Bill Tobin’s Legacy With Bengals Still Kicking — Literally — Around Paycor Stadium

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor opens pre-draft news conference with tribute to the team's late scouting executive, Bill Tobin, who passed last week.

CINCINNATI – Before taking any questions, Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor began his pre-NFL Draft news conference on Monday morning with an opening statement.

It was the first time Taylor had spoken since the team announced the passing of former scouting executive Bill Tobin, the father of director of player personnel Duke Tobin, and Taylor wanted to share his sympathies.

Bengals Coach Zac Taylor Pays Tribute to Bill Tobin

“First I just want to start by giving my condolences to the Tobin family,” he began. “I got to know Bill over these last couple years and always enjoyed the experience he brought to the table and the passion he brought for scouting.

“He’s been a major part of the NFL over the last half-century, and this team for a long time now,” Taylor continued. “I hate this for Duke and his family and just want to give my condolences for him.”

The bulk of Bill Tobin’s work was done away from the public eye and didn’t necessarily lead to his fingerprints landing on any specific draft pick or free-agent signing.

But Taylor said there was one memorable moment a few years ago that certainly resonated at the moment and continues to do so.

“There can be a lot of [favorite memories], but probably my favorite one was when we were on the clock in the fifth round in 2021, and we were talking about Evan McPherson,” Taylor recalled. “And a voice in the back of the room spoke up and said, ‘In 1985 at the [Chicago] Bears, we took a rookie kicker, and we went to the Super Bowl, and it worked out well for us.'”

Tobin was a member of Chicago’s personnel department then, working toward his appointment as GM in 1987. He was referring to Kevin Butler, whom the Bears selected in the fourth round.

Butler was 31 of 37 on field goals as a rookie and 51 of 51 on extra points as Chicago won 18 of 19 games and capped its championship season with a 46-10 mauling of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 20.

“I just kind of remember there being a silence after that comment,” Taylor said. “And then the next thing I remember was Duke submitting the pick for Evan McPherson.

“I think we were leaning that way anyway, but that comment always resonated with me,” Taylor said. “He obviously was making his voice heard in that moment.”

KEEP READING: Former Cincinnati Bengals Executive Bill Tobin Passes Away Near Anniversary of Most Famous Moment

Like the Bears 36 years earlier, the Bengals drafted a rookie kicker and went to the Super Bowl, as McPherson went 28 of 33 on field goals and 46 of 48 on extra points.

There are a lot more memories of Bill Tobin floating around Paycor Stadium, but every time a McPherson kick goes through the uprights, Taylor will always think about the voice in the back of the room.

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