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Bengals Aren’t Looking To Be Praised For Effort

Posted by Dan Hoard on November 5, 2012 – 10:27 am

Do you want to know what drives me absolutely out-of-my-mind crazy?

When people make a big deal about players and coaches trying to find something positive to say after a loss.

What are they supposed to say?

After Sunday’s loss to the Broncos, several Bengals were asked some version of “Where do you go from here with a 3-5 record at the halfway point of the season?”

“One thing about this team is that we’re not going to give up,” said A.J. Green.  “We don’t care what our record is; we’re going to keep shooting.”

“It’s definitely frustrating,” said Devon Still.  “We went into practice knowing that we lost three straight games.  We did everything that we could to prepare to go out and get a win this week.  Unfortunately, it didn’t happen so we have to go out there next week and practice even harder than we did.”

“We fought our tails off,” said Andrew Whitworth.  “There’s nobody who should hang their heads.  We gave it everything that we got, but there are always things that you can do better.  This football team played 60 minutes and it just wasn’t good enough.”

Did you catch Whit’s last three words?

“Wasn’t good enough.”

Does that sound like someone who was happy with the outcome of Sunday’s game?

Newsflash:  The Bengals aren’t saying that they’re satisfied that they tried hard; they’re simply looking for a ray of hope in a season that has not lived up to expectations.

Try for a moment to put yourself in the shoes of a professional football player moments after a tough loss.

You’re exhausted, you’re angry, you’re probably sore, and maybe you made a highly-visible mistake that contributed to your team’s defeat.

Approximately ten minutes after you’ve trudged off the field, here come the reporters.

First there are several questions about specific plays that cost you the game.  Then, inevitably, there are more general questions about the state of the team.

In 1997 when Bruce Coslet was the Bengals head coach, he once answered one of those questions after a 31-14 loss to the Jets by saying, “We suck.”  I suppose some people admired his honesty, but it didn’t exactly rally the troops.

If the Bengals knock off the 6-3 New York Giants this week – admittedly a tough challenge – their five opponents after that are a combined 14-25.  I’m not trying to paint a rosy picture or predict a turnaround, but I want the players to realize that there’s a reason to keep battling.

“You just have to fight,” said Andrew Whitworth.  “We’ve been in bad situations before and we have to fight just like we did today.  This is a dang good football team that we lost to.  If we can play like that every week, we’ll win some games and we’ll have to see what happens.

I’d love to hear from you at Dan.Hoard@Bengals.nfl.net

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