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Thread: Bengals stuck in mediocrity and in no hurry to do anything about it

      
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    Default Bengals stuck in mediocrity and in no hurry to do anything about it

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    Bengals stuck in mediocrity and in no hurry to do anything about it Story Highlights
    In Cincinnati, coaches who lose 10 in a row are retained
    As long as he hovers around .500, Marvin Lewis has a job for life
    The problem with the Bengal-ization is it hurts the city's image

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    Marvin Lewis was all smiles after having his contract renewed following a 4-12 season.
    AP

    In Cincinnati, we are the NFL's Charlie Brown, in all ways. We're forever approaching the football, with a steady leg and a sweetly nave heart. You know the rest.

    But this is Ohio. We love football. We can't help ourselves. That's why even those of us who have been here a couple decades, long enough to see how things work with the Bengals, were optimistic that this time, things would be different. Marvin Lewis would meet with Mike Brown and from that summit would arise a new day, in which the Bengals would announce they'd rejoined the National Football League.

    Didn't happen.

    The coach and owner met for two long days and decided the coach would come back and very little would change. A scapegoated assistant or two would take a fall (nice knowing you, offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski) and candid discussions would occur in which Brown would once again make it clear who runs things. Beyond that, same old box of rocks.

    We deal in a different reality here in Cincinnati. We exist in a parallel NFL universe, where coaches who lose 10 in a row and 12 of 16 are retained. Where, in retrospect, the most disappointing season in franchise history is now looked upon by the coach and owner as a jumping-off point for better Sundays to come.

    "I'm excited where we are,'' Marvin Lewis decided Monday.

    Do tell.

    When it comes to the Bengals, we don't have expectations, only dread. Please don't be as bad as last year. We want only to be relevant, and not even every year. We've been conditioned/bludgeoned into believing annual relevancy is not possible. It's not as if we want to be Pittsburgh or anything.

    In other places, real NFL towns, it's a cruel, bottom-line business. Win or dial Mayflower. Last week, speculation in New York centered on Tom Coughlin's job security. His Giants sat at 9-6, he'd won a Super Bowl just three years earlier. Four other coaches had been fired in midseason. Others hang by a thread. In Cincinnati, a 4-12 coach gets a new deal.

    You could look at the Bengals latest folly a few ways:

    It was a marriage of convenience. The Bengals would do no better than Lewis. Right now, Lewis would do no better than the Bengals. The coach couldn't be excited about taking a pay cut and an ego bang to coach in college (at, say, Pitt) or serving as some NFL team's defensive coordinator until he got another head coaching offer. The team couldn't be thrilled about trying to find a coach in the midst of labor turmoil. They needed each other. Or;

    Lewis has made his peace with Bengaldom. He has been entirely Bengal-ized. It's a realization that Mike Brown will not change, that he pays well, that he doesn't like to fire people, that his aspirations can be excavated with a decent shovel. Lewis can have a job for life in Cincinnati, as long as he remains loyal and keeps the ship on the course to mediocrity. His eight-year record (60-67-1, 0-2 in the playoffs) is right where it needs to be. This is a cozy place to work. Coaching for the Bengals can be like acquiring tenure as a college professor.

    Take your pick. Either way, the franchise is stuck in about 1975, and prefers it that way.

    The press conference Brown and Lewis gave Tuesday only added to the reality. Brown declared his personnel "department'' (one scout, two "consultants'', a director of football operations and a director of player personnel, same as when Lewis was hired in 2003) to be "all right. I don't apologize for our scouting,'' Brown said.

    Brown offered an arcane statistic he claimed proved how good the Bengals are in finding talent: In the last 10 years, Brown said, the Bengals rank 10th in the NFL in the total number of games played by players they've drafted. That those same players helped immensely in Cincinnati's exemplary 68-93-1 record in that decade evidently proves Brown's point. Or something.

    "We don't have 10 area scouts, falling all over each other,'' is how Lewis explained it.

    The Bengals don't have an indoor practice field. They're the northernmost team in the league without one. It has long been a bone of contention with Lewis. He sees the lack of a bubble as a metaphor for an ownership unwilling to commit to winning. At least he used to.

    Now, Brown says he's "not as keen'' on an indoor workplace as Lewis. Lewis, compliant, says it's OK, his boss has a labor issue to deal with first. Lewis also is perfectly fine with competing against two of the best front offices in the business in Pittsburgh and Baltimore, armed with the mom-and-pop crew he works with now. "I'm very satisfied with where we are,'' he said.

    Memo to Philly, Boston and New York: Please tell us how to deal with this situation. Beyond, of course, rolling over, which we've done for 20 years. We've all been Bengal-ized.

    Fans declare insurrection, then write their checks. Corporate suite lessors lament the economy, then write their checks. The Bengals sold out 57 consecutive games, until the middle of this year. The revolution starts tomorrow.

    The problem with all this Bengal-ness, this abject Bengal-ization, is that it spills from the football team all over the city's image. Nationally, the 'Nati used to be the Big Red Machine: Exemplary, clean-cut ballplayers who loved mom and country and always slid headfirst. Now, Cincinnati is Fly-over-ville, home to the Bungles, who finish 4-12 and re-up their head coach. We're not a big rube town. We're more of a medium-sized rube town.

    "People are not happy with us,'' Brown concluded. "That's what happens when you have the kind of season we've had.''

    Season, yes. Just the one bad season. We'll be back next year. The sky is the limit. Perhaps even 8-8.


    Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...#ixzz1AUNPVk2c
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    Default Re: Bengals stuck in mediocrity and in no hurry to do anything about it

    Brown offered an arcane statistic he claimed proved how good the Bengals are in finding talent: In the last 10 years, Brown said, the Bengals rank 10th in the NFL in the total number of games played by players they've drafted.
    Big deal... They have 2 winning seasons in 20 years...

    ... If interested, I have a ****-ton of Bengals crap left behind in my home... You pay the shipping, and I'll give it to you for free... I don't need it anymore.
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    Default Re: Bengals stuck in mediocrity and in no hurry to do anything about it

    As many bitter Bungles fans will tell you (in a way that can give you a terrible case of Mirthbladder), their management is about the maintenance of its own status quo.

    Starvin' Marvin made a lot of noise about wanting change before he'd consider re-signing or getting close to agreement on a new contract.

    He signed and then there was the press conference wherein he just about agreed to be Mike Brown's *****. Brown's family is successful financially and they don't even have to put a consistently positive product out on the field.

    The bonus for us is that we get to watch them implode for 18 seasons out of 20. Well, this is the age of parody in the league...
    'I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ***-kickers, ****-kickers and Methodists.'

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    Default Re: Bengals stuck in mediocrity and in no hurry to do anything about it

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    Big deal... They have 2 winning seasons in 20 years...

    ... If interested, I have a ****-ton of Bengals crap left behind in my home... You pay the shipping, and I'll give it to you for free... I don't need it anymore.
    I thought that was a bizarre statement myself. That's something you shouldn't be proud of. The fact that most of the players you've drafted have lead you to 2 winning seasons out of 10. I mean, I know Brown is an idiot but this is beyond that if he actually is proud of this "achievement".

    As a Steelers fan, I hope that he continues to draft like this for the next 10 years
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    Default Re: Bengals stuck in mediocrity and in no hurry to do anything about it

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    I thought that was a bizarre statement myself. That's something you shouldn't be proud of. The fact that most of the players you've drafted have lead you to 2 winning seasons out of 10. I mean, I know Brown is an idiot but this is beyond that if he actually is proud of this "achievement".

    As a Steelers fan, [HIGH-LIGHT]I hope that he continues to draft like this for the next 10 years[/HIGH-LIGHT]
    Not to mention hope that his football acumen, drafting prowess and megalomania heve been genetically transferred to his daughter in order to keep that dynasty going. We wouldn't necessarily want anyone sensible in charge there - too many giggles to be had.
    'I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ***-kickers, ****-kickers and Methodists.'

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