The Bengal offense floundered last season with the absences of their on field leader Carson Palmer. When the need for leadership fell back to the coaching staff, the staff failed. An offensive coordinator in Bratkowski, once busted for DUI, is no doubt a poor role model with suspect character to all Bengal players off the field. He appeared equally inept in a position to get results from players on the field. Watching games last season left this fan wondering if anyone on offense ever took control or even talked to each other. Watching games and envisioning the play calls in the huddle going something like "OK everyone go out and get open". The missing ingredient this past year was leadership and soon after the pride left and discipline quickly dissolved.
In defense of the Bengal defense there was an infusion of leadership this year with the addition of Mike Zimmer. Watching the defense keep the Bengals in games that past teams would have let slip away. Making stops for the team only to see the offense turn and fail. Suffering through key injuries and having other players step up was a tribute to the leadership of this coordinator. The defense is on the rise and will continue to improve under coach Zimmer.
Gandhi said "We must become the change we want to see." Coach Lewis must become the leader the team needs, becoming more disciplined himself to inspire players to follow suit and demanding it from his coaches as well as players. Fans want to see improvement so leaders must emerge from all ranks of the Bengals, even if coaching changes must be made, Hue Jackson (hint,hint).
In the beginning of his tenor with the Bengals Marvin Lewis seemed to be the right fit. Then the optimistic feeling and fan confidence began to fade. Coach Lewis should only be given one more year to right the course of this team. Winning is more than talent, it is an attitude built on leadership enforcing standards and discipline. The question for debate now is;" has coach Lewis lost his ability to lead and inspire his players to win?"