Yesterday, some accused me of being selective in selecting the 49ers as an example of why “overnight success” is an illusion in the NFL. Some challenged me to take on the Bengals. So, here we are. I am going to tell you why the Bengals are not an “overnight success.”
I didn’t consider the Bengals in the same category as the Browns or 49ers because they have had the same coach for years. They plugged in a new rookie QB and #1 wide receiver this year in Andy Dalton and AJ Green. Those two have certainly performed better than I expected (Dalton more than Green.) But again, their coach, Marvin Lewis, has been in place since 2003. The basic fundamental systems have been in place. Let’s look at the key players.
Center Kyle Cook is in his fourth year with the team. Despite disappointing the team for his draft spot, Andre Smith is in his third season and is playing right tackle. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth is in his sixth season with the team. They have one rookie on the offensive line with guard Clint Boling. The other guard Nate Livings is in his sixth year with the team and third year as a full-time starter. Tight end Gresham is in his second year with the team. Wide receivers Simpson and Caldwell are in their fourth. Cedric Benson is in his fourth year as a Bengal. Running back Bernard Scott is in his third. His backup Brian Leonard is in his third with the team. Peko and Geathers on the d-line have been in Cincy running the same defense for six and eight years respectively. MLBs Rey Maualuga and Dan Skuta are in their third seasons with the Bengals. Fanene is in his seventh season with the team. [Read more...]