If the Cincinnati Bengals could get a do-over on their schedule and pick another place to open their season, they'd likely take it.
With a new coach and offensive system, star receiver A.J. Green out with an ankle injury and an unsettled offensive line, heading into Seattle's CenturyLink Field -- one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL -- isn't the ideal way to start.
Plus, Bengals left tackle Cordy Glenn has been placed in the concussion protocol, putting his status for Sunday's game against the Seahawks in doubt.
Not exactly the debut first-year head coach Zac Taylor, who is familiar with the setting in Seattle after having been an assistant the past two seasons with the NFC West rival Los Angeles Rams, was looking for.
"I've seen the worst of it," Taylor said. "Seattle is one of the top places on the road that I've ever been part of. We really worked on it springtime on our non-verbal communication. That's one of the things that we stress in everyday life -- communication, verbal and non-verbal. It's a great test. We feel like we have an answer."
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton echoed Taylor's comments.
"When you play in the noise, you've got to have great communication," Dalton said. "You've got to make sure everybody's on the same page. Everybody's dialed in. Everybody's listening.
"We'll be prepared for it. We know it's going to be loud -- first game of the year. Seattle's a loud place anyway. We can't have the mistakes. We can't be jumping offsides. We can't do the stuff that will set you back. We've got to prepare for it and mentally be ready for it."
The Bengals have pumped in loud music during practice to prepare for the Seahawks.
"It's better than not having it," Dalton said. "But it's not the same as Sunday."
Throw in the Seahawks' acquisition of three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, and things could really get tough for the Bengals, who lost nine of their last 11 games last season to finish 6-10.
The Seahawks finished 10-6 and made the playoffs last season in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year.
They acquired Clowney last weekend in a trade with Houston for two linebackers and a third-round draft pick next year.
"I'm glad it's over, the whole process of being traded and everything," Clowney said. "I'm glad I can be a part of this team here now and get going on a new journey."
Clowney went through his first practice in Seattle on Monday.
"His excitement about coming here and being part of this team and ready to take advantage of this opportunity to show where he belongs. He's not going to let this go by now," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "He wants to show us that we've got to have him here. That's thrilling for us to hear. We'll see what goes down in the long haul."
Clowney will play on one end of the Seahawks' defensive line, with Ziggy Ansah on the other. Ansah, another former Pro Bowl player, signed as a free agent with Seattle in the offseason.
"Those guys are like bookends. They're exactly what you're looking for on the edge," Carroll said. "I'm hoping we'll be able to see these guys come together and be a factor and play off one another and complement each other."
--Field Level Media