I must be dreaming, it's week 8 of the NFL season and the young, inexperienced Bengals are 5-2 overall and 1-0 in the AFC North. It finally seems like Marvin Lewis has found his groove with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Leading the way with the NFL's No. 4 ranked overall defense allowing only 297.4 yard per game, reminiscent of those great Baltimore Ravens defenses of Lewis' past. Before this article turns into a love letter for the Bengals and head coach Marvin Lewis, let's get to the purpose of this article.
During the "Marvin Lewis Era" in Cincinnati the Bengals have been average at best, totaling a 65-69 record under the leadership of Marvin Lewis. While the Bengals past nine seasons have been tough to watch, yes even the two lackluster playoff appearances (2005 & 2009), the Bengals consistently made moves both in the front office and in the locker room that left fans scratching their heads.
One of the things the Bengals have consistently done throughout the years is both sign and draft players who end up being complete bone-heads both on and off the field. If you want to find out who makes the cut on the life of the Seven Biggest Bone-Heads of the Marvin Lewis Era than do yourself a favor move on to the next slide.
Honorable mentions: Terrell Owens, Carson Palmer and Frostee Rucker (just because his name is Frostee).
What better way to kick off this list than by starting with a player who had 2.5 pounds of marijuana delivered to his house. Oh wait, I forget to mention authorities also found six additional pounds of Mary Jane inside this player's house. That is a grand total of 8.5 pounds of marijuana found in one day for Bengals WR Jerome Simpson.
I can't think of a way to talk your way out of having 8.5 pounds of marijuana in your house. In spite of all this, Jerome has somehow magically managed to not get suspended by Roger Goodell and is still playing every Sunday.
I'm not a lawyer by any means but I do have some common sense, and that common sense tells me Mr. Simpson and his 8.5 pounds of marijuana are going to end up in jail someday soon.
It seems inevitable that Jerome Simpson will be the next NFL player spending a season or two behind bars, and that is legitimate reason to put him at No. 7 on our list of Bengal's Bone-Heads. Thank you Jerome for making my decision easy.
Simpson better start playing like every Sunday is his last because well, one of these next few Sundays could truly be his last.
The Bengals are at least a little to blame for this next one, simply because they drafted this next player so high after numerous underwhelming and even non-existent workouts (i.e. leaving the 2009 NFL combine).
Coming in at a whopping 335 pounds, oh I mean No. 6 on the Bengals Bone-Head's list is OL Andre Smith. Coming out of Alabama in 2009 Smith was considered one of the most promising OL prospects in recent memory, similar to seven-time pro-bowler Orlando Pace.
Smith quickly put those comparisons to rest by showing up at the biggest interview of his life, the 2009 NFL Combine, looking like he sat on a couch eating Krispy Kremes and downing liter upon liter of Mountain Dew.
Andre Smith left the 2009 NFL Combine early after recording a shirtless 5.28 40-yard time and an abysmal 19 reps on the bench press. Just to put those 19 reps into perspective Penn State center A.Q Shipley, who was drafted in the seventh round of the draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, put up 33 reps.
Smith's bone-headed actions didn't end when he left the draft combine, he continued acting like a bone-head all the way to the Bengal's front office. Smith was in contract negotiations for the entirety of his rookie training camp and through the first three preseason games of the 09-10 season.
If that wasn't enough, Smith eventually fracture his foot in a non-contact drill during the Bengals 2010 training camp, placing him on injured reserve for the majority of the year.
In just three years in the NFL Smith has played in only 21 games. He better be saving a lot of that 21 million dollar contract, because thanks to his unbelievable bone-headed behavior his NFL days appear to be fading fast.
To be honest with you, I have no idea how Marvin Lewis has lasted this long as the Cincinnati Bengals head coach. Most likely, its because the front office appears to care more about proving a point than they care about winning championships.
Marvin Lewis isn't a bad coach by any means. He's done a good job with an average group of players the last few years, but that doesn't change the fact that his place on an NFL coaching staff is as the defensive coordinator. Marvin Lewis just doesn't have the fortitude or the leadership skills it takes to be a successful NFL coach.
In the two years the Bengals made the playoffs under Lewis, 2005 & 2008, the team played lethargically and uninspired. Whether or not you have the talent to win big games, it is the coaches job to motivate and inspire, and Marvin Lewis does not do that.
Above all, what makes Marvin Lewis a bone-head is his inability to stick to his word. Here's an example: After some speculation by the media on the Bengals signing recently waived WR Chris Henry Marvin Lewis responded by saying: "The Bengals have absolutely no interest in signing Chris Henry."
What happens less than a month later? Chris Henry is back on the Bengals 52 man roster. Whether that was a move by the front office or by Lewis himself we will never know, but it exemplifies the fact that Marvin Lewis does not have the ability to stand up for what he believes in.
Lewis' indecisiveness and lack of consistency has moved him into the back end of this list. Lucky for Lewis the Bengals front office and I don't agree on just how big of a bone-head he is.
I hope Marvin Lewis proves me wrong, but until he does he will safely remain at the No. 5 spot on this list.
Disclaimer: You might want your lawyer present while you are reading this article.
It is probably best for all of us if I just list the arrests and legal troubles RB Cedric Benson has accumulated since being released by the Chicago Bears in 2008 and becoming a Cincinnati Bengal in September of 2008.
1. Cited for operating a boat, yes you heard that right a boat, under the influence of alcohol AND resisting arrest on May 3, 2008.
2. Cited for driving under the influence, June 7, 2008.
3. Arrested for allegedly punching a bartender in the face, June 29, 2010.
4. Charged with a misdemeanor account of assault on a family member, July 11, 2011. While all of those supposed crimes are bone-headed enough, what sets Cedric Benson apart is that he vehemently denied doing any of them.
There are two things Cedric Benson needs to do to get himself off this list. First, he needs to lock himself inside his house and not go anywhere during the summer months of May, June and July. The summer is just not kind to Benson. Secondly, Benson needs to learn to man up and accept responsibility for his bone-headed actions.
The Bengals seem fixated on giving Cedric Benson second chances over and over again. Do yourself a favor Benson and stay out of trouble so you don't make your way to the top of this list come this time next year.
Let's get one thing out in the open. Chad OchoCinco was a dominant, flashy and consistent wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals. The only problem was that he was also consistent at being the best distraction he could be, week in and week out.
If OchoCinco spent half as much time focusing on becoming a leader for his team as he did tweeting, he might be remembered more fondly in the city of Cincinnati.
Every time you turned on a Cincinnati Bengal game, granted there weren't too many opportunities, it seemed like OchoCinco was receiving an excessive celebration penalty or a thousand dollar fine for his antics.
Whether it was his $20,000 fine for "bribing" an official, his $5,000 fine for wearing an orange chin-strap, his $25,000 fine for putting on a sombrero and poncho after a touchdown or his $30,000 fine for tweeting during a preseason game; OchoCinco's antics constantly drew attention towards himself, rather than drawing attention to the Bengals as an organization.
Tallying up all the publicly announced fines for OchoCinco brings us to approximately $200,000. If throwing away $200,000 in just a few years isn't bone-headed enough, just throw in the fact that OchoCinco couldn't figure out how to play nicely with QB Carson Palmer and we see how OchoCinco clearly qualifies for this list.
OchoCinco was always great at talking a big game but not backing it up and figuring out new creative ways to get fined by the NFL.
How do you get fans to rejoice over the departure of your organization's six-time pro-bowl receiver who holds the record for most career yards (10,783) and most career touchdown receptions (66)? Give OchoCinco a call, well actually just send him a "tweet" and I'm sure he will tell you how.
Disclaimer: This article is in no way meant to disrespect the unfortunate and tragic death of Chris Henry. I am with many of you in believing that Chris Henry truly turned his life around before his passing in 2010.
As any of his coaches would tell you, WR Chris Henry had all the potential in the world. His explosive collegiate career at West Virginia was often overshadowed by his innate ability to draw unsportsmanlike penalties that at least once in a game against Rutgers resulted in an ejection.
Like usual, the Cincinnati Bengals took a risk on Henry by drafting him in the third round of the 2005 NFL draft. Just when it seemed like Henry was ready to take his game to the next level, his off the field behaviors stopped him in his tracks.
Between 2005 and 2008 Chris Henry racked up the following charges:
1. Possession of marijuana
2. Concealment of a firearm
3. Aggravated assault with a firearm
4. Providing alcohol to minors
5. Alleged sexual assault of a minor
6. Driving under the influence
7. And finally two separate charges of aggravated assault
Sadly enough Henry just couldn't seem to stay out of trouble and the Bengals waived him in 2008 (although they re-signed him the next year).
It seemed as though Chris Henry never truly understood his potential, constantly engaging in bone-headed behavior. If Henry hadn't tragically passed away he may have cleaned his life up and moved himself off this list. Unfortunately he was never given that chance.
If there is one thing Bengals fans have to look forward to every year it is seeing what bone-head acquisitions and moves Mike Brown will make throughout each and every NFL season.
Throughout Brown's tenure as Bengals GM he has consistently drafted players with character issues, refused to trade unhappy players and ruled the organization with a stubborn and iron fist.
This list wouldn't exist if Mike Brown was able to manage his organization effectively, sign only players without character issues and let go of his pride every once and awhile. Mike Brown's stubbornness was beautiful exhibited this year when he refused to trade disgruntled QB Carson Palmer.
While the situation luckily worked out in his favor, receiving two potential first round draft picks for Palmer, the same can't be said for his handling of WR Chad OchoCinco. If Brown had traded OchoCinco when he initially requested to be traded in 2008, the Bengals could have ended up receiving the Washington Redskins 2008 first round pick in exchange for the receiver.
Instead Mike Brown stubbornly held on to OchoCinco and finally traded him to fellow AFC member the New England Patriots for a fifth and sixth round pick.
The bone-head actions of Mike Brown have solidified the Bengals as one of the worst NFL franchises in the last decade. While Brown's recent drafting of WR A.J Green and QB Andy Dalton have given Bengal fans reason to hope, I say: "Not so fast."
It is just a matter of time until Mike Brown makes one of his signature bone-headed moves that sends the Bengals back to the bottom of both the NFL and the AFC North. Please prove me wrong Mr. Brown. Prove to me that you really are the football mastermind that you say you are.
Until you prove that, you will have the No. 1 spot on this list permanently reserved for you.