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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Germaine Pratt’s All About The Ball Bengals Look To Swipe Another Super Bowl Run

Hill got some help from Casey and it took off in last year’s postseason when they went from zero differential to a NFL-leading plus-seven.

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“I got with James and he gave me some ideas and the presentations he had given,” Hill says. “And I’ve tried to throw in some of my personality. Throw in some movie clips.”

Like for the Halloween game Monday night in Cleveland. That week the talk had been about scary movies and so Hill, 34, went to his favorite scary movie of all-time, “Scream,” which came out when he was eight and left a lasting memory.

“There’s a guy trying to warn one of the other guys that the killer was behind him,” Hill said. “He’s saying, ‘Behind you, kid, behind you.’ And I just tied that into as a ball carrier, you’re not always aware what’s behind you. So you always want to have an awareness that there’s somebody behind you punching the ball out. Then I got some clips from around the league of guys punching the ball out from ball carriers from behind. Just little stuff like that. Make them laugh. Make it resonate with them.”

The Bengals lost for the last time this year on Halloween and since Hill showed the movie, they’ve lost just one non-quarterback fumble.

And, rookie cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt pulled off one of the great Bengals defensive plays in quite a while replicating the scene in “Scream,” during the Nov. 20 win Nashville when he chased down NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry on a 69-yard run and punched the ball out from behind at the 2. The Titans scored on the play, but they were screaming for Taylor-Britt.

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Hill’s presentation this week got pre-empted by Taylor’s mid-week thoughts, but that didn’t stop defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo from turning the tape on earlier this week and running through the turnovers from this year and last year to remind them how they came in bushels in the playoffs last season.

“Coach Lou showed us how we were attacking the ball at the end of the year and from last year and how we were getting the ball and how the turnover margin is so important,” Pratt said.

A year to the day of Sunday’s game it was Pratt, of course, who electrified an already explosive Paycor crowd with another fourth-quarter interception. In the biggest play since the building opened in 2000, Pratt intercepted Raiders quarterback Derek Carr at the Bengals 2 with 12 seconds left to preserve a 26-19 victory that kick-started a Super Bowl run that led the league with a plus-seven turnover margin courtesy of eight interceptions and a recovered fumble in the four postseason games.

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Pratt got another look at it this week, thanks to Anarumo. There was Pratt saving the day against Vegas in the last seconds, then the next week in the AFC Divisional cornerback Eli Apple and linebacker Logan Wilson combining on a last-minute interception to set up the winning field goal and then the week after that free safety Jessie Bates III’s tip turning into strong safety Vonn Bell’s interception in overtime to set up the AFC title win.

“Turnovers are momentum-changers. That’s what we have to thrive on going into the playoffs,” says Hilton, whose one-handed red-zone pick did exactly that in the divisional win. “We showed it last year in the playoff run. We got nine turnovers in four games. We’re trying to feed off that.”

If you thought turnovers were big last year, how about now with Ravens head coach John Harbaugh’s crew in town? A big reason Harbaugh has coached the most road playoff wins in history (eight) is his teams have forced an NFL-best 44 turnovers in 19 postseason games in his 15 seasons.



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Hill got some help from Casey and it took off in last year’s postseason when they went from zero differential to a NFL-leading plus-seven.

“I got with James and he gave me some ideas and the presentations he had given,” Hill says. “And I’ve tried to throw in some of my personality. Throw in some movie clips.”

Like for the Halloween game Monday night in Cleveland. That week the talk had been about scary movies and so Hill, 34, went to his favorite scary movie of all-time, “Scream,” which came out when he was eight and left a lasting memory.

“There’s a guy trying to warn one of the other guys that the killer was behind him,” Hill said. “He’s saying, ‘Behind you, kid, behind you.’ And I just tied that into as a ball carrier, you’re not always aware what’s behind you. So you always want to have an awareness that there’s somebody behind you punching the ball out. Then I got some clips from around the league of guys punching the ball out from ball carriers from behind. Just little stuff like that. Make them laugh. Make it resonate with them.”

The Bengals lost for the last time this year on Halloween and since Hill showed the movie, they’ve lost just one non-quarterback fumble.

And, rookie cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt pulled off one of the great Bengals defensive plays in quite a while replicating the scene in “Scream,” during the Nov. 20 win Nashville when he chased down NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry on a 69-yard run and punched the ball out from behind at the 2. The Titans scored on the play, but they were screaming for Taylor-Britt.

Hill’s presentation this week got pre-empted by Taylor’s mid-week thoughts, but that didn’t stop defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo from turning the tape on earlier this week and running through the turnovers from this year and last year to remind them how they came in bushels in the playoffs last season.

“Coach Lou showed us how we were attacking the ball at the end of the year and from last year and how we were getting the ball and how the turnover margin is so important,” Pratt said.

A year to the day of Sunday’s game it was Pratt, of course, who electrified an already explosive Paycor crowd with another fourth-quarter interception. In the biggest play since the building opened in 2000, Pratt intercepted Raiders quarterback Derek Carr at the Bengals 2 with 12 seconds left to preserve a 26-19 victory that kick-started a Super Bowl run that led the league with a plus-seven turnover margin courtesy of eight interceptions and a recovered fumble in the four postseason games.

Pratt got another look at it this week, thanks to Anarumo. There was Pratt saving the day against Vegas in the last seconds, then the next week in the AFC Divisional cornerback Eli Apple and linebacker Logan Wilson combining on a last-minute interception to set up the winning field goal and then the week after that free safety Jessie Bates III’s tip turning into strong safety Vonn Bell’s interception in overtime to set up the AFC title win.

“Turnovers are momentum-changers. That’s what we have to thrive on going into the playoffs,” says Hilton, whose one-handed red-zone pick did exactly that in the divisional win. “We showed it last year in the playoff run. We got nine turnovers in four games. We’re trying to feed off that.”

If you thought turnovers were big last year, how about now with Ravens head coach John Harbaugh’s crew in town? A big reason Harbaugh has coached the most road playoff wins in history (eight) is his teams have forced an NFL-best 44 turnovers in 19 postseason games in his 15 seasons.



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