Desperate Times

George HerronContributor IOctober 21, 2008

So here we sit at 0-7, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Marvin is still here despite the worst start in his tenure as the Bengals head coach. And Mike Brown is still here because he is making money. If we look at just this year there have been 3 head coaches fired and one general manager fired, all for better or equal performances that Mike and Marvin had turned in. Lane Kiffen had Oakland at 1-3 before he was fired, Mike Nolan was just recently fired and had San Fransisco at 2-5, that of course is two more wins that Cincinnati has, Scott Linehan was 0-4 with St. Louis and then of course Matt Millen was finally fired in Detroit.

Sure you can make an argument that all those coaches had to go, but then why is Marvin Lewis still here in Cincinnati, has he not worn out his welcome? If not by only having one wining season six years, but then by his deplorable demeanor towards the fans and press. What Mike and Marvin have "built" here is just as bad as what Matt Millen has done to the Lions in Detroit. Matt Millen was the laughing stock of the NFL and probably won't be able to get a job organizing pee-wee football in Alaska, but somehow Mike and Marvin march on.

Where they have failed.

  1. The Draft. This is a team that is adamant about building through the draft. they tell people year after year that they do not spend money in the off season on free agents because they build through the draft, but how much have they actually been able to build? In looking at every Marvin draft they have only kept 44% of the players they drafted, 38% if you don't include this year in which they have kept 7 out of 9 picks. Lets break that down further, how many of the top 3 picks do they still have? I know you find gems late in the draft, but lets focus on they "can't miss guys" that are so key in the first three rounds. Not including this year they are averaging keeping 1 per draft. I think that it is time for the Bengals to re-thing their draft strategy. They need to focus on need and not the best player on the board. The only teams that can look at the best player are teams that don't have holes the size of moons like the Bengals do. they also need to not draft "projects" so early in the draft. Examples of drafting best player instead of need; Chris Perry, first round 2004 draft. We needed a corner back and Chris Gamble was on the board and we took Perry. Odell Thurman, second round 2005 draft. Did we need to take linebackers back to back in that draft? No, but they felt that he was too talented to pass up, where is he now? Frostee Rucker, third round 2006 draft. We drafted a defensive end the previous four years did we really need a defensive end for the third pick that year? Kenny Irons, second round 2007 draft. Did we really need to take a running back that early in the draft when we had Rudi Johnson, Chris Perry and Kenny Watson on the roster? Examples of taking project players too early; Mathais Askew, fourth round 2004 draft. Middle of the draft and Marvin takes on a project that could have waited, plus we had holes to fill and needs to be met, did we really have the luxury to throw away a pick on a project? Stacy Andrews, fourth round 2004 draft. I understand that he had three fourth round picks that year, but does that mean that two of them have to be project players? Get some damned value please. Jeff Rowe, fifth round 2007 draft. Drafting a young quarterback with Carson in his prime? Not only that but drafting a project of a quarterback in the fifth round when we desperately needed a defensive tackle, which we got in the next round and cut by the way. This will forever stand as one of the worst decisions that Marvin ever made. This is worse in my mind than the drafting of Chris Perry. Jerome Simpson, second round 2008 draft. Yes we needed a receiver, but a guy out of Costal Carolina, a division 1AA school? There were so many other guys on the board at that point that could have contributed sooner and might be better in the long run. Unfortunately the Bengals fell in love with this guys big hands and impressive long jump in the combine. We could have drafted him in the third or fourth round I am sure and got better value in the second round. Hell this team is 0-7 and have one of the worst offenses in the league, I think that we could have got something we needed instead of something that might or might not turn out in three years.
  2. Free Agency. The Bengals have done very little in free agency since Marvin has been here. Since 2003 the biggest names to come through here have been Sam Adams, Bryan Robinson, Nate Webster, Michael Myers, Bobbi Williams, Ben Utecht, and Antwan Odom. Who you say? You would not be the only one. The only one of those who have had any impact has been Bobbi Williams. The jury is still out on Odom and Utecht. But I don't think that it would hurt them to be a little more aggressive in free agency. I am not saying that they should go all Redskins on us, but there are impact players out there that we could use to help fill holes.
  3. Been burned on problem players. Mathais Askew, Odell Thurman, Chris Henry, AJ Nicholson, Reggie McNeal. That is six players between primarily two drafts. That is allot of players to loose for one reason or another and all at one time. They need to be a better judge of character, and to be honest I think that they are improving in this area, but still the sins of the past are haunting today. It takes a long time to get over almost a whole draft worth of players that are gone.
  4. Bad luck. The Bengals have had plenty of that. Going all the way back to Ki Jana and Akili. But more recently; Dennis Weathersby, Chris Perry, David Pollack, Adam Kieft, Ethan Kilmer, Kenny Irons, Keith Rivers. All guys that have suffered injuries that cost them multiple seasons, or their careers. Again that is a whole draft worth of people and that is hard to come back from. This is the one area where I can honestly say that it is not Mike and Marvin's fault. Bad luck happens to everyone, but man does it ever seem to follow the Bengals around like a rain cloud.

I of course am not telling Bengals fans anything they didn't already know, but I had to get out my disgust for the direction, or lack there of, for this football team. There needs to be a change, Marvin is a start, but Mike needs to go too, or better yet, hire a GM. I know it will never happen, but there are plenty of football savoy people out there who can help steer this ball club in the right direction. I will officially throw my name in for consideration.