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bengalnutt
05-24-2009, 05:55 AM
Cincinnati Bengals


Rebuilding the Bengals: The offense can only get better
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The Bengals added first-round draft pick Andre Smith, right, to help protect QB Carson Palmer.


IN 'THE HUDDLE' BLOG

Get the latest buzz from around the NFL in 'The Huddle,' USA TODAY's football blog



Yahoo! Buzz Digg Newsvine Reddit FacebookWhat's this?By Gary Mihoces, USA TODAY
At this year's training camp, the Cincinnati Bengals will star in Hard Knocks, the HBO and NFL Films series that takes an inside look at an NFL team's summer rigors.
The Bengals should be well rehearsed. They suffered many hard knocks in last year's 4-11-1 season.

Quarterback Carson Palmer missed 12 games in 2008 with an elbow problem, and the Bengals ranked last in total offense. That was a major departure from 2005, when the league's sixth-ranked offense led Cincinnati to an 11-5 finish and the AFC North title.


Palmer has pronounced himself 100% healthy even though he didn't have surgery to fix a partially torn ligament and tendon in his throwing elbow. What's more, he likes what he sees in the team this offseason.

"Definitely, by far, it's been the best offseason program since I've been here," Palmer says. "There have been no distractions. Everyone has been here to work, and that's been great for us."

There is still much to be done for the Bengals to regain their status as a factor in the AFC North, where the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens have reigned lately.

Wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who had 12 touchdown catches in 2007, signed for big money with the Seattle Seahawks. To fill the vacancy, the Bengals signed Laveranues Coles from the New York Jets. He had 70 catches last season for 850 yards and seven touchdowns.

While Coles might prove an able replacement for Houshmandzadeh, another key question is whether Chad Ochocinco (the former Chad Johnson) will return to form.

He had six 1,000-yard receiving seasons going into last season, catching 48 touchdowns in the process.

Was his production last season (53 catches, 540 yards and four TDs) a product of the quarterbacking, done primarily by departed backup Ryan Fitzpatrick? Or was it a sign Johnson's best days are behind him?

Coach Marvin Lewis thinks Palmer's return will revive the air game.

Lewis told NFL Network last week, "I'm confident, obviously, in our quarterback position. I'm confident in our ability to go back to throwing the football.

"I think we'll see a better Carson Palmer. I think we'll see a … guy that was like a caged bear all year having to go through what he had to go through."

Ochocinco could benefit from a return to form by Palmer, and Palmer could benefit from a significantly improved offensive line. In 2007, the Bengals allowed 17 sacks. The total soared to 51 last season.

The makeover has begun. The Bengals released tackle Levi Jones, a first-round draft pick in 2002 who had battled injuries.

The incoming rookies include tackle Andre Smith, drafted sixth overall, and center Jonathan Luigs, a fourth-rounder.

A better offense could further help a defense that improved from its No. 27 ranking in 2007 to 12th a year ago under new coordinator Mike Zimmer. Lewis thinks an improved running game, led by improved blocking up front, is key.

"The best defense is sitting on the bench drinking Gatorade," Lewis says. "I think, offensively, our inability to run the football earlier in the year really hurt our defensive football team."

Smith, the 6-4, 332-pounder from Alabama, could be a key contributor in a hurry. Although he was a dominator in college, he was suspended by the Crimson Tide for his final bowl game. In February, he left the scouting combine unannounced.

Still, Lewis says the Bengals were impressed in their meetings with Smith. "When our coaches began to talk with him about football, you watched this guy really light up talking about the protections, who's supposed to have this guy … all those things that kind of go unnoticed at times," Lewis says.

Smith says he's happy to be a Bengal. "I made a few bad decisions a couple times, took some bad advice," he says. "I hate to have to learn that lesson on such a large scale in front of the whole entire United States, but it's a great lesson."

On the defensive side, the Bengals signed free agent safety Roy Williams, a former Pro Bowler who played for Zimmer when both were with the Dallas Cowboys.

Among the rookie newcomers who could provide immediate help are linebacker Rey Maualuga and end-linebacker Michael Johnson.

Maualuga, a 6-2, 249-pounder from Southern California, appeared on the predraft cover of Sports Illustrated with fellow USC linebackers Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews.

Cushing and Matthews went in the first round. Maualuga went in the second round, 38th overall. There were questions about his speed and mobility. Lewis says his play doesn't reflect that.

"They say he doesn't run that well, but every time I saw a running back go to the perimeter, he ****** them down," Lewis says.

Was Maualuga surprised not to go in Round 1? "Yeah, I was a little upset," he says. "But I think God works in mysterious ways. I'm just happy to be taken. I'm happy to get things going with the Bengals."

Johnson, a 6-7, 266-pounder, was drafted in the third round for his ability to pressure quarterbacks.

"He has unbelievable skills and ability," Lewis says. "We need to fit him into our defense right away and let him do one of the things he did well, and that's rush the passer."

One question about Johnson is his ability to play hard on every down.

"There are times in his film that he does exceptional things. … If he had done those things every play, he would have been one of the top three or four people picked," Zimmer says. "But that's our job to get him to play that way."

How will that go? Tune into Hard Knocks, beginning Aug. 21.

AROUND THE FIELD IN CINCINNATI

• Quarterback: After taking every snap in 2007, Carson Palmer missed 12 games last season with an ailing elbow. But the two-time Pro Bowler says he's healthy now. Ryan Fitzpatrick, the sub last season, signed with the Buffalo Bills. The Bengals replaced him with free agent J.T. O'Sullivan.

• Running back: The Bengals gave Cedric Benson a shot to restart his career last season, and he led the team with 747 rushing yards and received a new two-year contract. Chris Perry, a first-rounder in 2004 who couldn't stay healthy, was released. The team acquired Brian Leonard from the St. Louis Rams to help on third down.

• Wide receiver: The Bengals tried to keep mainstay T.J. Houshmandzadeh, but he bolted to sign with the Seattle Seahawks. The vacancy in the starting lineup was filled with the signing of Laveranues Coles. Chad Ochocinco matched Houshmandzadeh with four TD receptions last season but struggled through his worst year since his rookie season in 2001.

• Tight end: Palmer needs another target, and the draft may provide it. The newcomer is third-round draft pick Chase Coffman. He used his 6-5 frame to catch 20 TD passes as a collegian and won the John Mackey Award last season as the country's top tight end. He did break his foot in the Alamo Bowl, though.

• Offensive line: An overhaul was needed for the NFL's worst offense in 2008, and it started up front. The selection of tackle Andre Smith with the sixth pick in the draft is just the start.

• Defensive line: The need for bulk up front was addressed by the signing of tackle Tank Johnson. The Bengals had 17 sacks last season and hope rookie Michael Johnson can add spark. Ends Antwan Odom and Robert Geathers are coming off injuries.

• Linebacker: Keith Rivers looks to pick up where he left off in a 2008 rookie season that was cut short after seven games by a broken jaw. He will be joined by fellow Trojan Rey Maualuga, a second-round draft pick. They should flank middle man Dhani Jones. Rashad Jeanty and Brandon Johnson, major contributors in 2008, will likely come off the bench.

• Secondary: Third-year cornerback Leon Hall led the team last season with three interceptions. Safety Roy Williams, a five-time Pro Bowler, was signed as a free-agent after being released by the Dallas Cowboys. He's a heavy hitter with limitations in pass coverage but had good years in Dallas under Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

• Special teams: Shayne Graham, whose 85.6% field-goal accuracy is fifth-best all-time in the NFL, was designated as the Bengals' franchise player in February. With the offense struggling, Kyle Larson was the busiest punter in the NFL last season (100 punts), but he averaged 39.5 yards. He was cut, and rookie Kevin Huber, who played collegiately at Cincinnati, is expected to take over.

• Coaching staff: Last season's 4-11-1 finish dropped Marvin Lewis' record to 46-49-1 in six seasons as head coach. In Zimmer's first season as defensive coordinator last year, he brought respectability to a defense that ranked 12th overall.

• Outlook: When healthy, Palmer is an elite quarterback. But the Bengals will have to come up with an offensive line that can keep him healthy and open holes for the running game. Zimmer figures to guide continued improvement on the defensive side. But in a division with four games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens, getting back to 8-8 would be an accomplishment for Cincinnati. And the draft picks will have to bring help in a hurry to get the Bengals back to .500.

Waynesboro KennyG
05-24-2009, 06:12 AM
Good stuff. I like reading through the points at the bottom. Really good summation.

BennyBengals
05-24-2009, 07:22 AM
Good article - and 8-8 is a realistic end of season record that i'd be ok with!

EatonFan
05-24-2009, 11:24 AM
Good article - and 8-8 is a realistic end of season record that i'd be ok with!

Why would anyone be satisfied with mediocrity?

JungleJuice
05-24-2009, 11:50 AM
Why would anyone be satisfied with mediocrity?

Well maybe cause when you are looking at the bigger picture considering the Bengals finished 4-11-1 last season and were a mess, the fact that so many rookies and new players will be leaned on to produce and be on the field early in the year unless something happens and the stars align 8-8 would be quite the turnaround in our division. I love the Bengals but seriously all the playoff talk I read about on here is fun and optimistic but I just see it being a 2 year process IMO.

so in the end would I love 11-5? sure but 8-8 is a bit more realistic soo far. and compared to 4-11-1 or 7-9 would be a step in the right direction.

WhoosierDey06
05-24-2009, 12:28 PM
Well maybe cause when you are looking at the bigger picture considering the Bengals finished 4-11-1 last season and were a mess, the fact that so many rookies and new players will be leaned on to produce and be on the field early in the year unless something happens and the stars align 8-8 would be quite the turnaround in our division. I love the Bengals but seriously all the playoff talk I read about on here is fun and optimistic but I just see it being a 2 year process IMO.

so in the end would I love 11-5? sure but 8-8 is a bit more realistic soo far. and compared to 4-11-1 or 7-9 would be a step in the right direction.




Totally agree, the Bengals are basically putting a new and hopefully
a better team on the field than previous years. 8-8 may be mediocrity
but it is a giant step in the right direction. Anything better than 8-8 is
a bonus. I am very optimistic about the up coming season, however I
am also realistic. The Bengals finished 8-8 in 04' and went 11-5 in 05',
IMO that may be the most likely scenario. It will take atleast 2 years
for the players to learn the system, gel together, and basically play
instinctly rather than over thinking...


:tiger:

Winston
05-24-2009, 12:32 PM
Good article - and 8-8 is a realistic end of season record that i'd be ok with!

Please tell me that that exclaimation mark at the end of the sentence hints at sarcasm?

Winston
05-24-2009, 12:36 PM
People, we went 4-11-1 because our franchise QB was gone for 75% of the year. With him back we go at least 8-8, but with our free agent acquisitions and our stellar draft why on EARTH would anyone expect anything less than 10-6 and a playoff berth?

Jesus guys, have you been beaten down so much that 8-8 is acceptable?

Start believing, and more importantly, start expecting better things from this team.

CAP-BENGAL
05-24-2009, 12:37 PM
Well maybe cause when you are looking at the bigger picture considering the Bengals finished 4-11-1 last season and were a mess, the fact that so many rookies and new players will be leaned on to produce and be on the field early in the year unless something happens and the stars align 8-8 would be quite the turnaround in our division. I love the Bengals but seriously all the playoff talk I read about on here is fun and optimistic but I just see it being a 2 year process IMO.

so in the end would I love 11-5? sure but 8-8 is a bit more realistic soo far. and compared to 4-11-1 or 7-9 would be a step in the right direction.

This has been the attitude of the entire marvin era it seems with fans... Go 8-8 and you have "something to build on." Yes, you're not terrible, but yet not that good. Not to mention, this is what Mike Brown loves. It keeps the fans reasonably optimistic, the coaching staff intact, and no money has to be spent in the offseason; meaning nothing gets done! 8-8 is mediocrity that keeps you out of the playoffs and leaves you a poor draft pick. And from what you've seen in the past, once you settle for mediocrity you get mediocrity: In six seasons, 8-8, 8-8, 8-8, 7-9. This season, it's 10+ wins or bust for me. What's the point in being a fan and being satisfied with "average"... If the Bengals don't win a playoff game, not just get in, but don't win a playoff game this year, then it's a disapointment. Period. This team hasn't won a playoff game since the 1990 season. I was 6. I'm now 24. That's 18 straight years of losing and failure. If this year makes 19, then it's just another sad stat to our sad record. This team has the pieces to get things done like anyother team in this league. I'm finished with the mediocrity.

but 8-8 is a bit more realistic soo far. and compared to 4-11-1 or 7-9 would be a step in the right direction.

you're an idiot.

eliminate08
05-24-2009, 01:32 PM
People, we went 4-11-1 because our franchise QB was gone for 75% of the year. With him back we go at least 8-8, but with our free agent acquisitions and our stellar draft why on EARTH would anyone expect anything less than 10-6 and a playoff berth?

Jesus guys, have you been beaten down so much that 8-8 is acceptable?

Start believing, and more importantly, start expecting better things from this team.

I agree with Winston and Cap-Bengal.

I believe this team is poised for the playoffs this year.

Non of this lets go 8-8 crap to build on. This team could go 13-3 and it wouldn't surprise
me that much. I honestly cant find a weakness on this team right now besides maybe
Nickelback. Everywhere else we are deep and looking good.

The O-line was the problem last year, it has been taken care of. We are not the 4-11-1
team from last year. We are already building for the playoffs THIS YEAR.

pat5775
05-24-2009, 02:02 PM
I agree with Winston and Cap-Bengal.

I believe this team is poised for the playoffs this year.

Non of this lets go 8-8 crap to build on. This team could go 13-3 and it wouldn't surprise
me that much. I honestly cant find a weakness on this team right now besides maybe
Nickelback. Everywhere else we are deep and looking good.

The O-line was the problem last year, it has been taken care of. We are not the 4-11-1
team from last year. We are already building for the playoffs THIS YEAR.

I agree 100%. If Palmer can stay healthy, and with this schedule, there is no reason this team should finish with any less than ten wins. Any less than ten and I consider the season a failure.

bradfritz21
05-24-2009, 02:10 PM
Part that stood out the most to me and has me the most excited is Lewis told NFL Network last week, "I'm confident, obviously, in our quarterback position. I'm confident in our ability to go back to throwing the football.


Sounds like Marvin's making sure that we don't go dive, dive, curl, punt every possession.

I'm also hoping that it means that we run a lot more three wide sets with no fullback (I'd like it as our base formation).

voyager6
05-24-2009, 02:10 PM
People, we went 4-11-1 because our franchise QB was gone for 75% of the year. With him back we go at least 8-8, but with our free agent acquisitions and our stellar draft why on EARTH would anyone expect anything less than 10-6 and a playoff berth?

Jesus guys, have you been beaten down so much that 8-8 is acceptable?

Start believing, and more importantly, start expecting better things from this team.

My estimate is 9-7, but I am factoring in that the coaches will lose at least one, if not two games due to time management, conservative play calling and failure to get the best people on the field.

bengalnutt
05-24-2009, 02:18 PM
... I will wait till the season plays out before I decide whether it was a success or not. IMHO I do think 10 wins is a real possibility. I think it will be very important to come out of the gate with some early wins. I think it will hinge on how fast the O-line meshes. If we can get some early confidence, the sky is the limit...

CaptainCanada
05-24-2009, 02:21 PM
People, we went 4-11-1 because our franchise QB was gone for 75% of the year.

I'm going to play devils advocate here, the Bengals were 0-4 with Palmer under center last season. How do you expect that will change with an undrafted free agent with no games under his belt playing center and a rookie with no games under his belt playing right guard against the two best and most complex defenses in the NFL four times a year?

Winston
05-24-2009, 02:24 PM
I'm going to play devils advocate here, the Bengals were 0-4 with Palmer under center last season. How do you expect that will change with an undrafted free agent with no games under his belt playing center and a rookie with no games under his belt playing right guard against the two best and most complex defenses in the NFL four times a year?

Because I do. Next question?

Who2Dey
05-24-2009, 02:29 PM
8-8 is failure. It was good enough in 03, and 04...but look what we had before that. Now I've had my filling of .500 football with underacheiving teams. I got the sweet taste of winning in 05, and anything less isn't good enough.

wilson
05-24-2009, 03:04 PM
People, we went 4-11-1 because our franchise QB was gone for 75% of the year. With him back we go at least 8-8, but with our free agent acquisitions and our stellar draft why on EARTH would anyone expect anything less than 10-6 and a playoff berth?

Jesus guys, have you been beaten down so much that 8-8 is acceptable?

Start believing, and more importantly, start expecting better things from this team.

I believe, and I'm expecting better things from this team. I'm expecting playoffs regardless of what others say.

This has been the attitude of the entire marvin era it seems with fans... Go 8-8 and you have "something to build on." Yes, you're not terrible, but yet not that good. Not to mention, this is what Mike Brown loves. It keeps the fans reasonably optimistic, the coaching staff intact, and no money has to be spent in the offseason; meaning nothing gets done! 8-8 is mediocrity that keeps you out of the playoffs and leaves you a poor draft pick. And from what you've seen in the past, once you settle for mediocrity you get mediocrity: In six seasons, 8-8, 8-8, 8-8, 7-9. This season, it's 10+ wins or bust for me. What's the point in being a fan and being satisfied with "average"... If the Bengals don't win a playoff game, not just get in, but don't win a playoff game this year, then it's a disapointment. Period. This team hasn't won a playoff game since the 1990 season. I was 6. I'm now 24. That's 18 straight years of losing and failure. If this year makes 19, then it's just another sad stat to our sad record. This team has the pieces to get things done like anyother team in this league. I'm finished with the mediocrity.

you're an idiot.

I'm tired of mediocrity, too. I'm also bummed that we fell below mediocrity.



I agree with Winston and Cap-Bengal.

I believe this team is poised for the playoffs this year.

Non of this lets go 8-8 crap to build on. This team could go 13-3 and it wouldn't surprise
me that much. I honestly cant find a weakness on this team right now besides maybe
Nickelback. Everywhere else we are deep and looking good.

The O-line was the problem last year, it has been taken care of. We are not the 4-11-1
team from last year. We are already building for the playoffs THIS YEAR.

And I agree with Winston, Cap-Bengal and Nate. For the first time in a very long team this team went out and did what they needed to do in the offseason to make this a better team. I'm excited, and I'm expecting big things from this team.

8-8 is failure. It was good enough in 03, and 04...but look what we had before that. Now I've had my filling of .500 football with underacheiving teams. I got the sweet taste of winning in 05, and anything less isn't good enough.

I've had enough with 8-8, 7-9 and 4-11-1. We've got the talent, now let's see the coaches do their part. No more misused time outs, obvious play calling, 10 men on the field, and poor clock management. This team is ready now. This is Carson's 7th year in the league. The time is now. Coaches, do YOUR job!!

mancunian
05-24-2009, 04:10 PM
Looking at the roster, for the first time since Lewis arrived I think the defence is stronger the offence, and part of the reason we've had those .500 years was the defence couldn't stop my mum and she's 73.

If that defence continues to improve and the offence gets half way back to what it was we have a chance of going 10 -6 or at the very least 9 - 7.

BANJAXED
05-24-2009, 04:14 PM
I want a Lombardi Trophy

This year

Next year

and every year. :SoapBox:

mancunian
05-24-2009, 04:23 PM
we all do, but I'd settle for the first one for now

BANJAXED
05-24-2009, 04:26 PM
we all do, but I'd settle for the first one for now

I'm sorry

do you hope for a mediocre job?

"decent" health?

a middle of the road love life?

No you dont. :rock on:


Settling for something is what people do when they dont want to put their heart out there for the best.

mancunian
05-24-2009, 04:31 PM
I said for now.....lets just get this first one in the bag and then worry about repeating. We've been in existence for 40 odd years and we've not won a SB yet so hoping for complete and utter domination for eternity is stretching things a little.

Of course I want the Bengals to win EVERY game but thats blinking hard......

BANJAXED
05-24-2009, 04:35 PM
I said for now.....lets just get this first one in the bag and then worry about repeating. We've been in existence for 40 odd years and we've not won a SB yet so hoping for complete and utter domination for eternity is stretching things a little.

Of course I want the Bengals to win EVERY game but thats blinking hard......

I'm tired of people "settling" for being decent - like that makes for a great season <_<

mancunian
05-24-2009, 04:38 PM
or am I just being realistic? ...that my minimum expectation is to win at least one SB?

what would you "settle" for?

Dricis
05-24-2009, 04:49 PM
We were in almost every game last year, including several that became blow outs late in the game. Our defense will be even better this year due to many factors, such as some FA signings, the draft, and another year in zimmers system. A better defense against what is supposed to be an easier schedule? That alone is several wins(+2). Our offensive line couldn't be any worse than last year, and should be much improved, add a couple of wins(+2). Add in palmer, thats gotta be atleast 2 wins(+2). Lastly, add in a bunch of very angry players on this team with something to prove, all of which are at the ota's learning and focusing on the TEAM, thats gotta be worth a win(+1). So our 4 wins last year, plus those 7, should put us around 11 wins, give or take if we have a bad game.

I could see us going 10-6, 11-5, though I do think a lot of our success depends on how quickly the o-line gels. We need them to become a force very early in the season to get us off to a fast start and allow our defense to stay rested. If our defense can get some breaks longer than a 3 and out, unlike last season, they could easily climb into the top 10.

mancunian
05-24-2009, 04:51 PM
Marvin Lewis was hired because of his track record as a DC but we've yet to see that in Cincy. I was impressed with Zimmer's improvements last year and I can only see them getting better with the additions that have been made in the off season.

busamboy
05-24-2009, 04:54 PM
Why would anyone be satisfied with mediocrity?

because its a bengals fan :lol:

JungleJuice
05-24-2009, 05:52 PM
This has been the attitude of the entire marvin era it seems with fans... Go 8-8 and you have "something to build on." Yes, you're not terrible, but yet not that good. Not to mention, this is what Mike Brown loves. It keeps the fans reasonably optimistic, the coaching staff intact, and no money has to be spent in the offseason; meaning nothing gets done! 8-8 is mediocrity that keeps you out of the playoffs and leaves you a poor draft pick. And from what you've seen in the past, once you settle for mediocrity you get mediocrity: In six seasons, 8-8, 8-8, 8-8, 7-9. This season, it's 10+ wins or bust for me. What's the point in being a fan and being satisfied with "average"... If the Bengals don't win a playoff game, not just get in, but don't win a playoff game this year, then it's a disapointment. Period. This team hasn't won a playoff game since the 1990 season. I was 6. I'm now 24. That's 18 straight years of losing and failure. If this year makes 19, then it's just another sad stat to our sad record. This team has the pieces to get things done like anyother team in this league. I'm finished with the mediocrity.





you're an idiot.

How many teams go from 8-8 to 7-9 to 4-11-1 and turn it around to be a competing team every year. No I am not satisfied with mediocrity. Im just being a realist. most teams that become a every year winner have to go through a process of getting back on track.
there are always one year wonders but I would rather the confidence build slowly and take hold than having a great season and have a bunch of guys buy into their own hype ala 06 Bengals. Realistically I just dont see the change over night. I hope to god that Bengals prove me wrong but saying they are gonna be a playoff team in our division over 1 draft and a FA and off season the FO actually tried to do something are gonna be the same people on here next year yelling at season ticket holders for buying tickets if we dont make the playoffs.
Like I said if the level of play is better 8-8 could be a good start... hopefully not what they shoot for at any means but another losing season would be crushing.
I just dont see the Bengals coming out of nowhere to be a dominant football team.
that is all.

BTW calling me an idiot?? internet tough guy points for you for being too stupid to realize your opinion nor mine is a fact.

JungleJuice
05-24-2009, 05:58 PM
This has been the attitude of the entire marvin era it seems with fans... Go 8-8 and you have "something to build on." Yes, you're not terrible, but yet not that good. Not to mention, this is what Mike Brown loves. It keeps the fans reasonably optimistic, the coaching staff intact, and no money has to be spent in the offseason; meaning nothing gets done! 8-8 is mediocrity that keeps you out of the playoffs and leaves you a poor draft pick. And from what you've seen in the past, once you settle for mediocrity you get mediocrity: In six seasons, 8-8, 8-8, 8-8, 7-9. This season, it's 10+ wins or bust for me. What's the point in being a fan and being satisfied with "average"... If the Bengals don't win a playoff game, not just get in, but don't win a playoff game this year, then it's a disapointment. Period. This team hasn't won a playoff game since the 1990 season. I was 6. I'm now 24. That's 18 straight years of losing and failure. If this year makes 19, then it's just another sad stat to our sad record. This team has the pieces to get things done like anyother team in this league. I'm finished with the mediocrity.



you're an idiot.



so in the end would I love 11-5? sure but 8-8 is a bit more realistic soo far. and compared to 4-11-1 OR 7-9 would be a step in the right direction.[/b]

Read that one again genius I never said 7-9 was acceptable.

JungleJuice
05-24-2009, 06:10 PM
People, we went 4-11-1 because our franchise QB was gone for 75% of the year. With him back we go at least 8-8, but with our free agent acquisitions and our stellar draft why on EARTH would anyone expect anything less than 10-6 and a playoff berth?

Jesus guys, have you been beaten down so much that 8-8 is acceptable?

Start believing, and more importantly, start expecting better things from this team.

You just answered your own question my friend.
Drafts dont offer a season changing turnaround in the first year.
Once again Im just being a realist because I cant justify putting aside the last 23 years Ive watched the Bengals to believe that. Its because they have made me skeptical.
was it an amazing offseason? yes.
Am I pumped for my 7th year as a season ticket holder because of this? yes again
I feel we are on the right track I just dont believe that having a team with soo many new and rookie players can gel and produce up to the standards we want so quickly. unlike other people on here I respect other peoples opinions and would much rather see myself proved wrong but I just cant just forget the track record. Its like having a woman who breaks your heart over and over again

sadly my wall is up.

WhoosierDey06
05-24-2009, 06:52 PM
Its like having a woman who breaks your heart over and over again

sadly my wall is up.


Bingo...


I tell my friends every year the Bengals are going 19-0. I feel the talent is there
but many other variables besides talent have an affect and can determine
the outcome of a game. Like previously stated, time management and conservative
play calling are just a couple variables that can sometimes sway the outcome of
games. I am not settling for mediocrity, I am just factoring in the other variables
that are involved with playing football. I will always believe the Bengals can and will
win every game, however if they end up 8-8, I'll be let down big time, but I will atleast
know they are improving.


:tiger:

JungleJuice
05-24-2009, 07:06 PM
Bingo...


I tell my friends every year the Bengals are going 19-0. I feel the talent is there
but many other variables besides talent have an affect and can determine
the outcome of a game. Like previously stated, time management and conservative
play calling are just a couple variables that can sometimes sway the outcome of
games. I am not settling for mediocrity, I am just factoring in the other variables
that are involved with playing football. I will always believe the Bengals can and will
win every game, however if they end up 8-8, I'll be let down big time, but I will atleast
know they are improving.


:tiger:

This is pretty much what Ive been trying to say.
Im not a hater I want them to crush everyone.
Im just not putting on my Orange and Black goggles yet.

UCMehayward
05-24-2009, 08:11 PM
Totally agree, the Bengals are basically putting a new and hopefully
a better team on the field than previous years. 8-8 may be mediocrity
but it is a giant step in the right direction. Anything better than 8-8 is
a bonus. I am very optimistic about the up coming season, however I
am also realistic. The Bengals finished 8-8 in 04' and went 11-5 in 05',
IMO that may be the most likely scenario. It will take atleast 2 years
for the players to learn the system, gel together, and basically play
instinctly rather than over thinking...


:tiger:

This and for this reason only I say we do atleast win 10 games this year! We finally have a leader that can influence that locker room better than Marvin could, or anybody else for some years now. CARSON!!! He has gripped this team and claimed it for his own. I gurantee that he become the vocal and emotional leader for this team. In previous years, I say his he might of got 4 more with his arm. But now with his arm, and leadership, look to see this team rocket like alot of NFL Fans and BENGAL Fans believe they will to 10-6 Wild Card!

Derrick
05-24-2009, 08:18 PM
Why would anyone be satisfied with mediocrity?

Most people aren't! But we still have Brat the Beast as Offensive Coordinator. :frown:

pat5775
05-24-2009, 09:20 PM
I'm going to play devils advocate here, the Bengals were 0-4 with Palmer under center last season. How do you expect that will change with an undrafted free agent with no games under his belt playing center and a rookie with no games under his belt playing right guard against the two best and most complex defenses in the NFL four times a year?

Those four losses came against some of the best teams in the league: Baltimore, Tennessee, NY Giants, and Dallas. Plus, in those last two games against NY and Dallas, Palmer played incredible. The team played incredible. One or two plays go different in either of those games, Palmer and the Bengals come away with two wins, and this whole "They were 0-4 even with Palmer" wouldn't even be a discussion.

Baby Hawk
05-25-2009, 09:31 AM
Here’s what I hope to see when I watch the Bengals. Great effort with spectacular plays sprinkled through each game. I want to see us win more than we lose. I want to see us hand the Steelers a hard loss. I want us to get into the playoff this year, and most years. I really want to see our first SB win.

However to claim that anything less than a SB victory this year will be unacceptable, is too much. Not that a SB victory is too much. But to wallow in misery after a great season seems weird to me. Unless you think that every year there is 1 great team and 31 weak teams.

finso
05-25-2009, 09:37 AM
There is no way to predict how many wins this team will have this upcoming season.
Maybe after the preseason and the first two regular season games everyone will have a better idea.Atleast myself.

CAP-BENGAL
05-25-2009, 02:19 PM
BTW calling me an idiot?? internet tough guy points for you for being too stupid to realize your opinion nor mine is a fact.

Oh but lad my opinion is fact and you are yet still an idiot.

Read that one again genius I never said 7-9 was acceptable.

and if 8-8 is a step in the right direction from 7-9 then...

eliminate08
05-25-2009, 02:53 PM
We were in almost every game last year, including several that became blow outs late in the game. Our defense will be even better this year due to many factors, such as some FA signings, the draft, and another year in zimmers system. A better defense against what is supposed to be an easier schedule? That alone is several wins(+2). Our offensive line couldn't be any worse than last year, and should be much improved, add a couple of wins(+2). Add in palmer, thats gotta be atleast 2 wins(+2). Lastly, add in a bunch of very angry players on this team with something to prove, all of which are at the ota's learning and focusing on the TEAM, thats gotta be worth a win(+1). So our 4 wins last year, plus those 7, should put us around 11 wins, give or take if we have a bad game.

I could see us going 10-6, 11-5, though I do think a lot of our success depends on how quickly the o-line gels. We need them to become a force very early in the season to get us off to a fast start and allow our defense to stay rested. If our defense can get some breaks longer than a 3 and out, unlike last season, they could easily climb into the top 10.
Dead on Dricis, reps.

Another thing to add to this is an O-line of Whit - Livings - Cook - Williams - Smith is set
up for the run. Livings is more of a pulling guard than Whit was, Cook has been said to be
really strong and Smith is a dominant run blocker. We all know what Bobbie and Whit can
do.

A RB core of Benson, Leonard and Scott could possibly be an elite attack behind this line.

This will take pressure off of Carson and give this defense rest.

This will make our defense even better. I know this is saying alot, but with an elite running
attack this defense could easily be in the top 5. Let alone with an improved pass rush.

JungleJuice
05-25-2009, 03:25 PM
Oh but lad my opinion is fact and you are yet still an idiot.



and if 8-8 is a step in the right direction from 7-9 then...

Took you a few days to come up with that one?
By simple math 8 is greater than 7 therefore is a gain.

P.S Call me an idiot again its endearing, let's get that post count up.

gsmommy03
05-25-2009, 03:39 PM
Why would anyone be satisfied with mediocrity?

I know, but hey, it's better than 4-11-1! :wink:

Truck_1_0_1_
05-25-2009, 04:50 PM
I agree with Winston and Cap-Bengal.

I believe this team is poised for the playoffs this year.

Non of this lets go 8-8 crap to build on. This team could go 13-3 and it wouldn't surprise
me that much. I honestly cant find a weakness on this team right now besides maybe
Nickelback. Everywhere else we are deep and looking good.

The O-line was the problem last year, it has been taken care of. We are not the 4-11-1
team from last year. We are already building for the playoffs THIS YEAR.
Look at this photograph... everytime I do it makes me laugh...

pat5775
05-25-2009, 04:54 PM
Look at this photograph... everytime I do it makes me laugh...

Love that song. But beware... lots of Nickelback haters on these boards :ninja: :ninja:

chrishicks
05-25-2009, 05:17 PM
People, we went 4-11-1 because our franchise QB was gone for 75% of the year. With him back we go at least 8-8, but with our free agent acquisitions and our stellar draft why on EARTH would anyone expect anything less than 10-6 and a playoff berth?

Jesus guys, have you been beaten down so much that 8-8 is acceptable?

Start believing, and more importantly, start expecting better things from this team.

Why? Because these are the guys who said chris perry would be fine as our only) last year, that let two of our best offensive lineman go to division rivals, eric steinbach cleveland and willie anderson baltimore. When ***** is what your fed on a consistent basis mediocrity doesn't taste too bad. Is 10-6 or 11-5 possible? Yes very much so. But given our track record to EXPECT it is just foolish

magishn1
05-26-2009, 11:31 AM
People, we went 4-11-1 because our franchise QB was gone for 75% of the year. With him back we go at least 8-8, but with our free agent acquisitions and our stellar draft why on EARTH would anyone expect anything less than 10-6 and a playoff berth?

Jesus guys, have you been beaten down so much that 8-8 is acceptable?

Start believing, and more importantly, start expecting better things from this team.

Our FRANCHISE QB was 0 - 4 and we still have an unknown OL. It's not being beaten down, it's being realistic.

BengalScientist
05-26-2009, 12:00 PM
Why would anyone be satisfied with mediocrity?

beacuse thats where we are right now...anything more than that is a bonus.. even though i would like to say, we win 10 games, but thats being a homer...

BengalScientist
05-26-2009, 12:01 PM
Why? Because these are the guys who said chris perry would be fine as our only) last year, that let two of our best offensive lineman go to division rivals, eric steinbach cleveland and willie anderson baltimore. When ***** is what your fed on a consistent basis mediocrity doesn't taste too bad. Is 10-6 or 11-5 possible? Yes very much so. But given our track record to EXPECT it is just foolish

:rock on:

Skyblade
05-26-2009, 12:34 PM
Those four losses came against some of the best teams in the league: Baltimore, Tennessee, NY Giants, and Dallas. Plus, in those last two games against NY and Dallas, Palmer played incredible. The team played incredible. One or two plays go different in either of those games, Palmer and the Bengals come away with two wins, and this whole "They were 0-4 even with Palmer" wouldn't even be a discussion.

It seems like that's become Marvin's newest motto with how much he uses it. "One or two plays and we win". It's not about those one or two plays, it's about an entire game. If we actually played well we could overcome those one or two plays, not blame them for all our losses. Palmer wasn't that brilliant, and we lost those games fair and square. It's not about almost, or what might have been. It's about what happened, and what happened is we lost those 4 games.

As for this year, really I'd be happier if we go 4-12 and (finally) fire Marvin and Brat, then if we go 8-8 and keep both the losers coaching next year. Really though 8-8 is about what I expect. Sure everyone is overcome with joy about our new players, and (like every year) they look good on paper. But really it always comes down to coaching, the coaches make those decisions that win or lose games. And with Brat and Marvin we know that they will consistantly lose the games.

Conservative coaching, conservative play-calling, no adjustments. These are the things that lose games. I have no reason to believe that Brat and Marvin will change their ways. Sure our offense will look good for a drive or two to start the game, then the opposing D will adjust and we will do nothing until Brat starts taking risk in the two minute warning.

Our O-line is going to be very shaky for at least the first few games. A rookie RT, a LT who hasn't played the position for a year or two, lining up next to a new LG (granted they were next to each other in college but that was a ways back), and of course a C who hasn't taken an NFL snap. Behind them we have a bad RB, backed-up by a RB who was just essentially cut and a 6th round pick RB from a small school. I really don't see any threat there. Benson is bad, Leonard seems to have potential. But again given our coaches and Brats insistence on using one RB - no matter how bad that RB is - Leonard will barely see the field.

WR is really the only strong position on O (besides of course QB). On paper at least. But the question is will Palmer regain his previous play level, will he have the chemistry with a new WR (Coles) and a WR who doesn't come to camp (Chad). And will the coaches be intelligent enough to untilize our depth at WR to open the game up. Given our depth we have one of the strongest WR cores in the NFL, but Brat doesn't use 5 WR sets, or 4 WR sets. Instead we will try to pound the ball with a rookie FB and a bad RB. While our strength at WR is left to sit on the bench.

So yeah we have potential. We have potential every year. And every year the coaches manage to ruin it. Zimmer's D will be a force, and they will win us some games. But it won't be enough, and eventually the D will wear out; because they are tired of losing games even when they play well. Or get worn down in the 4th quarter because the O can't stay on the field.

Some may call this pessimism. But really given the teams performance over previous years, there's no reason to expect otherwise. You guys are just doing what you do every year, getting your hopes up because of players names and speeds and abilities that are written on paper. But you gotta take what's on paper and put it on the field, and get it to work and mesh with the other 10 guys. And our coaches are very skilled at failing to do that. I predict 6-10 this season; with a give or take of 2 games. My only hope is we fire Marvin, fire Brat and make Zimmer HC (and give him full control).

Jasonew6
05-26-2009, 12:48 PM
Good article - and 8-8 is a realistic end of season record that i'd be ok with!

The only way I will be "satisfied" with 8-8 this year is if we have another injury plagued season, and/or our schedule winds up being a LOT tougher than it looks on paper right now.

GodFather07
05-26-2009, 01:54 PM
Put thingsin perspective, a team like New England had what was considered last year as a bad year, not making the playoffs, yet their record was 11-5..still not making the playoffs though.

For us to even get excited about a 8-8 record thinking we'll build on it is the dumbest thing Ive ever read, from reading some of these posts. If were going by your thinking then we shouldve won numerous Super Bowls years ago!

The time for medicrocy is over, its time to walk the walk this year, or literally walk after the season is over, no more excuses and false hopes.

freeperjim
05-26-2009, 02:07 PM
This and for this reason only I say we do atleast win 10 games this year! We finally have a leader that can influence that locker room better than Marvin could, or anybody else for some years now. CARSON!!! He has gripped this team and claimed it for his own. I gurantee that he become the vocal and emotional leader for this team. In previous years, I say his he might of got 4 more with his arm. But now with his arm, and leadership, look to see this team rocket like alot of NFL Fans and BENGAL Fans believe they will to 10-6 Wild Card!

I also sense a new, inspired Carson who has become more vocal about building a championship TEAM. His public dissing of o-stinko at the very least serves notice to stinky that this is a TEAM that will not tolerate his selfish, cancerous behaviour.

Interesting Carson comment in Sporting news interview:

"We had a very talented team, but after 2005 we couldn't come together like we needed to. I think the true team concept was somewhat lacking. You've got to love being a part of this team and sacrifice some individual goals for the team."

boomer55
05-26-2009, 02:13 PM
People, we went 4-11-1 because our franchise QB was gone for 75% of the year. With him back we go at least 8-8, but with our free agent acquisitions and our stellar draft why on EARTH would anyone expect anything less than 10-6 and a playoff berth?

Jesus guys, have you been beaten down so much that 8-8 is acceptable?

Start believing, and more importantly, start expecting better things from this team.


10-6????????????????, keep dreaming. QB was part of the problem but even Carson can't throw off his back. Your looking at an o-line that has new starters and one of them will be a rookie and that is "if" we get him innto camp on time, so 8-8 I would be happy with.

eliminate08
05-26-2009, 04:03 PM
10-6????????????????, keep dreaming. QB was part of the problem but even Carson can't throw off his back. Your looking at an o-line that has new starters and one of them will be a rookie and that is "if" we get him innto camp on time, so 8-8 I would be happy with.
:rolleyes:

Levi Jones had no knees, he is gone. Replaced by a more athletic Whitworth = Upgrade.

Nate Livings played very well last year and is a better pulling guard than Whit. Cook is a
very strong Center that has been in the system for a couple of years.

Guystink was a wuss = Upgrade

Bobbie we all know what he can do and this rookie you are talking about was the most
dominant run blocker in the draft and also only gave up 1 sack last year in the SEC.

Rookie tackles have been known to come in in their rookie year and perform at a high level.

Andrews just plain stunk.

UPGRADED O-LINE.

busamboy
05-26-2009, 04:08 PM
Put thingsin perspective, a team like New England had what was considered last year as a bad year, not making the playoffs, yet their record was 11-5..still not making the playoffs though.

For us to even get excited about a 8-8 record thinking we'll build on it is the dumbest thing Ive ever read, from reading some of these posts. If were going by your thinking then we shouldve won numerous Super Bowls years ago!

The time for medicrocy is over, its time to walk the walk this year, or literally walk after the season is over, no more excuses and false hopes.


I think I understand these false hopes of what 8-8 brings though. It seems like every year except last year we are right in the thick of things with like an 8-6 or an 8-5 record, only to lose the last 2 or 3 games in a row because we finally can't hack it. With these 8-8 records we have had, we have almost won the division more than just once. Everyone points to 2005 as a great year, but we actually blew that year. We started out great, but then lost our last 3 games, then lost in the playoffs. So if we are in the thick of things again, then that is all I want to hope for. If we are sitting at 8-6 or 8-5 and are in charge of our own destiny again, that is all I can ask for. Of course I hope history doesn't repeat it self and we lose the last 3 games.