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Matt700wlw
12-29-2007, 06:28 PM
'It's time to blow the whole thing up'
Saturday, December 29, 2007 3:06 AM
By Bill Rabinowitz

The Columbus Dispatch

CINCINNATI -- Little rides on the Bengals' season finale Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, a huge disappointment for a team that entered 2007 with lofty expectations.

One person had a feeling from the start that the Bengals had problems that could doom them. That person, coach Marvin Lewis, sat down for an exclusive interview to discuss what went wrong this season and what needs to change to prevent continuing disappointment.

Question: Was there a sense even before training camp that things weren't looking good?

Answer: It's been (that way) all the time. We've struggled with guys who are too much worried about what they make or what the next guy makes. That's hard to overcome, and we've had to deal with it for two years now. Until they get it figured out that that's not the way winning teams operate…

When you sign a contract, you sign a contract. You sign to play. You have two choices -- either to play or not to play. When you get in the way of other people as you are constantly talking about that and not moving on professionally, (it's harmful).

When you sign a contract, the next deal signed after yours makes yours somewhat outdated. That's the way it is.

Q: Has that really pulled this team apart?

A: It weighs on players because they can't get above that. Guys who are not -- how do I want to say that? -- people who aren't mentally strong enough to understand and deal with that, it's always an underlying factor in everything, instead of moving forward and trying to figure out how you become a champion. You're too worried about, "Am I putting myself out there? Am I putting myself at risk?"

Q: I haven't gotten the sense that many players have whined publicly about contracts.

A: They do it within the confines of their groups. Instead of spending extra time on trying to figure out how to be the very, very best and how to know the opponent the very, very best, they worry about petty things, things that don't really matter. There should not be a concern of, "How quickly can I get out of here (today)?" or, "Am I the last guy in here?" (They should think), "I should be the first guy in and the last to leave every night."

In the steps of building a football team, that's where you've got to be. At some point, you have to swallow and understand that this is about knowledge and understanding and being on the same page constantly. The inability to make critical plays comes from that, not doing the one or two things extra just when it's easy and convenient, but all the time.

Q: Are the injuries you've had a legitimate reason for your struggles or a convenient excuse?

A: It's an excuse. Your good players have to get you over the hump. You have to find a way to win the game at Cleveland, win the game at Seattle, win the game at Kansas City. Then you suck it up and regroup and find a way to win the next one until you get the guys back and healthy, which happened.

Q: Is there anything about your own coaching that you haven't handled very well?

A: Oh, we haven't handled anything very good. We're not good enough. We haven't coached anything very good. We've turned the football over too many times. We've allowed explosive plays early on defense. We haven't played good enough on third down on either side of the football. We've had receivers drop passes. We haven't run the football effectively enough. We haven't handled anything very well.

Q: Five years as coach probably puts you in the top half of the league in terms of longevity. Are you as energized as ever?

A: Oh yeah, I am. Every year is a new year and provides new chal-lenges. They all become the history of the last one. You've got to use it and move forward and move on. It's time for us to blow the whole thing up and start from scratch. We need to empty these shelves, empty these offices and start from scratch.

Q: Really?

A: Yeah, because we haven't been good enough. We're not going to sit here and be complacent with it, and guys have to understand that. It hasn't been good enough.

Q: When you say blow it up…

A: We've got to start from scratch. We have to blow it up and empty everything. Just like new people walking in this door and go from there. That's the only way we're going to shake away from the cobwebs. We've established a certain plateau or work ethic and we've got to move beyond that.

Q: But an outsider would look at this team and say this is not a roster devoid of talent.

A: Every NFL team has talent.

Q: Do you even want to come back next year?

A: Yeah. I'm excited about next year. I'm excited about our young players. I'm excited about the players who've shown they can play productive and winning NFL football, and I think they are. I think there'll be a changing and a new breeze, a refreshing breeze blow through. We'll have an opportunity through the draft and we'll probably pick and choose some other guys through our attrition to help retool.

But we've got to move forward and move out any malcontent that's still here or (giving) just average effort. Guys who can't make productive plays on and off the field we have to move (beyond).

Q: How much do you have to change the culture?

A: It's not a culture. It's just making sure nobody can hide behind the door. As the broom comes through and sweeps, you have to make sure guys don't hide behind the door a little bit and you miss them. When you don't win all the time, you're able to take a hard look at guys and know who's really on your side. That's the one thing that's helpful. You kind of knew who your fighters are.

Q: There's been much speculation about the Bengals having a general manager to oversee player acquisitions. How would you feel about that?

A: Those decisions aren't my responsibility. None of the speculations you refer to have been spurred by anything I've ever said.

Q: How likely are the two coordinators (Bob Bratkowski on offense and Chuck Bresnahan on defense) to be back?

A: I'm not going to talk about stuff like this.

Q: About some of the players. Obviously, the franchise guy is Carson Palmer, and he hasn't been the Pro Bowler he was last year.

A: I don't know that. He's had some games when he hasn't played quite as well, but he's also had to deal with some guys around him who haven't played as well.

Q: Is right tackle Willie Anderson definitely going to be back next year?

A: Willie has a contract for next year, yes.

Q: That's not what I asked you.

A: Nobody's definitely anywhere.

Q: But based on your endorsement of his play against the Browns on Sunday…

A: He played well. But we've got to see where the football team is. Part of being an NFL player is it's the whole thing. It's not one guy.

Q: Rudi Johnson is averaging 2.9 yards per carry. Sunday against the Browns, it looked like Kenny Watson made yards that Rudi hasn't made.

A: I don't know that. There was a lot more opportunity there to make yards on Sunday. Many guys would have made a lot of yards on Sunday. Running backs make yardage because you block folks.

Q: Do you have any regrets about giving Rudi as many carries as you gave him?

A: No, not at all.

Q: Much has been made of Chad Johnson supposedly being a distraction. Is it legitimate or is it outsiders making things up?

A: It's outsiders making up things. They like to have fun.

Q: So you have no issues with him?

A: It's an issue every time we drop a pass. Every time we don't run a route at the right depth, I have an issue. If he's not getting the safety blocked when he's supposed to get the safety blocked, then we've got an issue.

Q: Are you concerned about Chad's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, pulling shenanigans in the offseason?

A: Chad has a contract for a long time. (The club has an option through 2011.) That's all I'm saying. Longer than mine.

Q: You have several other guys whose contracts are up -- defensive end Justin Smith, safety Madieu Williams, linebacker Landon Johnson and guard Stacy Andrews, among others. How much of a priority is getting them re-signed?

A: Some of them will get re-signed. Some of them won't. That's part of the business.

Q: Where does Chris Henry fit in next year, or does he?

A: I don't know.

Q: Have you seen enough maturity and development in him to think he has turned the page?

A: He has been fine off the field, but I'm not sure he's done enough on the field as a football player. In his attention to detail in meetings, in his attention to detail on the field, he's not where he needs to be.

Q: You could do no wrong in this town for a couple of years. Now the honeymoon is over, as you're aware. How do you deal with that?

A: That's part of human nature. I don't have to worry about that. The only person I have to please is the person I work for. That's really all that matters.

Everybody wants to win. We're better now than when we started. The only way we can go and do it is when next season rolls around.

sonny
12-29-2007, 07:43 PM
A little too late to play the "If guys aren't gonna give 100% they wont be on my team" card isn't it?

NorrisHopper30
12-29-2007, 08:11 PM
I like what I see.

traderumor
12-29-2007, 08:19 PM
A little too late to play the "If guys aren't gonna give 100% they wont be on my team" card isn't it?Never too late for that. And I have a feeling that there is never a time where someone doesn't say "why now, why not before, why not later."

WMR
12-29-2007, 08:26 PM
At least he admits this team needs major surgery... if Chuck Bresnahan still has a job next season, we'll know it was nothing but lip service.

Most of us on the board knew that Bresnahan needed his pink slip... in typical Bengal fashion, they make a move 1-2 seasons later than they should.

HeatherC1212
12-29-2007, 09:47 PM
I'm all for cleaning house in Bengals land and ITA that Bresnahan has to go. This team does have a lot of talent but if there are guys on the team who are more concerned with other things than playing well, then they need to go and we need to get the guys in there who will actually give 110% because that will make the team better. I don't really know what's all going on with the Bengals or the entire reason why this year sucked so badly, but something has to be done this offseason so that next year is better. :(

MWM
12-29-2007, 10:05 PM
The problem with the Bengals aren't that they don't have talent. They have a lot of really talented players. The problem is that in the positions where they don't have that really talented player, they are absolutely awful. This is Mike Brown's blueprint. He thinks if you get a Carson palmer, Chad Johnson, Rudi Johnson, a couple of good defensive players, that should be enough. Consistently good teams have at least adequate players in all positions. This is what Mike Brown doesn't get.

WMR
12-29-2007, 10:12 PM
Pretty funny how Marvin side-stepped the General Manager question. CYA all the way.

hebroncougar
12-29-2007, 11:08 PM
Marvin Lewis is full of crap IMO. He talks about accountability, but you don't ever see it with his teams. And when is he going to hold himself accountable for the mistakes he makes? I'll believe his "blowing up" when it happens.

BUTLER REDSFAN
12-30-2007, 12:44 AM
I dont get it--I just heard 2-3 days ago on WLW on one of their Marvin Lewis updates- Marvin himself saying dont expect many changes.

Yachtzee
12-30-2007, 12:52 AM
I dont get it--I just heard 2-3 days ago on WLW on one of their Marvin Lewis updates- Marvin himself saying dont expect many changes.

I wonder if he said that to the Cincinnati media just because they like to spend a lot of time portraying their own speculation as if it was something they heard from the inside. Notice that this article is coming from the Columbus Dispatch, where Marvin doesn't have the same animosity he has toward Chick Ludwig with the Dayton Daily News, the guys in Cincinnati, or even the team's own Geoff Hobson, who Marvin has so much as said is often woefully uninformed.

GAC
12-30-2007, 09:56 AM
Answer: It's been (that way) all the time. We've struggled with guys who are too much worried about what they make or what the next guy makes. That's hard to overcome, and we've had to deal with it for two years now. Until they get it figured out that that's not the way winning teams operate…

When you sign a contract, you sign a contract. You sign to play. You have two choices -- either to play or not to play. When you get in the way of other people as you are constantly talking about that and not moving on professionally, (it's harmful).

When you sign a contract, the next deal signed after yours makes yours somewhat outdated. That's the way it is.

Q: Has that really pulled this team apart?

A: It weighs on players because they can't get above that. Guys who are not -- how do I want to say that? -- people who aren't mentally strong enough to understand and deal with that, it's always an underlying factor in everything, instead of moving forward and trying to figure out how you become a champion. You're too worried about, "Am I putting myself out there? Am I putting myself at risk?"

Q: I haven't gotten the sense that many players have whined publicly about contracts.

A: They do it within the confines of their groups. Instead of spending extra time on trying to figure out how to be the very, very best and how to know the opponent the very, very best, they worry about petty things, things that don't really matter. There should not be a concern of, "How quickly can I get out of here (today)?" or, "Am I the last guy in here?" (They should think), "I should be the first guy in and the last to leave every night."

I would love to know who he may be referring to. ;)

This isn't the first time, during a media interview, where Marvin has alluded to a selfish "me" attitude that pervades this team. So it has to be an important issue with him that needs to be addressed if they want to turn this thing around.

Now would those who have struggled this year, maybe with injury, and not put up the numbers expected of them, be the ones complaining about their contracts/salary? They wouldn't have much of a leg to stand on IMO.

It would have to be that player(s) who have, regardless of the team's woes this year, put up the numbers/performance, and feel they are being somehow under appreciated.

I'll go out on a limb and say it probably isn't a guy like Palmer.

The list narrows. ;)

The thing is though.....

Marvin Lewis was given a lot of credit, and rightfully so, for "cleaning house" and changing the losing culture the pervaded this franchise for the 90's.

So he also has to take responsibility for creating the current culture and climate that he is now complaining about.

And yes, if he feels so, it may very well take another "cleaning of the house" to change a different type of culture that has developed from the one before.

Dom Heffner
12-30-2007, 11:25 AM
He talks about accountability,

Yet when asked a direct question about his coaching:


Q: Is there anything about your own coaching that you haven't handled very well?


He never uses the word "I" one time:


Oh, we haven't handled anything very good. We're not good enough. We haven't coached anything very good.

And then he turns the blame to the players:


We've turned the football over too many times. We've allowed explosive plays early on defense. We haven't played good enough on third down on either side of the football. We've had receivers drop passes. We haven't run the football effectively enough.

These are things the Bengals have done poorly, yes, but dropping a pass is not mostly coaching, it's the player.

How about taking responsibility for his shoddy clock management?

Is anything this guy's fault?

Roy Tucker
12-30-2007, 11:38 AM
He is still straddling the fence. If he is *really* going to do something, he names names, he points fingers, he is explicit about what went wrong, he cleans house, he gets rid of the bad citizens, and he *leads*.

Right now, he's just whispering in some out-of-towner's ear. And why he tells the local press one thing and then other reporters different stuff is garbage.

I'm starting to lose respect for the man.

Dom Heffner
12-30-2007, 11:48 AM
I'm just wondering why if house cleaning is really what needs to happen, why doesn't it start with him?

He's the one who put all the people in place that need to be thrown out.

Cincinnati sports have become unwatchable.

GAC
12-30-2007, 12:01 PM
I'm just wondering why if house cleaning is really what needs to happen, why doesn't it start with him?

He's the one who put all the people in place that need to be thrown out.

Exactly. Which is why I stated this.....



Marvin Lewis was given a lot of credit, and rightfully so, for "cleaning house" and changing the losing culture the pervaded this franchise for the 90's.

So he also has to take responsibility for creating the current culture and climate that he is now complaining about.


So now he feels it may be necessary to clean house again?

He helped to create it.

That's like Victor Frankenstein creating the monster, realizing he made a mistake, and that he must do something before the monster gets out of hand. Yet in the end, he's the one destroyed by the very monster he created.

I've always liked Marvin. It can't be denied what he has done to change that "culture of losing" with the Bengals.

But over time he has fueled my doubts when it comes to his control, discipline, and leadership of this team.

Who is really running the ship?

SunDeck
12-30-2007, 01:35 PM
The Browns have no idea how to build and maintain a club and unfortunately Marvin has not been able to take the talent he has to mold a team of win oriented football players. On an individual level, each player has to dedicate themselves to the success of the team, which requires a certain amount of selflessness and the proper perspective about how one's own contributions affect the outcome of the team's plan. And that's not a football thing- it's a good lesson for any organization. The players, coaches and the clubhouse are just not on the same page; guys like Chad Johnson who cries constantly about an offense that doesn't get the ball to him enough, extremely poor conditioning, terrible execution, egregious coaching mistakes, poor play calling and lot's and lot's of finger pointing and arguing. The Bengals are simply second tier club at this point and the blame for that has to go back to the top, to Marvin Lewis and the Browns.

Should Marvin go? Well if Mike, Troy and Katie don't, then what really is the point? Nevertheless, I still think the Bengals are pretty close, but they need to put their money and their efforts into the defensive and offensive lines. Those two units have some talent, but what they lack is the collective strength and ferociousness that controls football games, which are won and loss at the line of scrimmage. Develop an offensive line that pushes around their opponents and a defensive line and linebackers that stop the run and the Bengals are in the playoffs.

I think Marvin did a lot to turn the team into a winning club at first. Somehow, that has been lost, but I would give him the chance to put things into place again.

TeamSelig
12-30-2007, 01:56 PM
When he came in, we really had no talent at all. I think he acquired players through the draft, FA, etc. on talent alone. This is why we have so many criminals on our team. I think he ignored their off the field activities in order to win a few games on the field. It isn't a bad idea if you can keep them in order, but it didn't work. Now he has a team with some talent, but there is no order or discipline. Back to the drawing boards. I'll give him another season, but if there are no improvements then see ya later. He needs an entire new coaching staff.

traderumor
12-30-2007, 01:58 PM
Yet when asked a direct question about his coaching:



He never uses the word "I" one time:



And then he turns the blame to the players:



These are things the Bengals have done poorly, yes, but dropping a pass is not mostly coaching, it's the player.

How about taking responsibility for his shoddy clock management?

Is anything this guy's fault?Maybe he disagrees with you? Perhaps he approves of his clock management, or maybe he isn't self-evaluating itemized lists like you are, seeing as how the question was open ended. I saw that answer as self-deprecating, personally.

Dom Heffner
12-30-2007, 02:14 PM
Maybe he disagrees with you? Perhaps he approves of his clock management, or maybe he isn't self-evaluating itemized lists like you are, seeing as how the question was open ended. I saw that answer as self-deprecating, personally.

We'll never know if Marvin agrees or disagrees, becuase he never answers this kind of question honestly. It's always "we" or an inferred "they."

How about an "I"?

Even if he thinks none of it his fault, he isn't being intellectually honest. The responsibility falls on the head coach, unless your Marvin Lewis. they were hammering him for this on the NFL Network during the Niners game. I'm not the only one who notices his passing the buck.

Whatever happened to taking responsiblilty for your own actions?

macro
12-30-2007, 06:17 PM
To go along with the clock management issues, his decisions as to when to challenge plays with the red flag and when to go for two-point conversions have been questionable, and I'm trying to be diplomatic with the use of the word "questionable".

Since the team didn't completely self-destruct this year, I'll give him one more season. Anything less than 10-6 and the playoffs in 2008 and I'd send him packing.

Yachtzee
12-30-2007, 07:25 PM
To go along with the clock management issues, his decisions as to when to challenge plays with the red flag and when to go for two-point conversions have been questionable, and I'm trying to be diplomatic with the use of the word "questionable".

Since the team didn't completely self-destruct this year, I'll give him one more season. Anything less than 10-6 and the playoffs in 2008 and I'd send him packing.

I think the problem with challenges indicates that they need someone with a better pair of eyes in the booth. Or maybe they need a guy in the booth. Teams usually have someone up in the booth who tells the coach whether to throw the flag. According to my friend the Browns fan, Romeo Crennel is also notorious for throwing the challenge flag at the wrong times. But the clock management issues and the two-point conversion calls are on Marvin. I think he plays those situations by the book when he could be using his brain and intuition.

I think a lot of people would disagree with it, but sometimes, when the Bengals D is getting mowed down by the opposing team in its 2-minute offense, I'd like to see Marvin go off the script and call a timeout. I think it would give the D time to get set and break the other team's momentum.

traderumor
12-30-2007, 07:49 PM
We'll never know if Marvin agrees or disagrees, becuase he never answers this kind of question honestly. It's always "we" or an inferred "they."

How about an "I"?

Even if he thinks none of it his fault, he isn't being intellectually honest. The responsibility falls on the head coach, unless your Marvin Lewis. they were hammering him for this on the NFL Network during the Niners game. I'm not the only one who notices his passing the buck.

Whatever happened to taking responsiblilty for your own actions?You infer that he means "they." I know you are impressed by such things, but "buck stops here" talk has never really done much for me. All it usually accomplishes is for some outsider to feel vindicated and most of the time it is just machismo talk with very little change forthcoming. I'm pretty sure that Marvin is a smart enough leader to know that he carries ultimate responsibility for the football team's performance, whether he says exactly what you want him to say in an interview or not. You are all wrapped up in that, while this leader has effectively said "the program I've built needs torn down" in this interview. I'm not sure someone could take more personal responsibility by that admittance. But by all means, continue to parse "we."

Joseph
12-30-2007, 07:55 PM
It's been my personal experience that you say "we" when successful, and "I" when failing if you are a leader. Marvin isn't really doing a good job of that IMO. Then again I'm in middle management, so my theory could be faulty.

I think this team is better with Odell coming back [hopefully], Justin leaving, and a high round pick devoted to drafting a good d-lineman.

GoReds33
12-30-2007, 08:00 PM
I hope he isn't just blowing smoke. The Bengals need an overhaul. They don't need a league-average defensive end making what a superstar should make. They don't need to hold onto a running back that has steadily declined over the past three years.

Matt700wlw
12-31-2007, 01:11 PM
The real question is....will Mike Brown let Marvin do what he feels he needs to do?

If he doesn't, will Marvin walk?

Hoosier Red
12-31-2007, 01:22 PM
I've said before I think much like Baseball managers, most coaches are pretty much the same. That's why they get recycled two or three times.

If I was laying odds, I'd think the following chances exist;
10% chance a new coach would improve the team anywhere from 1-3 wins.
50% chance the new coach really wouldn't make a difference maybe one win better, one win worse.
40% chance the coach will put together the wrong program for the team and the team will fall apart.

So given those odds, would you want to hire a new coach when there's a 9 out 10 chance he will be no better and there's a 4 out 10 chance he'll actually make the team worse.

Given that the Bengals are run by Mike Brown, would you want to take the chance that he's able to find the 1 out 10 coaches who would actually improve the team?

Boss-Hog
12-31-2007, 01:30 PM
When he came in, we really had no talent at all. I think he acquired players through the draft, FA, etc. on talent alone.

I disagree. The vast majority of our most talented players (Chad, T.J., Willie, Levi and Rudi) were in place when Lewis took over. You can give him credit for drafting Palmer, but that was a no-brainer to most. I'm not ready to run him out of town yet, but I'm unwilling to credit him for acquiring talent that was already there.

Yachtzee
12-31-2007, 01:40 PM
I disagree. The vast majority of our most talented players (Chad, T.J., Willie, Levi and Rudi) were in place when Lewis took over. You can give him credit for drafting Palmer, but that was a no-brainer to most. I'm not ready to run him out of town yet, but I'm unwilling to credit him for acquiring talent that was already there.

I give Marvin Lewis credit for changing the attitude of losing that pervaded the organization before he came along. He did a good job of getting players to change their attitudes in order to win. I think the problem is that, once they started winning, it seems like he thought his job was done and that players would continue to have a good work ethic based solely on the fact that they win football games. Unfortunately, that has proven not to be true. It sounds like once they started winning, some guys starting thinking about big paychecks rather than playoffs. I've noticed the last two seasons we haven't heard much about Marvin using various motivational tactics and team-building. Maybe that's what he's good at.

Boss-Hog
12-31-2007, 01:41 PM
I give Marvin Lewis credit for changing the attitude of losing that pervaded the organization before he came along. He did a good job of getting players to change their attitudes in order to win. I think the problem is that, once they started winning, it seems like he thought his job was done and that players would continue to have a good work ethic based solely on the fact that they win football games. Unfortunately, that has proven not to be true. It sounds like once they started winning, some guys starting thinking about big paychecks rather than playoffs. I've noticed the last two seasons we haven't heard much about Marvin using various motivational tactics and team-building. Maybe that's what he's good at.
I think that's a fair assessment.

Dom Heffner
12-31-2007, 02:18 PM
I know you are impressed by such things, but "buck stops here" talk has never really done much for me.

It's not just an issue of "the buck stops here."

It's when an interviewer asks him point blank about his coaching style, he starts in with the "we" crap. If you don't want to answer the question, just don't answer it. But don't bring anybody else into it when the question was specifically about you.

If you think I'm parsing words and Marvin was not carefully choosing his, just look at the Willie Anderson response and follow up question.

traderumor
12-31-2007, 02:36 PM
I disagree. The vast majority of our most talented players (Chad, T.J., Willie, Levi and Rudi) were in place when Lewis took over. You can give him credit for drafting Palmer, but that was a no-brainer to most. I'm not ready to run him out of town yet, but I'm unwilling to credit him for acquiring talent that was already there.But those most talented players came off a 2-14 season and were a laughingstock when Marvin got here. Those most talented players did not amount to squat as a team. Rudi was a backup running back when Marvin arrived, Dillon had a year much like Rudi's current year his first and last year under Marvin. That was a decision he made, and it was a win/win for Rudi and Corey. All of a sudden, Rudi goes from an exhibition season all-star to the Pro Bowl. So, while those were holdovers, they were not enjoying the success that they have since Marvin's arrival.

And then, to minimize the pick (and pre-draft signing) and first year sitting as a "no-brainer" makes me look no further than KiJana Carter, Akili Smith and Dan Wilkinson. Perhaps it was a no-brainer because Marvin was at the helm, but then you seem reluctant to give any credit, even when its due, and that's really not being a fair evaluator.

In comparison, how about that graphic for the Dolphins yesterday. Six years of draft picks in prior years, one still on a team that won one game. I think you could pull names out of a hat and do better. That kind of poor drafting defies all odds. Meanwhile, the Bengals are slowly looking at one of the better up and coming secondaries as Joseph and Hall really seemed to turn the corner the second half of the year. Get them a pass rush and the D could be looking at finally turning the corner.

Hoosier Red
12-31-2007, 03:02 PM
But those most talented players came off a 2-14 season and were a laughingstock when Marvin got here. Those most talented players did not amount to squat as a team. Rudi was a backup running back when Marvin arrived, Dillon had a year much like Rudi's current year his first and last year under Marvin. That was a decision he made, and it was a win/win for Rudi and Corey. All of a sudden, Rudi goes from an exhibition season all-star to the Pro Bowl. So, while those were holdovers, they were not enjoying the success that they have since Marvin's arrival.

And then, to minimize the pick (and pre-draft signing) and first year sitting as a "no-brainer" makes me look no further than KiJana Carter, Akili Smith and Dan Wilkinson. Perhaps it was a no-brainer because Marvin was at the helm, but then you seem reluctant to give any credit, even when its due, and that's really not being a fair evaluator.

In comparison, how about that graphic for the Dolphins yesterday. Six years of draft picks in prior years, one still on a team that won one game. I think you could pull names out of a hat and do better. That kind of poor drafting defies all odds. Meanwhile, the Bengals are slowly looking at one of the better up and coming secondaries as Joseph and Hall really seemed to turn the corner the second half of the year. Get them a pass rush and the D could be looking at finally turning the corner.

I agree that the Defense isn't as far away is it may look.
My concern is that it's so hard to improve when you have 7 spots to improve.
Landon Johnson's going to become a FA, he's pretty good, but he can't be the top LB if we're going to compete. On the other hand if you let him walk that's three(maybe four) LB's you have to replace.
I felt the same way about Justin Smith last year, no where near worth the Franchise tag, except if you let him walk, what is it going to cost to replace him.
As of right now, there are 4 guys in the front 7 I wouldn't mind being in the starting lineup(all other things equal) come next year
Justin Smith, Dometa Peko, Dhani Jones and Landon Johnson.
Three are free agents.
So you try to upgrade but really you're having to replace 6 spots not three.

BUTLER REDSFAN
12-31-2007, 04:44 PM
just heard a replay of the press conference today..sos...Lewis answering nothing..same sneering sound to his voice..why do they even bother

Yachtzee
12-31-2007, 05:45 PM
just heard a replay of the press conference today..sos...Lewis answering nothing..same sneering sound to his voice..why do they even bother

Sounds like Chick Ludwig was probably asking the questions. Lewis and Ludwig have a sort of hate-hate relationship.

Boss-Hog
12-31-2007, 06:16 PM
But those most talented players came off a 2-14 season and were a laughingstock when Marvin got here. Those most talented players did not amount to squat as a team.

Willie was established and Levi was just coming off his rookie year when Lewis arrived, but I agree with you that Rudi, T.J. and Chad all broke out after Marvin arrived (though the latter was starting to in 2002).


Rudi was a backup running back when Marvin arrived, Dillon had a year much like Rudi's current year his first and last year under Marvin. That was a decision he made, and it was a win/win for Rudi and Corey. All of a sudden, Rudi goes from an exhibition season all-star to the Pro Bowl. So, while those were holdovers, they were not enjoying the success that they have since Marvin's arrival.

I agree with that, though I've always maintained that Lewis and his coaching staff should have known what they had in Rudi after having him for a year of practice and games. If they had, it wouldn't had meant wasting a first round pick on a RB (and that's not hindsight talking; I felt the same way in April 2004).


And then, to minimize the pick (and pre-draft signing) and first year sitting as a "no-brainer" makes me look no further than KiJana Carter, Akili Smith and Dan Wilkinson. Perhaps it was a no-brainer because Marvin was at the helm, but then you seem reluctant to give any credit, even when its due, and that's really not being a fair evaluator.

I'll give him credit for making the pick, but every mock-draft and NFL "expert" had them taking Palmer. They clearly needed a quarterback, and that's the position most often chosen with the number one overall pick, so unless you really thought they were going to take Leftwitch, Palmer was the pretty obvious choice by all acounts.


In comparison, how about that graphic for the Dolphins yesterday. Six years of draft picks in prior years, one still on a team that won one game. I think you could pull names out of a hat and do better. That kind of poor drafting defies all odds.

I did see that and that's pretty unbelievable how poorly that organization has drafted. I think we've drafted poorly on defense for the past five years, despite devoting the majority of our picks to that area, but obviously not that badly.


Meanwhile, the Bengals are slowly looking at one of the better up and coming secondaries as Joseph and Hall really seemed to turn the corner the second half of the year. Get them a pass rush and the D could be looking at finally turning the corner.

I agree with you that the secondary seems to be solidified for the future (at least on paper). However, until they develop a consistent pash rush, (which they haven't been able to do with the same person making the final call during my lifetime) I don't think it's going to matter much. The Bengals continue to ignore premium talent in the front seven defensively (both via the draft and free agency), so no matter how talented you think our young DB's may be, the Damon Huards, J.P. Losmans and Shaun Hills of the world will continue to beat us until we can put some pressure on them. Signing bargains like Bryan Robinson and Michael Myers will only get you so far. I knew we were in for another very long season defensively when they committed top five money to Justin Smith last offseason and it certainly won't surprise me if they overpay him again this year (despite producing a whopping two sacks in 2007).

RedFanAlways1966
12-31-2007, 09:49 PM
Sounds like Chick Ludwig was probably asking the questions. Lewis and Ludwig have a sort of hate-hate relationship.

Probably didn't help that Ludwig predicted in his Sunday column...

Miami 23 - Bengals 20.

traderumor
01-01-2008, 12:52 PM
I'll give him credit for making the pick, but every mock-draft and NFL "expert" had them taking Palmer. They clearly needed a quarterback, and that's the position most often chosen with the number one overall pick, so unless you really thought they were going to take Leftwitch, Palmer was the pretty obvious choice by all acounts.
Many a franchise, including the Bengals, have defied the mock drafts and made a bonehead draft day surprise with that pick (see Houston Texans, San Diego Chargers). He simply has to get credit, even though it seemed like an obvious decision. Plus, he was instrumental in making the decision and getting Carson on board when the situation could have very easily turned into one the Chargers dealt with for the Eli Manning pick because of the Bengals reputation at the time.

I am encouraged by the article that started this thread because Marvin does indeed seem to be doing some franchise soul searching, which is exactly the stage the franchise is at. I know it has been argued that he is failing to self-examine, but I simply think too much is being made of using "we" vs. "I" in an interview. Anyone who is proposing tearing down what he put together is very hard to accuse of failing to self-examine.

Highlifeman21
01-01-2008, 02:45 PM
As a just-in-case gesture, I took my Brother (HUGE Bengals fan) by Marvin's house yesterday so he could see where Mr. Lewis lives and possibly could have lived. The irony is that Marvin's isn't even the nicest joint on the street, but given where he lives I'm not ultimately suprised.

With Mike Brown still alive and kicking, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to watch two things happen this offseason.

1. Marvin Lewis fired.
2. Bengals punt the 1st Round Pick.

As long as Mike Brown still makes "decisions" for the Bengals, I fear for any positive outcome.

traderumor
01-01-2008, 03:59 PM
As a just-in-case gesture, I took my Brother (HUGE Bengals fan) by Marvin's house yesterday so he could see where Mr. Lewis lives and possibly could have lived. The irony is that Marvin's isn't even the nicest joint on the street, but given where he lives I'm not ultimately suprised.

With Mike Brown still alive and kicking, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to watch two things happen this offseason.

1. Marvin Lewis fired.
2. Bengals punt the 1st Round Pick.

As long as Mike Brown still makes "decisions" for the Bengals, I fear for any positive outcome.There is a less than 1% chance of Marvin getting fired, with the whole chance being the likelihood of Marvin having an affair with Katie and Mikie firing him as a result.

Dom Heffner
01-01-2008, 09:36 PM
1. Marvin Lewis fired.

He just got an extnsion and Marvin Lewis isn't going to pay somebody for not working on him.

Yachtzee
01-01-2008, 10:34 PM
He just got an extnsion and Marvin Lewis isn't going to pay somebody for not working on him.

Actually, Mike Brown won't pay, but we know what you meant. :) I would mention that Mike Brown did end up paying Sam Wyche for firing him early, even though he tried to play it off as if Wyche had quit. If Marvin Lewis does not do anything to threaten the Brown family's control over the team, he will likely stay until the last year of his contract. I think if Lewis meets with Brown this week and demands a GM, more scouts and less interference from Brown, Lewis will be sent packing.

WMR
01-02-2008, 12:28 AM
Did you notice his answer to the "Do the Bengals need a GM" question?

Yachtzee
01-02-2008, 07:33 AM
Did you notice his answer to the "Do the Bengals need a GM" question?

I'm not always sure that what Lewis says in public is the same thing he says behind closed doors. His answer to that question is the right thing to say if he wants to keep his job, but it doesn't mean he will say the same thing in his meeting with Brown.

traderumor
01-02-2008, 07:39 AM
Actually, Mike Brown won't pay, but we know what you meant. :) I would mention that Mike Brown did end up paying Sam Wyche for firing him early, even though he tried to play it off as if Wyche had quit. If Marvin Lewis does not do anything to threaten the Brown family's control over the team, he will likely stay until the last year of his contract. I think if Lewis meets with Brown this week and demands a GM, more scouts and less interference from Brown, Lewis will be sent packing.Don't be so sure about that. When Marvin was brought on board, he got several upgrades, like significant upgrades to the workout facilities and more scouts. I think he still has Mikey's ear, although I see it only takes one tough season for the "Mike Brown--NFL miser" montras to begin again.

WebScorpion
01-02-2008, 12:40 PM
Nothing in this interview worries me. In fact, the opposite is true: I am encouraged by it. First of all, it's a public interview and Marvin isn't going to name names or comment on their specific future plans. He can only give us a general view. He seems to be saying that the team has some talent and that he's used this losing season to determine which of these guys will go into battle with him and which ones are spending too much time worrying about their (real or imagined) personal problems. He's not going to say who and it's unrealistic to expect him to do so.

As far as the draft goes, I think Marvin's drafts have been exceptional. Palmer, J. Johnson, Geathers, C. Perry, M. Williams, L. Johnson, Fanene, Henry, Ghiachiuc, T. Perry, Pollock, Thurman, Brooks, Peko, Whitworth, Joseph, Jeanty, Hall, Irons. Every one of these guys is a solid performer when healthy. Sure, I might have picked another guy instead of one or two of them, but the guys he picked perform. That's all you can ask from the draft. His skill in predicting injury and/or personal problems leaves something to be desired, but I think that drafting 'character' guys is something Marvin added to his most recent draft. I chalk that up as a lesson learned. I'm actually a little excited to see what Marvin can do with his best draft position to date...even if it's not the best draft class.

In the end, I still trust Marvin to build a winner. He brought in more talent and weeded out some cancerous guys, but it didn't gel. Now he's going to get rid of the chaff and see if he can make bread with what is left and some new additions. Heck, if Odell comes back and Brooks and Irons are healthy it'll be like having two draft classes. :thumbup: