Team Defense; A rookie veterinarian; Cincy does

Boyd played 89 games as a Bengal, making him one of their most experienced attacking players. He went through it all trying to win it all.

Boyd: “I think it feels good. With all the hard work and all the teams and different things that I’ve been through. I’ve fought a lot of adversity throughout my career and I’ve had to deal with injuries and a lot of things. Now to say that we’re (collectively) a great unit all around. It feels good to know that we have a superior team now. We can go out there and beat any team.

“I think in my life (the Super Bowl) would probably be the biggest milestone for me. It would probably be the greatest achievement of my entire sports career.

“Like I said, that’s what I play for. I’ve been through a hell of a rollercoaster ride, ups and downs and injuries and things like that. It’s like a dream come true reality. It’s like a dream. You wake up and then you play the Super Bowl and you win and you talk about Disney World and you have your kids and your family on the field.

“It’s kind of a surreal feeling that I would love and want to experience. It would just make me feel so good inside and feel like everything I’ve done in my life, not just on the pitch and just everything I’ve done, making the right decisions, making the right choices and staying out of trouble. For me, even to be in a historic game, that would mean everything.”

Hubbard’s football career was also spent in Ohio and he wears his state pride on the field.

Hubbard: “I’m sure later everything will really sink in. But right now I’m really trying to focus, week after week, and get that next win. That’s really what got us here in as a team and I’m just trying to keep that mentality going, but obviously seeing the energy in the city, seeing the energy among the fans and knowing what that means, that motivates me every day.

“I just sat through the last minute of (Boyd’s) interview and everything (he said) is so true. These guys here today have been through so much and to experience it with them is special because throughout the lost seasons we all behaved, (we) treated each other with respect and did things the right way, all confident that one day we would get this breakthrough season and never watch back in. For this to happen is special to all of us.

“I heard a lot of people reaching out. It’s really cool to see how many people thanked me for the relief they felt, the time they spent watching the games, the good memories they’ve had from those wins this year.

“Everyone has been very respectful to my family and friends, just giving me some distance trying to focus and keep going. (Allowing me) to focus on the next game coming up and I’m sure every time that it will end and I will come back and enjoy it. But, right now, I’m really focused on beating the Kansas City Chiefs.”

Arrowhead Stadium is one of the loudest venues in the NFL, but a welcome challenge for the Bengals.

Boyd: “It’s really tough. I think a lot of guys and especially Joe (Burrow) are kind of ready for that. Because guys like him and Chase and guys who played in the SEC, played against opponents where there were hundreds of thousands of fans in the stadium. (We’re) going to have to be perfect in our hand signals and in communication.

“We have to stay locked in and keep our eyes on the quarterback and he will just make us take the right calls and we will know that will be the case”

Boyd hails from the Pittsburgh area and is close to Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Boyd and Donald played college ball together at Pitt.

Boyd: “It’s really tough. I think a lot of guys and especially Joe (Burrow) are kind of ready for that. Because guys like him and Chase and guys who played in the SEC, played against opponents where there were hundreds of thousands of fans in the stadium. (We’re) going to have to be perfect in our hand signals and in communication.

“We have to stay locked in and keep our eyes on the quarterback and he’ll just make us take the right calls and we’ll know it’s going to be there.”

Boyd hails from the Pittsburgh area and is close to Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Boyd and Donald played college ball together at Pitt.

Boyd: “He’s one of my guys, one of my closest friends. Just watching him thrive and be the best player in the league. Watching him compete for the Super Bowl and things like it made me want to reach this position. I know how hard he worked to get there, now that all my hard work and everything I apply to this team is starting to pay off.

“I’m very excited. I hope we can win this one and then we can play against them. I hope he plays well, I still want him to play well. It would be really good to play against a former teammate.”

Boyd also mentioned that 49ers cornerback K’Waun Williams is another former college teammate he could potentially face in the Super Bowl.

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