What is wrong with the Cincinnati Bengals? Is it the players? Coaches? Scheme? To some, the answer is obvious.
I believe the obvious answer is the owner of the Cincinnati Bengals Mike Brown. A friend of mine and I were having this very discussion the other day, and he said to me, "No NFL team is as bad as the Bengals have been the past 20 years because of bad luck or lack of talent," and I seem to agree with him.
Sure, this franchise has had some bad breaks here and there along the way, absolutely! They have had numerous players arrested in the past three years and some very serious injuries and bad luck along the way, but who should be held responsible?
I say Mike Brown.
Up until this point, I have given Mike Brown the benefit of the doubt. Many people call Mike Brown "cheap" and claim he is only in it for the money. I disagree with that statement.
Each and every year, Brown spends up to the salary cap. He brings in new guys that he believes will make this franchise better. However, I conclude that Mike Brown just doesn't have what it take to make responsible football decisions.
Mike Brown is NOT a General Manager! He should NOT be in charge of making decisions that affect the ability of this team, talent-wise, to compete in the National Football League. His role is simple: cut the checks and reap the benefits of other experience and knowledge of the game of football.
I am of the opinion that if Mike Brown would hire a talented general manager that could help this football team succeed, he would make more money than he ever has off this organization. At the end of the day, currently, all 32 teams can only spend so much money due to the salary cap.
This isn't Major League Baseball we are talking about here, it's the NFL. With that being said, there is no advantage for a "big market" team over a "small market" team when it comes to what each team can spend on talent.
When it comes down to it, as I mentioned earlier, Mike Brown absolutely DOES spend up to the salary cap each year, he just spends his money on the wrong players! Brown just simply makes horrible "football" decisions!
Since the team's inception in 1968, the Bengals have had their share of ups and downs, but none like what they have experienced since Mike Brown took over for his father and founder of the team, Paul Brown, after his death in August 1991.
Since taking over the franchise in 1991, Mike Browns current record is 97 wins and 177 losses. He is on his fifth head coach and has drafted first round "busts" such as Akili Smith, Reinard Wilson, Ki-Jana Carter, "Big Daddy" Dan Wilkinson, and David Klingler (none of which still play in the NFL) and have made the playoffs only one time.
If Mike Brown has any interest in owning a successful NFL franchise, he should swallow his pride, hire a general manager, and take a back seat when it come to making football decisions. He has the smallest scouting department in the NFL, which requires Head Coach Marvin Lewis to wear numerous "hats," such as college scout, GM, and head coach, a task that many coaches would ultimately be unsuccessful.
Dear Mr. Brown, please do what you do best, cut the checks, hire a GM, and sit back and reap the benefits of having people in charge who actually know what they are doing. I guarantee you will make more money off a winning product that any of the past products you have put on the field.