LOS ANGELES — February 11, 2022
The Cincinnati Bengals ended their final practice ahead of Super Bowl LVI the same way they ended practices during the season: with red-zone work.
For the majority of their final workout Friday at Drake Stadium on the campus of UCLA, the Bengals stayed inside the 20-yard line as Joe Burrow threw darts to his receivers and his tight ends. Then they tacked on some special teams work before calling it with a huddle at midfield.
“Just trying to follow our routine the best we can in the season,” Coach Zac Taylor said. “That’s the routine our guys know. We finish with red zone and then we have about 50 hours until kickoff and it’s mental from here.”
Friday’s workout — a lighter and shorter workout — was one of the Bengals’ last tuneups before the team heads to SoFi Stadium on Sunday morning. And after two weeks of installing the game plan and refining it through meetings and practices, Taylor is confident his team is focused and prepared.
So confident that he believes these last two weeks of practices, that started at the University of Cincinnati and ended here in L.A., have been two of their finest all season.
“I feel great,” he said. “I feel like they’ve been focused on the right things. The only important thing is winning this game and feeling like we got out of these practices in a really good spot.”
Part of Taylor’s confidence is due to the team’s health. Tight end C.J. Uzomah practiced for the second consecutive day and is on track to play Sunday, Taylor said. Everyone else on the roster is good to go.
The Bengals scheduled their workouts this week in the middle of the day, at peak heat. Friday, the temperature was in the high 80s once again, giving them a glimpse of the projected forecast for Sunday.
But until then, the Bengals plan to mostly rest and review the game plan a couple more times until kickoff.
Players had afternoon meetings scheduled following in-person media availability at the Drake Stadium on Friday afternoon. Then on Saturday, the team has a morning walkthrough before heading down to SoFi Stadium for team photos.
Taylor said the team will have a final review of the game-plan in the evening.