As they currently sit with a 2-6 record, much of the chatter involving the Cincinnati Bengals pertains to what the team should do going forward.
Should they completely rebuild and start all over, or is it just a matter of making small changes here and there?
Like the title of this piece states, does it even matter?
When Mike Brown is your owner—with 200 career losses in 314 games since taking over the team in 1991—until he changes how he does business, it's irrelevant who is coaching/quarterbacking this team. It's a broken formula, and we fans have paid the price for it.
Sure, we get the occasional division title, and that ropes us into believing that things are changing in Bengal-land, but the more things change, the more they stay the same.
What does he care, though? Thanks to NFL revenue sharing, he's making money either way, and has a nice, full stadium every Sunday. He also cuts various corners, such as not hiring a GM or any sort of real, legitimate front office.
On numerous occasions, he has also completely undermined the authority of Marvin Lewis, such as when he brought back the late Chris Henry when Lewis wanted nothing to do with him.
Not that Lewis is completely blameless in his whole tenure (another article for another day), but this is one situation where he got wronged, and the players see this stuff and read between the lines. They know what's going on and see who is really in charge.
No legitimate coach is ever going to come here with stuff like that going on combined with the overall cheap ways of the organization. Getting someone like Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher is a pipe dream.
In terms of player personnel, outside of Leon Hall, Johnathan Joseph and arguably Carson Palmer, which of our draft picks have panned out in recent memory? We are still waiting on Andre Smith, Jerome Simpson, Rey Maualuga and Keith Rivers from recent draft classes.
The latter two are solid, but not game changers as of yet, and Rivers, so far, is better known for being destroyed by Hines Ward than anything else.
Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham have shown promise, but will they be properly utilized over the long haul? It's a coaching issue, which goes to show that this whole thing is cyclical.
As for Carson Palmer, his eventual replacement may or may not be on the way, but whomever that guy is, he won't be in any sort of desirable situation.
It's sad to be writing a piece like this, but I'm realistic. Many positions can be filled through the NFL draft, but unfortunately, there isn't an owner draft.