More blitz, less glitz please

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on January 17, 2011 – 4:35 pm

It’s going to be hard writing this without sounding like an old guy that mows the lawn in black socks and shorts, but here it goes with a few thoughts off this past weekend.


The NFL playoffs and the Golden Globes were both this weekend and who could tell the difference?

Celebrity gossip. Outrageous quotes. Comedy routines from the podium. The famous interviewing the famous. Red-carpet glitz and endorsement riches. Hollywood has always been closing in on pro sports ever since the days of Babe Ruth, but with the Jets playing the Steelers in Sunday’s AFC title game the NFL is now officially Hollyball.

How else can you classify a game between Rex Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger? We don’t need another week of back-page guffaws to realize that these two guys haven’t exactly worn the cloak of celebrity with grace. Between Ryan’s WWF pronouncements and Roethlisberger’s public boorishness, it’s hard to see where Lindsey Lohan ends and a league that once gave you icons like Paul Brown, Vince Lombardi, Gale Sayers and so on, begins.

And do we care that much if Jay Cutler is likeable? Remember when they judged quarterbacks on resiliency instead of likeability?


Sure, you can put a lot of the onus on Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco for the way this thing has careened into Hollywood, although for a long time The Ocho was just plain unscripted fun and a breath of fresh air before he went Madison Avenue a few years ago. But let’s not get into a semester syllabus about the root causes of it all.

It’s more interesting to see where the co-stars of the T.Ocho Show are going to end up after a weekend of AFC playoff games it was damn hard to find a wide receiver that could consistently get separation. All the tea leaves point to Owens and The Ocho not coming back to the Bengals and with Baltimore and New England desperate on the outside at receiver, it’s going to be interesting to see how much the highly-regarded Bill Belichick and Ozzie Newsome think of them.


A struggle for points. The quarterback struggling. The fans calling for the heads of assistant coaches.

This is what’s coming out of Baltimore, where they haven’t had a potent passing game, it seems, since Unitas. At the very least, since Bert Jones. And you could hear the roar of disapproval when Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday that offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is coming back.

When Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis was rehired two weeks ago, he made no such pronouncements about anyone on his staff and it appears that he is still evaluating. The only announcement the Bengals usually make on their coaches is when the staff is finalized. With the current staff leaving to coach the Under Armour Senior Bowl Sunday, that announcement may still be a few weeks in the making.

The Baltimore situation is telling, isn’t it? They won 12 games and life still isn’t good. There is never pure happiness in 31 NFL cities. The assistants know that when they sign up, but it still doesn’t make the criticism easier to take.


When you talk about the Steelers’ resiliency Saturday in overcoming two first-half turnovers against Baltimore, you also have to include how they responded when they lost both offensive tackles at various points in the second half. Not one, but both, and while it looked ugly most of the time in letting Roethlisberger get sacked six times, it was good enough.

The Steelers and Ravens were two of the five Final 8 teams that had more games lost to injured starters than the Bengals. According to Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News, the Bengals lost 39 games while the Steelers missed 51 and the Ravens 45. Green Bay had the most of the 8 with 91 and the Pats were second with 62.

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Posted in Hobson's Choice | 17 Comments »

17 Responses to “More blitz, less glitz please”

  1. By tralfaz1127 on Jan 17, 2011 | Reply

    Hopefully since Mike picked up Ocho’s option as far back as 2007, they have discussions with Belichick about the extra 2nd and 3rd round picks he’s got this year. That is if we get a CBA by then. Got a very strange feeling that there aren’t going to be any major changes to the assistant coaches other than linebacker coach. What do you think Hob?

  2. By 2ndboot on Jan 17, 2011 | Reply

    It;s kid of tough to tell if the rant is over Hooeyweird or the NFL, the AFCN, the Bengals or all 4.. But I’m 100% with you on Hooeyweird football. I don’t care who is sleeping with who..They ain’t sleeping with me and till they do I simply could care less and the amount of TV glitz it enough to make a bucket of vomit seem like a white sandy beach in 1953 with the beautiful young soon to be string bikini babes frolicking with a beach ball. To top it all off they make football players all sound like they’ve won a world war for us to maintain our way of living and the gold standard.
    As soon as Rex can claim to have ousted Vladimir Putin from the Kremlin and Hu Jintao from Beijing then maybe he’ll have legit bragging rights to something monumental , but for now I’ll grudgingly settle for beating the Steelers in the playoffs then hope someone else, Chicago or Green bay knocks Rex from his high horse.
    As for the Ravens defense.. Ask Nuge if they make that much difference.He’s just a kicker and he beat em.

  3. By whodeysteve on Jan 17, 2011 | Reply

    This article reminds me of what Paul Brown said on a clip they showed of him some time back. “There’s no rah-rah in professional football it’s a cold, hard sport.” It’s what your willing to do to prepare to win that matter’s cause there’s a lot of blood and sweat between wanting to win the Super Bowl and actually winning the Super Bowl. All this talk they do now is just that most of the time nothing but talk. I also agree about Ocho he’s went from something great to watch to doing things that are just inexcusable.

  4. By sapon1 on Jan 17, 2011 | Reply

    Bratkowski + Chad = 4-11

  5. By mwindle1973 on Jan 18, 2011 | Reply

    Hobs, you made a point that I think should put things in perspective here in Bengaldom. There is one Super Bowl champ every year and 31 failures. Doesn’t matter if your picking 4th or 31st in the draft. A failure is just that.

    On to the playoffs. Makes me sick. I either have to root for the Jets, Steelers or NFC to win it all this year! That’s worse than enduring the latest edition of the Bengals this past season for sure. I have to say though, I deplore atheletes who talk trash and mean it. And the Jets aren’t doing it in good fun.

  6. By chiragn on Jan 18, 2011 | Reply

    If the dust clears and there are openings on the offensive staff, who do you see as the possible candidates to fill those openings?

  7. By kaptkurt on Jan 18, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks a lot Geoff. You ruined my offseason excuse on the Bengals (all the injury problems). Here are my offseason questions in order of importance.

    1. CBA When do you think it will get done? Is the reason we don’t have a MAJOR shakeup due to the uncertainty of the talks, and teams don’t want to learn a new system during training camp.

    2. A.J. Green vs. DL vs. trade down. Do you think our receivers are good enough w/out Ocho to compete?

    3. What is our biggest weakness and how do you think we will aaddress it. I think it’s OL

    4. Free Agents. Who do we keep and who do we let go? See #1 I think the # goes up the longer the talks go on. I also see some of the best locker room influeances on the free agent list.

  8. By jeff1964 on Jan 18, 2011 | Reply

    Interesting stats on games missed. I believe the difference in championship teams and guys watching in January comes down to how well the back-ups are prepared. I believe we have seen excellent preparation this year on the defense side of the ball. Offense predictability and out of sync stories still flying around in the 2nd & 3rd week of the season is an issue. I believe our preseasons have been tale tale on our offense for the last couple of years. With last year being a fluke winning without a good balance attack. We need offensive lineman! Get the trades done now if possible with Ocho – I am sure he’d be a quick sale to someone.

  9. By bengalpirate on Jan 18, 2011 | Reply

    Boy, talk about a lesser of two evils! I can’t really root for either of the final AFC teams, as I gag at the thought of rooting for the Steelers, but also can’t stand the braggadocio, bombastic, arrogant way of the Jets. You have to give the Jets credit, though, in that they have walked the talk so far. I guess if I had to choose between them I would go with the Jets, since they have not made it to the Super Bowl since the1968 season with Namath. I wonder if Rex Ryan will guarantee a Jets Super Bowl victory? I find myself hoping the Bears or Packers win it all.

  10. By cje11 on Jan 18, 2011 | Reply

    Please stop trying to rationalize that Bengals fans questioning our coaches and coordinators (yet keeping them) is pretty much the same as Baltimore questioning theirs (and keeping them)– we went 4-12!!!! We still have not won even a single playoff game since Marvin Lewis was hired!!! Look at how much consistent success Baltimore has had in the last few years….and look at how inconsistent and largely unsuccessful our coaches have been in that same time span. That is why Baltimore should be keeping their staff intact, and why we should absolutely not be. Coaching continuity (as Mike Brown preaches) by and large can lead to consistent success, yes– but that’s mostly the case for good coaching staffs. Our offense has been consistently average or poor over the last few years, and there’s a reason for it. Mike Brown is OK with mediocrity, and it shows.

  11. By tmorra16 on Jan 18, 2011 | Reply

    What are the chances the Bengals reach out to a former NFL head coach to fill a hopefully-soon-to-vacant Offensive Coordinator role? You see it everywhere around the league…a head coach gets fired and another team picks them up as a coordinator. On a side note, I’m thrilled for Hue Jackson in Oakland.

  12. By aesculusg on Jan 18, 2011 | Reply

    Is all this talk about a change in offensive coordinators based on something other than wishful thinking?

  13. By homerbengal on Jan 19, 2011 | Reply

    Hob, theres nothing wrong with black socks,you just can’t do the mid-calf look you need the little ones that barely come out of your shoe. Other than maybe Green Bay,no one in the NFL is happy with their offensive coordinators. O-coordinators sure look better when Aaron Rogers and others make pass rushers miss then complete long passes. T.O.,Ocho,Payton Manning,maybe the new CBA should have a luxury tax on outside income,to be paid into the retired players health and welfare fund. Oops, I forgot its really not about team or us anymore its all about I or ME.

  14. By mwindle1973 on Jan 20, 2011 | Reply

    @ aesculusg:

    To answer your question…no. There is absolutely nothing to all this change in OC talk but wishful thinking. The team made no indication that his firing was imminent. In fact they made it clear the changes would be in how we do things. And that may or may not involve staff changes.

    I take that to mean that Brat will have the opportunity to stay if he wants. But I also take it to mean that all coaches will have to fall in line ( for lack of a better way of putting it). It seems you could infer that some coaches until this point were able to decide some things for theirselves. Otherwise why wouldn’t they already be doing things the way Lewis and/or Brown want?

  15. By naitjungle on Jan 20, 2011 | Reply

    Does anyone other then me wonder what a fresh offensive cordinator could do with all the young unused talent the bengals have on that side of the ball? Here’s a few names that would be great to hear more Bernard Scott, Jerome Simpson, Andre Caldwell, Chase Coffman, And Jordan Shipley. I’m just saying The talent is there if a coach wants to get creative and let the boys just play football. Brat has gotta be one of if not the worst OC’s in the NFL. 90% of cincinnati has known this for years now. I’m not saying that its easy to find a good cordinator but it can’t be hard to find one better then Brat, or at least try to. We have held DC’s accountable for years why havn’t we held Brat accountable?

  16. By mwindle1973 on Jan 21, 2011 | Reply

    You know it’s nice to hear some of the things Lewis said in your latest article Hobs. Especially hear him take another shot at Ocho. Obviously Brown has decided to let Marvin have a little personality, and say something now and then. A little food for thought. Chad thinks Marvin “through him under the bus”. Wouldn’t you through a guy under the bus if he through a punch at you during halftime of a playoff game? Marvin’s right, Chad mopes whenever things don’t go his way. And I no longer believe Chad just wants to win. Winning isn’t good enough. We have to win because of Chad. It won’t be good enough unless that’s the case. And that’s the real question. Can that be the case anymore? While still one of the best in the game. Can Chad really be “everything” for a team like he was hear in 04-07?

  17. By mwindle1973 on Jan 21, 2011 | Reply

    A lot of talk about trading down. It’s just not likely. Unless somebody wants a QB, and thinks that the team behind us is going to pick him. Otherwise it’s very unlikely we have that opportunity. But yes trading down would be the best case scenario. Get out of paying that high salary and get extra picks to boot. But really Patrick Peterson would be a great pick! Seems to be a lot of disagreement right now about him though. One is his size. Some sources have at 210 lbs(I’m pretty sure that was the 09 season’s weight). SOme have him at 222. Then you also have some saying he’s a shutdown CB, some say a FS, some say a SS. He’s also a great returner. But besides him there are 2-3 DEs and a DT that would be a great fit here too.

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