Jaguars OC Press Taylor compliments his brother Zac’s response to Hamlin situation

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor watches before an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean) (Jeff Dean, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jaguars offensive coordinator Press Taylor said that he, like everyone, was shaken by the traumatic injury to Bills safety Damar Hamlin in Monday night’s game. Taylor also had somewhat of a personal interest in the game.

Taylor’s brother, Zac, is the head coach of the Bengals. Press Taylor said that he was proud of how his brother handled such an unprecedented situation. Zac Taylor conferred with Buffalo coach Sean McDermott after Hamlin’s injury and the coaches ultimately decided that continuing the game under those circumstances wasn’t possible.

“There’s no playbook, there’s no manual for somebody being in a life-threatening situation,” Press Taylor said. “I have a lot of respect for my brother and the way he handled things, the way the NFL has handled things. Obviously, that wasn’t the right time to continue a game. There’s a human element to this thing that I thought everybody used some common sense and handled that thing the right way so far.”

The game was postponed with the Bengals leading 7-3 in the first quarter. The NFL has not said if the game will be completed or if it will be declared a no contest. Press Taylor said he checked in on his brother following the game to see how he was holding up.

“Moreso, I called him that night just to check in on him. It’s a traumatic experience for anybody that was involved in the situation, and you watch whether it’s football, whether it’s outside the building, you watch somebody in a life-threatening situation, and everybody is affected by that,” Press Taylor said.

“I just wanted to call and just talk to him, make sure he was good. He actually had just left the hospital that night. He had gone up to see and check on him, just be there. It’s certainly something you don’t plan to deal with. You don’t have a plan for.”

On Wednesday, Zac Taylor spoke about the incident for the first time, saying the first responders were prepared for the moment and handled everything well. He said the decision to not play the remainder of the game was the right one.

“I won’t disclose any of the private conversations Sean and I had except for this: When I got over there, the first thing he said was, I need to be at the hospital for Damar, and I shouldn’t be coaching this game. So that, to me, provides all the clarity because there was no — unprecedented is the word that gets thrown out a lot about this situation because that’s what it is,” Zac Taylor said.

“But in that moment, he really showed who he was and that all his focus was just on Damar and being there for him, being there for his family at the hospital. And at that point, I think everything trended in the direction it needed to trend and the right decisions were made.”

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.