Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor Tuesday stressed Thursday that him going against his younger brother, Eagles Passing Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Press Taylor, is strictly business as usual.
While that may be the case for Press and Zac, it isn't for the Taylor family nor anyone else. It isn't often that a pair of brothers coach against each other on an NFL Sunday, but that will be the case when the Eagles host the Cincinnati Bengals at Lincoln Financial Field.
Sunday will mark the fourth time the Taylor brothers will be on opposite sidelines in the NFL. Zac came out on the winning end of the first matchup, which happened back in 2015 when Press was an offensive quality control coach for the Eagles for their matchup against the Miami Dolphins, where Zac was the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach.
With the win came a trophy dedicated to the sibling rivalry courtesy of their father and former University of Oklahoma football player, Sherwood Taylor. Thanks to pair of Eagles victory over the Los Angeles Rams, where Zac was first the assistant wide receivers coach before becoming the quarterbacks coach, Press has had a firm grip on the trophy ever since.
"I've kind of ignored that trophy the last couple of years if you get my drift," Zac told reporters on Thursday.
This meeting will have a new wrinkle, as it is the first time they will meet with one as a head coach with Zac in the midst of his second season at the helm in Cincinnati.
For Zac, landing the Bengals' job was the culmination of a long coaching journey that began in a picturesque cul-de-sac in Norman, Oklahoma. Oddly enough, Press took a very similar journey to where he is today.
Both Press and Zac were high school quarterbacks who spent time at Butler County Community College in Kansas, where Press won two Junior College National Championships. Zac found his college success after transferring from Butler County to Nebraska, where he broke multiple school records.
Press transferred to Marshall with the primary goal of parlaying his college experience into coaching, which is exactly what he did when he landed as a graduate assistant at the University of Tulsa.
Press was accepted into the graduate programs at Oklahoma and Texas A&M, the latter is where Zac spent his time as a graduate assistant after finishing up his playing career with a stint in Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp and a season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League.
After helping Tulsa win a Conference USA Championship and the Liberty Bowl in 2012, Press found his way to Philadelphia, where he has been working his way up the ladder ever since.
On the other hand, Zac bounced around from the Miami Dolphins to the University of Cincinnati before finding a home with the Rams. Two years later, the Bengals hired him.
Although Press and Zac have taken similar paths to coaching success, it also varies in many ways as the two have never coached together. That is especially true when it comes to influences.
Where Press has current Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson and former coaches Chip Kelly and Pat Shurmur as influences, Zac has former Green Bay Packers/Texas A&M Head Coach Mike Sherman, current Las Vegas Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden, and former Raiders Head Coach Bill Callahan as his.
"When you're around completely different coaches, your styles can be a little bit different," Zac said.
The Taylor brothers could have reunited in Cincinnati when Zac took over in 2019, but as Zac told reporters Thursday, Press is happy with his role in Philadelphia.
But with the trajectory Press is on, he may one day receive a call to take over a franchise much like his brother. If that situation were to arise one day, the brotherly bond they built back in Norman would remain as strong as it's ever been.
Or as Zac would call it, business as usual.
"Wouldn't change a thing," Zac said. "That's one thing we take a lot of pride in as a family is regardless of where we're at in life, we're there for each other. We don't take anything for granted. We treat people the right way regardless of what position you're in, so it wouldn't change one thing."