a league office review of Wilson’s tackle on Jackson, stating, “There are always plays you send into the league to have them look at and have them interpret for you.”