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Zac Taylor Praises Billy Price, Sends Message to Locker Room: 'He's About Everything We Want Our Players to be About'

Zac Taylor Praises Billy Price: 'He's About Everything We Want Our Players to be About'

CINCINNATI — The Bengals were without four of their five starting offensive linemen in Sunday's 31-20 win over the Tennessee Titans. 

Trey Hopkins was out with a concussion, which gave Billy Price a rare start at center.

The 26-year-old made the most of his opportunity, as the Bengals' offensive line didn't allow a sack for the first time this season. They consistently opened up running lanes for Giovani Bernard and gave rookie quarterback Joe Burrow plenty of time to throw. 

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor praised Price for his efforts on Sunday.

"Billy Price got a game ball — he’s about everything we want our players to be about," Taylor said after the game. "He’s a guy who came in with expectations and never wavered from that. His opportunity hasn’t always been exactly what he thought it would be, but he comes in with a smile on his face every day and goes to work. He encourages everybody, [saying] 'What can I do to get better? Do you need me to play on the scout team? Do you need me to play guard?' His personality has never wavered for one second. I couldn’t be happier for Billy because he’s earned this opportunity. You never know how things are going to shake out, but I’m really proud of the person, the man and the player he is. Our guys can learn a lot from Billy.”

Those comments were made just minutes after the Bengals' win, but more importantly just two days after wide receiver John Ross confirmed his trade request

Taylor was sending a message to the locker room. Not just to Ross, but any of the other players that are unhappy with their role on the team. 

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The second-year head coach has to do something to keep his guys together. They had lost three straight games before Sunday's win. Carlos Dunlap forced his way out of town. Ross is trying to do the same

Price, like Ross, is a former first-round pick. He hasn't had the success that he hoped to have in his first three NFL seasons, but he helped the Bengals win on Sunday.

This might be Taylor's way of motivating Ross. There's a chance he remains in Cincinnati past the trade deadline.

There are still eight games left. Anything could happen. Taylor was clearly sending a message to his team by praising Price as strongly as he did. 

READ MORE: Three Teams That Should Consider Trading For John Ross

READ MORE: The Bengals Should Be Buyers at the Trade Deadline

The NFL trade deadline is on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 4 p.m. ET. 

For more on the Bengals, including the latest NFL news, go here!