Cam Taylor-Britt had had it. Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins had just beaten Taylor-Britt for an easy, wide-open snag during the final 11-on-11 rep for the ones in Sunday’s practice, resulting in the second-year cornerback removing his helmet and letting a few expletives fly.
Veteran slot corner Mike Hilton immediately approached Taylor-Britt and gestured with two of his fingers, pointing them at his own eyes, before offering a few words that no angry person likes to hear, “Calm down.”
Bengals CB Cam Taylor-Britt Speaks on Performance at Sunday’s Practice
Taylor-Britt had cooled down by the time he sat at his locker after practice discussing his day.
“You’re damn right I was upset,” he said before clarifying that it wasn’t just that one play that set him off.
“It was a series of events,” Taylor-Britt continued. “I had a horrible practice. I need to step it up.”
The rough day started early in the first period of 11s, with wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase blowing past Taylor-Britt and catching a beautifully thrown deep ball from Trevor Siemian in stride for a long touchdown.
“I can’t play that way at all,” he said of the play. “I’ve got to be better.”
Later in a 7-on-7 red-zone drill, Higgins beat Taylor-Britt to catch a one-handed touchdown from Siemian.
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) August 13, 2023
And the frustration culminated on the play where Taylor-Britt misread what was happening, allowing Higgins to work wide open along the back line of the end zone.
“The red zone is where you see a lot of trickery stuff, and I triggered after I seen Tee on the crack,” Taylor-Britt said, adding that he crashed thinking it was going to be a run play. “I’ve just got to play that a little slower.”
That was the point of Hilton giving the fingers-and-eyes gesture.
“He gets so frustrated that he’ll start trying to do too much and play outside of the plan,” Hilton said. “Me being a leader, I was trying to keep him calm and level-headed and let him know they’re gonna make plays too.
“He’s still a young guy. You can’t let the frustration get the best of you. He just has to learn from his mistakes and come back the next play or next drive and be better.”
“Sometimes you’re gonna have bad days, and it’s all about how you respond,” Hilton added. “If we know Cam and how confident he is, he’s expecting to come out and have a much better day tomorrow.”
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