As I have stated throughout this article, the Bengals have had a very un-Bengals-like draft this year. Meaning, they have been sensible, strategic, wise and a little bit lucky.
In the last 72 hours, Marvin Lewis, Mike Zimmer and Jay Gruden have been oozing confidence and claim to have had everything go their way in the early going. Gruden went so far as to liken the Bengals acquisition of Green and Dalton as like 'opening your favorite present as a kid on Christmas day'.
While I have more faith in the Bengals coaching staff than in many previous years, I have to admit at being weary about the way things went at first. However, after sitting through too many press conferences and re-watching film on the guys we picked up, I can see where the coaches are coming from and how they expect the team to take shape, and I have to admit, I'm excited.
While I don't expect immediate success, I feel as though the future is bright in Cincinnati. The team seems to have a sense of direction, and more importantly, a fuller sense of identity going forward. With so many young players on the team and Gruden and Zimmer ready to mold each and everyone of them, there is reason to believe that success is possibly in the Bengals future.
So to summarize, the main positives to take away from this draft are: the Bengals organization being level-headed sensible and less erratic, Marvin Lewis having much more swing than in previous years (supposedly taking Dalton over Mallett despite Mike Brown's disagreement) and a great set of young guys who are lacking in character concerns and bursting with potential.
And finally, while I have high hopes for Dalton as the future of the franchise, it's going to be a bumpy road in Cincinnati with the teams success in 2011 likely contingent on Cedric Benson being the figurehead of the offense, which you can read about here.