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Dave Lapham, Cincinnati Bengals Radio Color Analyst

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
January 27, 2023 8:55 pm

Dave Lapham, Cincinnati Bengals Radio Color Analyst

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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January 27, 2023 8:55 pm

Dave Lapham joined Zach to preview Bengals-Chiefs and discuss why Zac Taylor has not gotten the recognition he deserves. 

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Zach Gelb
Zach Gelb Show
Zach Gelb
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I'm Larry Mullins, host of the podcast, Your Weirdest Fears, the show that explores the odd things that make your heart stop. I am so scared of the Grinch. He is bad vibes. We talk to everyone from therapists to exterminators to lizard man. I was 25 when I actually got my tongue split.

I have one tattoo that covers my entire body. Listen and subscribe on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts from. To catch up later, there's a lot to listen to.

So get started and download the free Odyssey app today. Dave, I know it's been a while, but how you been? Hey Zach, doing well.

Thanks for the invitation. Well, I appreciate you coming on. So we all know that this is a confident Cincinnati Bengals team. When you get the burrowhead comments and it seems like both these teams are having a back and forth, does any of that stuff actually matter leading up to this game? There might be a little bit of a showmanship leading up to the game, but honestly, when you get on the field and you have the pads on and they come off the line of scrimmage and hit each other first play, all that stuff goes away. You know, it's just it's just football at that point in time.

There's no question about it. And I do agree this is a very confident football team, but I think it's an earned confidence. They've won 10 in a row and they've done it in different ways and they feel pretty good about it. And obviously the Kansas City Chiefs.

I mean, what can you say? Their fifth AFC championship game that they're hosting five in a row. I mean, that is crazy. This is the team to beat, as Joe Joe Burrow says himself, the Kansas City Chiefs are the team to beat. And fortunately for the Bengals, they have beaten them three times in a row, you know, in a calendar year. And they're going to face it for the fourth time in less than 13 months. And it's hard to beat a good team three times a row and even harder to do it a fourth.

Here's the thing. And we were having this conversation earlier about who's the team to beat. And I think nationally it's still perceived to be the Kansas City Chiefs.

But if the Bengals now, which they already beat them twice in the regular season, if they now go back to back in the AFC title game, it starts to feel like the Bengals then become the team to beat for the foreseeable future in the AFC. And, you know, it's crazy because all three of those football games are by three points. I mean, you know, it's just they are just slobbernocker battle royales, you know, and it comes down to just who's going to make a play and what you try to do in these football games. Who's going to make the play?

Who's going to avoid the big mistake? You know, and that's basically what these games have boiled down to. And this one's going to be a very interesting chess match because, you know, Patrick Mahomes with the high ankle sprain, I don't think it's a severe one to see him moving around the way he's moving around.

It definitely doesn't appear to be as severe as initially thought. But what kind of adjustments will they make offensively? I have a feeling it would not shock me if they come out in two tight ends and try to pound the rock, play, you know, beat them, beat the Bengals on the ground. And if there is a fly in the defensive ointment of Lou Annarumo, it has been against multiple tight end sets and people, you know, playing big boy pad balls on them and putting on those big boy pads and double chin straps and trying to get after them a little bit. The Bengals have had their issues there. And if they can get that running game going and play action pass off of it and RPOs and that kind of thing with Patrick Mahomes and don't rely on him trying to get out of pocket, extending and creating, just watching him even jog between drills and everything at practice, he still does have a limp. It's not a terrible one, but he's not 100 percent. You know, maybe he's 85, 90 percent, but he's not 100.

Talking to Dave Lapham right now. So you look at the way that these games have gone in the last three times out. Lou Annarumo's defense just takes over, really in the second half, especially in that fourth quarter. What is it about him as a defensive coordinator that as the game gets on, he kind of starts to figure out and shut down this Kansas City offense? Because other than Lou, we really haven't seen that from any other D.C. in the NFL.

I agree with that. And with that said, it's amazing to me he hasn't gotten an interview for a head coaching position yet. I just can't figure that one out because he is one of the bright defensive coordinators in the National Football League.

There's no question about it. And what he does, he's always got something in his hip pocket. He's always saving some kind of an adjustment. You know, he knows, you know, with Andy Reid and Eric the enemy and Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. You know, there's going to be adjustments and adjustments to adjustments.

So, you know, you always want to have something that you can pull out of there. But he was a former defensive back himself. He cut his teeth as a defensive backfield coach. His whole philosophy is take care of business from the top down. And he gives you so many different looks on the back end.

Pre-snap and post-snap are totally different. And he's got – and then he'll give you different pressure packages up front as well. And he'll mess with you in that regard. So, he'll try to get in the offensive lineman's head, the quarterback head, and just play like a chess game.

Like he's a chess master. And the thing that they've done a great job of, personnel department and the coaching staff, is drafting players that have both the physical and mental ability to be positionless. I mean, he's got defensive linemen that can drop out of there and play linebacker. He's got, you know, defensive backs that can line up, can play slot corner, outside corner, safety. He's got six different players out of his 11 that can spy a quarterback.

And he mixes and matches all of it. So, he's very, very versatile in his looks because the personnel on the Bengals defensive football team has the mental and physical capacity to be versatile as well. Dave Lapham here with us. We know Buffalo last week could not take advantage of all the shuffling that's been going on because of injuries on the Bengals offensive line. I know Kansas City's second most sacks in the league, but where's the confidence level with the offensive line as they once again won't have Kappa and Williams, and we know Lael Collins is done for the season.

Yeah, I think they realize that they're stepping into the next level. You mentioned that 55 sacks, second in the NFL, Philadelphia has 70, the only team with more. The other thing is, Kansas City's only given up 26, which is third best in the NFL. That plus 29 ratio, sack ratio, between sacks allowed and sacks given up is the best in the NFL. So, they protect Mahomes, and Mahomes protects the offensive line with creating and extending plays as well. And that's why I'm wondering, you know, with this ankle injury, they're going to try to keep him in pocket, get it out of his hand quickly, quick rhythm passing game with the RPOs and that kind of thing, get the ball out of his hand in less than two and a half seconds, so as not to tax the offensive line unnecessarily as well as Mahomes, trying to make him do things that he can't really do physically in this football game. So, I think that pressure protection stuff is going to be a big, big factor in this football game. The Bengals ended up minus 14, the Bengals only had 30 sacks on the season, gave up 44. And it got a lot better in the second half of the season than it was in the first half. They're on a 10-game winning streak, and their sack ratio on that 10-game winning streak is positive for sure.

And that's going to have to continue, I think. You know, give Burrow, Joe Burrow, when he sacked three times or fewer in the last two seasons, is 23 wins, three losses. Protect Burrow, you win some games. Dave Lapham here with us. It's also crazy because the last two years, I feel like all we talk about is the offensive line for the Bengals and how much Burrow does get hit, but still, Dave, he's had this just ridiculous success. It just shows you why he's really just the true leader of that team and really one of one for the Bengals. He's a football savant. I mean, his football IQ is Menza.

He has the answers to the test and he ain't cheating. The guy, his protocol, his preparation is, on a weekly basis, is extraordinary. And it's laser-focused. When he comes off the football field, he knows exactly what took place, good, bad, or indifferent. And he sees the field, sees the entire field about as rapidly as any quarterback I've ever been around.

And he is a very unique player. And as a result, his teammates have the utmost respect for his game. There's no question about it, but they also like him. They trust him and they like him.

You respect a guy, you trust a guy, and you like a guy, good things are going to happen. He is definitely, he's the most dynamic leader they've had since Boomer Asias and the blonde bombshell. Took him to Super Bowl 23. Dave Lapham here with us. All right, when we get to this Bengals-Chiefs matchup, I just want to touch on one more thing from last week. Did it surprise you how lopsided that game was between the Bengals and the Bills?

Yeah, it really did, honestly. I mean, the Bengals played about as clean a football game as you can play. They had two penalties for nine yards. They did not have a defensive penalty called on them the whole game.

No defensive holding, no pass interference, no lining up offsides, no jumping offsides, nothing, zero. They had two false starts for nine yards lost, two penalties for nine yards lost. They did not have an interception. They not only didn't lose a fumble, they didn't put a ball in the ground. They took care of the football. They only had two negative plays and 71 snaps, one quarterback sack at Joe Burrow, and one run that ended up a one-yard loss. They played about as clean and cohesive and, you know, just a complete football game.

There's no question about it. I mean, every phase was feeding off the other. The Buffalo Bills had the best special teams unit, number one special teams unit in the league, and the Bengals special teams outmatched them in the football game. Every offense, defense, special teams, everybody contributed. I mean, start the game, Bengals, Joe Burrow goes four for four on the first drive, including a touchdown pass, and the Buffalo Bills go three and out. Next drive, five for five, including a touchdown pass. Nine for nine in the first two drives, two touchdowns, and the Buffalo Bills go three and out again. I mean, it's like 150 yards on 16 snaps to like 10 yards on six snaps.

I mean, it is just a blowout. They just take a commanding lead early on, and at that point in time, just, you know, basically suffocated the Buffalo Bills the rest of the way, and it was remarkable. On the road in front of Bill's Mafia, that loud, boisterous crowd in tough weather conditions, and you talked about that offensive line with three new starters. They handled things with a silent snap count. I mean, they hadn't really worked with each other, and to go into that environment, handled the silent snap count, and everything goes along with it as well as they did, it was truly remarkable.

It was iconic, really. That's going to go down in team history as what a performance by a group that you go into the football game thinking they're going to be a liability, and they ended up being a very big positive. How do you think this game plays out, Dave Lapham, coming up on Sunday?

I think it's going to be another close one, and I think the running games for both football teams are going to be huge factors. One thing that helped that offensive line, that newly constructed offensive line, is they ran for 172 yards. Joe Mixon had 105 of them on 20 carries. It makes it easier to pass protect. You know, when you anchor them that well in the running game, you can pass block much, much more easily. And then you protect Joe Burrell, like I said, only gave up one sack. Well, Joe Burrell protected his offensive line because he got the ball out in an average of two and a half seconds or quicker in that football game. One of his throws was 1.1 seconds.

Never seen it before. I mean, as soon as he caught the football and the shotgun, he threw it. I asked him after the game, I said, did you even get your fingers on the laces, and he laughed. He said, nah, I just grabbed it. I caught that one and threw it, man.

That was a little wobbly. It was a completion of Joe Mixon out in the flat for like about eight yards. And so the offensive line protected him, and in turn, he protected the offensive line by getting the ball out of his hand so quickly. And as a former lineman, I can tell you that that is your biggest ally, a quarterback that gets it out of his hand right now. Dave Lapham, you look at, and we talked about Luann Irumo, right, and how this guy should be getting some head coaching interviews, and he hasn't even got one. Zach Taylor, this team was four and four, and people were wondering what direction they were going after that blowout loss to the Cleveland Browns, and they haven't lost since October 31st.

You're there every day. You're around this guy all the time. What do you want people to know about Zach Taylor? Because I feel like he still doesn't get the credit that he's deserving of. Yeah, Zach Taylor deserves a tremendous amount of credit for the culture that he's built. I mean, his players love him, love him. And, you know, they just – I've never heard a group of guys praise a head coach as much as they praise Zach Taylor.

And it's starting to get out around the league. I mean, they drew some incredible free agents in the offseason. They drafted well. And he's really doing a good job with his staff of developing young players. This football team is better not just because of what they did in free agency in the draft, but Joe Burrow is a year older and more wise and has been through a Super Bowl season. He's a better player. Jamar Chase. It goes down the line.

It goes down the list. And Zach Taylor is doing a magnificent job of building a team that has high character, no jerk factor. This football team, the biggest trait that it has, I think, the thing that people love most about it is that they not only respect and trust each other, they like each other. They spend time around each other that isn't scheduled. I mean, if somebody says, hey, show up at my house, I got a little event going on, a little function, the whole football team goes over there.

It doesn't matter if it's a position group or anything else. These guys want to be around each other. And when you have that kind of a scenario going, one plus one equals three, I mean, it's something else. And, you know, you say, oh, yeah, well, they're winning. You know, well, it's the age-old question, chicken or the egg. Does winning build that kind of culture or does the culture build winning? Well, until Zach got the players that he needed to get in there to establish the culture, they were struggling. So, you know, I think that you've got to get the players and build the culture, you're going to win football games. I think it does start with the coach establishing a culture, a foundation, and getting the players that can fulfill and deliver on it. And it's also neat how he's going into the bars after the playoff games and giving the fans the game ball. I got a kick out of that.

Yeah, he's doing that. And the thing is, amazingly, the back-to-back AFC championship games, they've gotten fans all over the country. I mean, he's now delivering footballs all over the country. They get fans in Hilton Head and wherever else all over the place.

So it is a very unique dynamic. But like I said, the Kansas City Chiefs, five straight AFC championship games. Are you kidding me?

Joe Burrow said it himself. This is the team to beat. Five straight and hosted every one of them. That Kansas City Chiefs football team is a force to be reckoned with, there is no doubt. It's going to be a fun one. Safe travels and have a good broadcast, Dave Lapham. We appreciate it. Thank you, Zach.

Thanks for the opportunity. The Listening You Love is on the free Odyssey app. Your trusted local radio stations. Coverage of your favorite teams. Live news from your hometown. And millions of podcasts on demand. Best of all, you can completely customize your listening experience. Follow topics you care about.

Like leagues and teams. Pause or rewind your local sports and news. And add shows to your queue to catch up later. There's a lot to listen to.

So get started and download the free Odyssey app today. I'm Larry Mullins, host of the podcast, Your Weirdest Fears. The show that explores the odd things that make your heart stop. I am so scared of the Grinch.

He is bad vibes. We talk to everyone from therapists to exterminators to lizard man. I was 25 when I actually got my tongue split.

I have one tattoo that covers my entire body. Listen and subscribe on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts from. I'm Larry Mullins, host of the podcast, Your Weirdest Fears. The show that explores the odd things that make your heart stop. I am so scared of the Grinch. He is bad vibes. We talk to everyone from therapists to exterminators to lizard man. I was 25 when I actually got my tongue split.

I have one tattoo that covers my entire body. Listen and subscribe on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts from. Some folks don't stop searching till they find the truth. And if you've got the eye of a detective, June's journey is the game for you. Play as June Parker in a gripping murder mystery adventure as you find hidden objects to help solve her sister's death. You'll hunt for clues in hundreds of beautifully illustrated scenes set in the Roaring Twenties. With more than a thousand scenes filled with clues, there's always something new to discover.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-27 22:48:44 / 2023-01-27 22:57:00 / 8

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