Bengals won't abandon the running game

Bengals offensive coordinator, Bob Bratkowski reiterated this week that the Bengals offense won't give up on the run. That's well and good, but it's awfully difficult to sustain success by forcing the run into difficult long-yard situations on third down. Considering our passing game is so stale right now; a product of defenses knocking our receivers around at the line of scrimmage; opposing teams are starting to press the offense more by blitzing on passing downs, and closing the gap on rushing downs.

Since 2001, Bratkowski has been the team's offensive coordinator. The following is an account of rush attempts and yardage, year-by-year since 2001.

2008 - 368 (1,040)*
2007 - 416 (1,556)
2006 - 435 (1,629)
2005 - 459 (1,910)
2004 - 437 (1,839)
2003 - 481 (1,987)
2002 - 426 (1,730)
2001 - 441 (1,712)

* projected

There's nothing to suggest the Bengals are going to have their worst rushing season to date with Bratkowski. When you can't run, you throw. It's also been a major criticism of Bratkowski that when the running game doesn't work early, that he abandons quickly (and early). On the other hand, with exploding questions about the offensive line, what should be done? Granted, we shouldn't forecast our team, nor our offense, after one game, against a Ravens defense that came to play. At the same time, I don't have the confidence in our coaching staff to change anything around.

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