If the NFL was ever going to give a non-quarterback the MVP this season, it probably would have been Cooper Kupp.

As such, Kupp will have to settle for the Offensive Player of the Year award, which he won on Thursday.

Kupp will hope to add the Super Bowl trophy on Sunday, with the individual and team success he and the Rams have enjoyed just reward for one of the most dominant receiving seasons in NFL history.

Racking up 1,947 receiving yards, Kupp finished just 19 yards shy of breaking Calvin Johnson's all-time record for single-season yardage. Johnson finished with 1,965 receiving yards for the Detroit Lions in the 2012 campaign.

Kupp's 16 receiving touchdowns were also a season high, his ability to excel lined up out wide and in the slot making him a mismatch nightmare for opposing defenses.

According to Stats Perform data, he produced a burn, which is when a receiver wins his matchup with his defender on a play where he is targeted, on 65.5 per cent of targets, just above the average of 62.

However, no receiver averaged more burn yards per route (4.1) than Kupp, doing so while running more routes (670) than anyone else.

In other words, Kupp did a better job at creating clear separation from his defenders than all of his contemporaries while also taking on the heaviest workload in the NFL.

There are many subplots to Super Bowl LVI, but the receiver battle between Kupp and the man named Offensive Rookie of the Year, Cincinnati Bengals star Ja'Marr Chase, may be the most compelling.

Ja'Marr Chase will head into Super Bowl with the title of Offensive Rookie of the Year, while Micah Parsons won Defensive Player of the Year for his astonishing 2021.

Chase, who will hope to help the Bengals to their first Super Bowl title in franchise history on Sunday, was named as the top rookie on the defnsive side at the NFL Honours ceremony in Los Angeles.

It follows a spectacular regular-season campaign in which Chase broke the rookie record for receiving yards set by his former LSU team-mate Justin Jefferson.

Chase finished the season with 1,455 receiving yards and 13 receiving touchdowns, the third-highest tally in the NFL, justifying the Bengals' decision to reunite him with Joe Burrow, with whom he and Jefferson won the National Championship in 2019, instead of taking an offensive lineman in the first round.

Parsons never reached such heights at Penn State but has quickly established himself as one of the most dominant defensive players in the NFL.

Drafted by the Dallas Cowboys as an inside linebacker, Parsons thrived instead in his role as a designated pass rusher.

Parsons finished the season with 13 sacks, the sixth-most in the NFL, while he also racked up 20 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.

His pressure rate of 32.2 per cent on 211 pass rush snaps was even superior to that of even Aaron Donald (27.9 per cent). His run disruption rate of 13.7% was fourth among all linebackers.

That extraordinary level of performance did not translate to playoff success for Dallas. Yet Parsons can console himself with some individual success while the Cowboys can rest safe in the knowledge that they have a young stud who can derail opposing offenses, and there are few assets in the NFL more valuable than that.

The Los Angeles Rams are in the Super Bowl thanks to stunning seasons from the likes of Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald, but it turns out Dr Dre might have had something to do with it too. 

Sunday's Halftime Show will be a parade of hip hop royalty, with Dre set to be joined on stage by Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and Mary J. Blige. 

A cultural icon in Los Angeles, Dre is delighted to be sharing the spotlight with the hometown team, claiming to have spoken their success into existence. 

"Who else could do this show here in LA, who else could perform the Halftime Show other than these amazing artists that we put together for this thing?" Dre said during the Halftime Show media conference on Thursday. 

"Not only that, I've been manifesting the Rams, since the beginning of the season, I'm just thinking about it every day, I'm meditating on it and I'm like: 'Okay, it would be perfect if we are in the Super Bowl performing and the Rams are in the game as well.'" 

Dre promised surprises in the show, though he would not go into any further detail. 

He and Snoop vowed there would be no wardrobe malfunctions. Dre joked he had dissuaded him and Eminem from any provocative displays during the performance. 

Snoop, though, expects to have the greatest impact during the show. 

Asked what he wants the audience to take from the concert, Snoop replied: "[That] I'm the greatest to ever do it. 

"Somebody gotta say it, Tom Brady wouldn't say it, I'm the GOAT." 

And although Snoop is a fully fledged Pittsburgh Steelers fan, he is backing the Rams to keep the Lombardi Trophy at SoFi Stadium. "I gotta go with LA," he said. 

In a moderated conversation, Dre, Snoop and Mary J all emphasised how much work has gone into the show. 

Asked what will be on her mind once the performance is done, Mary J said: "A drink. A really nice tall drink because I've just been so focused on me and the Super Bowl." 

With Dre describing their act as "f*****g incredible" and Snoop labelling it "magnifico", one of the most anticipated Halftime Shows in Super Bowl history appears set to be one not to forget. 

The Los Angeles Rams' preparations for the Super Bowl have been efficient, but they haven't been without issues, albeit relatively minor ones.

Southern California is in the grip of unusual heat for February and the Rams' matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium could be the hottest Super Bowl ever.

Yet the Rams did not feel the full effect of the heatwave at their base in Thousand Oaks, which was hit by winds of around 22 miles per hour during Wednesday's practice.

With those winds expected to increase in strength, the Rams are moving practice for Thursday, by which time head coach Sean McVay will hope to have his voice back.

"I feel great, I just sound like s***," McVay said in Wednesday's media conference after it became evident he had lost his voice.

"Hopefully, we'll get this voice to come back, but it was like yesterday I was in my office for a minute then I went to talk to some of the coaches and then my voice sounded like this, I'm like 'what the hell happened?' I've got the honey, I've got all the remedies. We'll get this voice back."

Undeterred by his vocal cords failing him, McVay also has little qualms about switching practice to Pasadena to escape the difficult conditions.

"We're going to go practice at the Rose Bowl tomorrow, kind of anticipating the winds," he added. 

"If that's the biggest inconvenience of playing the Super Bowl playing at home that we have to get on a bus, we do that pretty regularly anyways going down to SoFi."

An outwardly optimistic person, McVay's swiftness in brushing off such inconveniences is no surprise, and the speed with which the Rams have installed their Super Bowl gameplan can only have helped his mood.

McVay, according to the pool report, said after practice: "Today kind of represented the finality of it. We can tweak and adjust as we go, but they [the players] did a good job of getting ahead of stuff.

"Guys felt really good. We ran through all the different situations that can come up…and then the next couple of days we'll just be tightening up."

McVay will be able to make any tweaks knowing that he will likely have all three of his top running backs available, with Darrell Henderson Jr. appearing poised to return from a knee ligament injury.

"I think Darrell’s going to go," said McVay. "So, you'll have Cam [Akers], Darrell and Sony [Michel]. You'll be able to see a good, three-back rotation, based on how the game unfolds.

"The situations that arise will dictate which one you're seeing. Like anything else, if we're able to get into a rhythm running it, we're going to go with the hot hand."

McVay might be straining to communicate but, with his running back room returning to full health and the gameplan ready, there's every reason for him to be confident of a career-defining victory that would taste as sweet as his honey remedy.

The rollercoaster that was the San Francisco 49ers' 2021 season was one in which calls to go with Trey Lance over Jimmy Garoppolo were frequent. However, former Niners head coach Steve Mariucci believes it will ultimately be beneficial for last year's third overall pick that Kyle Shanahan resisted those calls.

San Francisco enjoyed a turnaround to finish 10-7 after a 3-5 start to make the playoffs, where the Niners upset both the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers en route to the NFC Championship Game.

However, the 49ers let slip a 10-point fourth-quarter lead against the Los Angeles Rams in a 20-17 defeat in which Garoppolo failed to move the ball on each of the final two drives, defeat clinched with an interception on a desperate heave under pressure that will likely be the last throw of his Niners career.

Lance made two starts in relief of an injured Garoppolo but only took snaps in four games beyond those appearances, serving as a spectator for the entirety of the postseason.

With Garoppolo expected to be traded and hand the reins to Lance for 2022 and beyond, Mariucci expects the man San Francisco traded three first-round picks to acquire to be better positioned to handle the challenges he will face as a starting quarterback because of his time on the sideline.

"In some ways, Trey Lance will be a rookie again from a playing standpoint," Mariucci said at a pre-Super Bowl media event on Wednesday.

"The best thing for a player is to get on the field and play when it counts and that's in a game. The good news for him is he's had a year of sitting and watching a veteran prepare, learning the system, learning pro defenses, learning all these disguises and these crazy blitzes that he didn't see against South Dakota State, and that's a plus for him.

"He'll be more ready to do this when he gets his chance next year."

Lance was arguably the most athletically gifted quarterback in the 2021 draft class, with his abilities with his legs set to add another element to head coach Shanahan's already dynamic offense.

Referencing two quarterbacks he coached during his time with the Niners, Mariucci added: "I think the playbook is going to be a little bit different, they're going to use his legs moreso than they did Jimmy, with some zone-reads and some quarterback type runs and some movement and some keeps and some 'get em out there'.

"[It's a] little bit like when Jeff Garcia or Steve Young played, you change the launchpoint, it's all over the place, makes him more difficult to defend, and he's going to make first downs with his legs too.

"This year was beneficial for him from a learning standpoint and next year here's going to show us what he's got, I can't wait."

It can at best be considered a bold move to go into a Super Bowl matchup against Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams without a settled group of starters on your offensive line.

But that is the reality the Cincinnati Bengals face, with head coach Zac Taylor still unsure of who his starter at right guard will be when they attempt to claim a first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history.

The right guard spot has been an issue throughout a season in which the Bengals and quarterback Joe Burrow have improbably overcome significant pass protection woes to reach the cusp of an historic triumph.

Rookie Jackson Carman and Hakeem Adeniji rotated at right guard in the Bengals' AFC Championship Game comeback win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Second-round pick Carman has been dealing with a back injury but remains in the mix to line up against the Rams' star defensive lineman Donald in a potentially decisive mismatch in Super Bowl LVI.

"Jackson's progressing well, he's better than he was last week," Taylor said in Wednesday's media conference of Carman's injury. 

"He and Hakeem have really gone back and forth at that guard spot, they've both given us some really good things, they're young players, their best days are ahead of them, we think both those guys have been progressing as we had hoped, so we'll continue to let them play out, see how it shapes out on Sunday."

The Bengals landing on the right player to attempt to slow down Donald, as well as Von Miller and Leonard Floyd, is essential.

Donald's stunt-adjusted pass rush win rate of 63.83 per cent was not only the highest for all defenders with at least 100 one on one matchups, according to Stats Perform data, it was over 10 percentage points higher than that of his nearest challenger, Myles Garrett (53.56).

With the Bengals allowing 51 pressures across their three playoff games, all signs point to a game-wrecking display for Donald.

However, the Bengals may have the ideal quarterback to deal with having Donald in his face. Of quarterbacks with 100 pass attempts under pressure, Burrow's percentage of well-thrown balls delivered of 80.1 was the best in the NFL and over 10 percentage points above the average (70.1).

And Burrow certainly will not get discouraged by any success Donald enjoys against the Bengals, Taylor pointing to his mental toughness as one of his greatest qualities.

"You're going to face a lot of adversity, a lot of difficult moments, it's easy when you're at practice, throwing seven on seven, preseason games, stuff like that," said Taylor.

"But when the season really matters, your mental toughness is going to be challenged, you've got to be thorough with your process, consistent with your process and those are areas where Joe really excels."

Burrow could yet have one of his more underappreciated offensive weapons available on Sunday, with tight end C.J. Uzomah expected to practice on Thursday as he recovers from a knee injury suffered in the AFC Championship Game win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

"Considering where he was when he fell on the turf last Sunday to where he is now, [I'm] really optimistic about how it's going," Taylor added. "We'll continue to see him in action these next two days, but optimistic."

Roger Goodell vowed nothing will be off the table in a review of the NFL's hiring processes after Brian Flores launched a class action lawsuit against the league. 

The NFL commissioner was unsurprisingly peppered with questions about the Flores saga in his pre-Super Bowl news conference on Wednesday at SoFi Stadium. 

Flores alleges the NFL is rife with racism and has a "disingenuous commitment to social equity". The Miami Dolphins, who fired Flores after a second successive winning season in 2021, New York Giants and Denver Broncos were all named in his suit. 

He claimed an interview he had with the Giants was a sham, indicating he inadvertently learned of their intention to hire Brian Daboll through a text exchange with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick prior to his interview. 

It is also alleged in the lawsuit that Flores "was interviewed only because of the Rooney Rule" by the Broncos in 2019 and was never intended to be "a legitimate candidate". 

The NFL has just five minority head coaches, with Flores' replacement in Miami, Mike McDaniel, and Lovie Smith joining Mike Tomlin, Ron Rivera and Robert Saleh on that list. 

Speaking for over 40 minutes in Los Angeles, Goodell insisted the NFL will not rule out any potential avenue to address the league's shortcomings in giving opportunities to minority coaches. 

"Last year we were talking about the same subject which is part of the frustration. Racism is something we will not tolerate," said Goodell. 

"If there are policies that we need to modify, we're going to do that. If we've seen evidence of discrimination, we will deal with that in a very serious way that will reflect the fact that we won't tolerate that. 

"We don't take anything off the table until we have people look at it and help us independently [understand] if there is something flawed with our process. 

"We believe in diversity, we believe in it as a value, we believe it's made us stronger. 

"People who have come into the league who are diverse have been very successful and have made us better and we just have to do a better job. 

"We have to look, is there a better thing we can do to make sure we're attracting that best talent and making our league inclusive?  

"If I had the answer right now, I would give it to you. I think what we have to do right now is to step back and say 'we're not doing a good enough job here, we need to find better solutions and better outcomes'." 

Asked if he bears personal responsibility for the league's continued problems in bringing more diversity to the coaching ranks, Goodell replied: "I do. As a league I don't think there's a subject we've discussed more frequently. I do bear that responsibility as do all our clubs." 

Munich will host the first NFL regular-season game in Germany, with the country set to host four games over the next four seasons.

Speaking at his pre-Super Bowl news conference in Los Angeles, commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed that Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena will be the venue for the game and another during that four-year period. Eintracht Frankfurt's Deutsche Bank Park will also stage a pair of NFL regular-season clashes.

"We are very pleased to welcome Munich and Frankfurt to the NFL family and are excited to reward our fans in Germany for their passion by bringing them the spectacle of regular-season NFL football," a statement from Goodell released shortly after read.

"We look forward to staging our first game in Germany at FC Bayern Munich's fantastic stadium later this year and to exploring areas of broader collaboration with the Bundesliga."

Five International Series games will take place in 2022. Two will be played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium while the Jacksonville Jaguars will play a home game at Wembley.

Also on the schedule is a return to Mexico City's Azteca Stadium, which will host a game in 2022 having not done so since the 2019 season because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dates and matchups for the games will be confirmed in an announcement later in the year.

There was no shortage of stars on show on Tuesday as the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks overcame the Lakers on the road. A clash of such magnitude, pitting Giannis Antetokounmpo against LeBron James and Anthony Davis would normally be the highlight of a Los Angeles sports week, but this is no ordinary Los Angeles sports week.

Indeed, Giannis, LeBron and Co. were in the position of warm-up act as Los Angeles plays host to Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium on Sunday. In a city they and the Los Angeles Dodgers have long since dominated, the Lakers must reconcile themselves with playing second fiddle as the Rams attempt to win their first Super Bowl for the city of Los Angeles.

That the Rams are part of the headline act is not especially surprising given their level of elite talent and the blockbuster trade for quarterback Matthew Stafford made with this end goal in mind. What is more eyebrow-raising is that any fallout from the latest Lakers defeat will quickly be buried for hype surrounding a title game involving the team that arrived at LAX prior to tip-off at Crypto.com Arena.

Cincinnati's is a true tale of the underdog. From 4-11 last year with their number one overall pick Joe Burrow tearing his knee ligaments in 2020, to a 10-7 campaign and consistent Houdini acts under pressure from Burrow in postseason wins over the Las Vegas Raiders, top-seeded Tennessee Titans and three-time defending AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs. The Bengals are the team nobody saw coming.

And, going into Sunday's meeting with the Rams, they are the team few expect to pull off a shock again despite their evident proclivity for upsetting the odds.

Antetokounmpo's sublime 44-point effort, in which he silenced a Lakers crowd trying to will a largely uninspiring team to a comeback that only briefly seemed possible, was almost routine. If Burrow and this team from the Midwest thwart a stacked Rams squad built to deliver immediate Super Bowl glory, the response will be anything but.

There is no expectation on the shoulders of the Bengals, whose young quarterback appears completely undaunted by the prospect of playing on the grandest stage in American sport for a team that prior to this season had not won a playoff game this century.

"At the end of the day, your mindset stays the same. When I played in the state championship in high school, it feels the same as playing in the Super Bowl does now," Burrow said in Tuesday's media conference. "At that moment in my life that was the biggest game I had ever played in, so everything kind of feels the same, I've just had more reps in those situations so I'm probably even a little calmer.

"Honestly we've never even spoken about the playoff drought once this whole season. We have a really young team that doesn't really understand the historical significance of what we're doing. We're just out there playing football and getting better while we're doing it."

Burrow is not feeling the weight of history, but he is appreciative of the significance of getting a Bengals franchise that has too often been a laughingstock to the cusp of a first Lombardi Trophy.

He added: "Being from Ohio and being the quarterback of the Bengals is something that I'm really proud of. Growing up there really weren't a lot of Bengals fans in high school and in the middle school, it was all Steelers and Browns and there were a few Bengals fans here and there that kind of got made fun of a little bit, so I think as a team we're excited to put a product on the field that the fans are proud of and kind of gives them bragging rights they haven't had that in a little while, so I'm excited to give that to them."

Free of expectation and free of pressure, the Bengals' position as underdogs could well be to their advantage. Regardless of whether they complete a remarkable run with the ultimate triumph on Sunday, with Burrow under center the Bengals look destined to compete for headline billing for years to come.

Tom Brady is at peace with his decision retire after 22 seasons in the NFL but the legendary quarterback will "never say never" about the possibility of a sensational comeback.

The 44-year-old,who became the first man to be named Super Bowl MVP with two different franchises when winning Super Bowl LV with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year, announced his retirement from the sport last week in the aftermath of the Bucs' 30-27 playoff defeat to the LA Rams.

Speaking publicly for the first time after announcing his intention to quit the sport, Brady said he is looking forward to challenges outside of football even if the prospect of a return will never be completely off the table.

"I'm just going to take things as they come," Brady told Jim Gray on the "Let's Go!" podcast. "I think that's the best way to put it, and you never say never.

"At the same time, I feel very good about my decision. I don't know how I'll feel six months from now.

"I try to make the best possible decision I can in the moment. And, again, I don't think it's about looking to reverse course. I'm definitely not looking to do that. 

"But at the same time, I think you have to be realistic and you never know what challenges there are going to be in life. I loved playing, [but] I'm looking forward to doing things other than playing."

Brady, who led the New England Patriots to 17 division titles between 2000 and 2019, cited a desire to spend more time with his family as a major factor in his decision to retire. 

"Everything certainly comes at a cost," he said. "The cost is, 'what am I missing out on in other aspects of my life?' 

"As you get older, you experience things outside of the sport that demand the level of attention and energy that football has always gotten, and it's time for me to commit to those types of things.

"I felt like it was just the right time to do it.

"There's a time and a place for everything. I've had an amazing time, and I'm really excited for what's ahead. I don't know what that means or where it will take me, but I know that it'll be fun and exciting, and I'm going to make the most of whatever opportunities present themselves."

Brady, who would remain under contact with the Bucs for the 2022 season if he did opt to reverse his retirement decision, led the NFL for both passing yards and passing touchdowns in 2021's regular season, and maintained his record of never experiencing a losing season in his career.

The New Orleans Saints are set to hire defensive coordinator Dennis Allen as their new head coach to replace long-time leader Sean Payton, according to reports.

Payton stepped away from the head coaching role two weeks ago after the Saints missed the NFL playoffs with a 9-8 record.

Allen previously held the head coach role with the Oakland Raiders from 2014 to 2014 but struggled with a 8-28 record.

Former NFL head coaches Brian Flores and Doug Pederson were also interviewed for the role along with Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and their own special teams coordinator, Darren Rizzi.

The Saints have improved drastically in scoring defense since hiring Allen as defensive coordinator in 2015 and are not looking for an overhaul.

"Those eight teams that let go of head coaches, I think their situations are different than ours," Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said prior to the coaching search commencing.

"We had our coach retire with a lot of really good things in place already. That doesn't mean that it can't be improved and built upon. But we don't see it as a wholesale culture change, roster change, anything like that."

The Miami Dolphins have confirmed the appointment of San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel as their new head coach.

McDaniel has joined the Dolphins on a four-year contract according to ESPN, taking over from Brian Flores who was sacked in January.

The Dolphins had been searching for a new head coach for a month, with McDaniel edging out Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

The Miami job is 38-year-old McDaniel's first head coaching role at any level, having spent 15 seasons in the NFL and two in the UFL.

He was also previously an assistant coach for the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Washington Football Team, Houston Texans and Denver Broncos.

McDaniel replaces Flores who had a 24-25 record after three seasons, including the Dolphins finishing third in the AFC East with a 9-8 record in the 2021-22 season.

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr has lavished praise on teammate Cooper Kupp ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl clash with the Cincinnati Bengals, and believes his fellow receiver "deserves" to win at SoFi Stadium.

Beckham Jr joined the Rams in November on a one-year contract after being released by the Cleveland Browns, and is now just one game away from winning his first Super Bowl after the Rams beat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game.

Kupp led the NFL this season in the key receiver statistics with 145 receptions, 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns, and has 386 receiving yards so far in the postseason, which is the third all-time most in playoffs history before the Super Bowl.

During media duties for the NFL ahead of the Super Bowl, Beckham Jr laid out how impressed he has been with the 28-year-old, stating his belief that Kupp deserves to win on Sunday.

"Coming here and being with Coop has just been really amazing for me," he said, "You come in somewhere where they have their guy and you watch and you witness greatness between him and [Matthew] Stafford as far as the attention to detail, the relationship that they have.

"That's everything you want from a QB and a receiver, details, the way he actually runs routes, the football knowledge.

"I've learned so much from him, he's a great guy, obviously an incredible talent and I'm just happy that I made the right choice [to join the Rams]. Now I just feel like he deserves this trophy and he deserves a ring and I just want to help them finish the job."

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford also gave his thoughts on the game, insisting that despite having stars such as himself, Von Miller, Kupp and Beckham Jr, they have reached the Super Bowl because of the efforts of the entire team.

"As far as a superstar heavy team, I think that's what the outside world probably thinks of us, but for us we just come in to work every single day and we've got nothing but guys who want to work hard."

Stafford also reserved praise for Kupp and Beckham Jr, adding: "Getting to work with Cooper and Odell has been a blast. Obviously I've gotten a full year with Cooper and his greatness and his ability to affect the game both with the football [and] without the football... such a great teammate, such a great friend and football player.

"Then with Odell he's come in since day one, his ability to grasp what we're asking him to do mid-season with no OTAs, no training camp, it was really impressive from my standpoint what he's been able to grasp, go out there and execute and play. He's been huge for us in the playoffs.

"It's been a blast working with those guys, really everybody on this team. I pinch myself sometimes thinking about the opportunity I'm getting to do, getting to play this game, the Super Bowl, with a bunch of great teammates and a bunch of great coaches, just happy for the opportunity." 

The Houston Texans will appoint Lovie Smith as their new head coach, reports claim.

Smith has just completed his first season with the Texans, where he is associate head coach and defensive coordinator.

However, the 63-year-old – who was the head coach of the Chicago Bears from 2004 to 2012 and led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2014 to 2015 – is now expected to be promoted to the head coach role.

The Texans fired first-year head coach David Culley last month after a disappointing 2021 in which Houston went 4-13.

Smith was named the NFL Coach of the Year in 2005 and has reached two Super Bowls, with the Bears in 2006 and as defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams in 2001.

He has won 89 games as a head coach in the NFL, losing 87 and is replacing the only coach to have been sacked after just one season in the history of the Texans franchise.

Eight of the nine head-coaching roles that were vacant heading into the NFL's offseason have now been filled.

Zac Taylor believes Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is "built for this stage" ahead of Super Bowl LVI on Sunday.

The Bengals face the Los Angeles Rams in their first Super Bowl in 33 years following a dramatic AFC Championship Game win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Burrow completed 23 of 38 attempts for 250 yards and two touchdowns in that game as the Bengals rallied from 21-3 down to win 27-24 in overtime, equalling the biggest comeback win in a Championship Game.

Sunday's game at SoFi Stadium will be Burrow's first taste of the Super Bowl, yet Taylor thinks the 25-year-old will take it in his stride.

"He is built for this stage. He's played for state championships, he's played for national championships, now he's playing for the Super Bowl," the Bengals' head coach told a media conference.

"I think that's been his expectation all along. He's not surprised by it. He rises to these occasions, and we're certainly happy to have him.

"When you believe that your quarterback can take it the distance, it allows everybody just to play that one per cent better because they know on the other side that the trigger man's capable of doing some really special things.

"So I think he's helped us take us to these heights. We have a lot of confidence in him. He's got a lot of confidence in himself. It's fun to be a part of."

Burrow agreed with Taylor's assessment of his confident nature and does not think he will be overawed by the magnitude of Sunday's game.

"I have always been a confident player," Burrow said.

"More so now than I have ever been before, because I feel like I've proven to myself that I can play at a high level at this level of football.

"I think as a quarterback, it's really important to exude that confidence, not only in yourself but all of your team-mates.

"The quarterback sets the tone for the culture in the locker room, and so I try to be that kind of player and person for everybody here."

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