I have to admit, I haven't been around the jungle too much lately. Maybe its the grad school, maybe its the fully loaded schedule, or maybe its because I've been more depressed about the Bengals than a polar bear on his new beach front property. The truth is, once the losses start piling up the finger pointing starts. And while it may not be helpful, I'm pointing the blame straight up at Mike Brown, who couldn't create a winning environment with Michael Phelps, Donald Trump, and The Gecko from those Geiko commercials (he's so charismatic... I'd buy anything from that guy) on his staff.
Here's how I see the problem
1) Bargain Bin Shopping - Mike Brown got a lot of praise for his bargain bin shopping last year. Guys like Dhani Jones, Tank Johnson, and Chris Crocker were reasons for this. But the problem with the bargain bin is that you usually get a few defects in the product. Dhani misses tackles, Tank doesn't push up field, and Croker can't cover tight ends... whoops. This year was more of the same. Antonio Bryant could have been a steal at the price we got him if not for the fact that... oops, he couldn't even make the opening day roster because of his knee. Adam Jones worked out well until he got hurt this last game against the Falcons. The point is, if you continue to put an average product on the field you're going to get average results, and thats what we're looking at this year.
2) Draft Stragegy, "Take the guy nobody else wants." - The blame for this could go a number of ways, but I'm blaming it on ole MIkey Boy because he hasn't hired a GM and thus doesn't give the staff the adequate resources for drafting. Regardless, our draft strategy goes like this, first look at all the guys that were hyped a lot before the draft. Second, wait for one of those guys to start falling because of character concerns. Third, Pick up that player. Examples of this are... Andre Smith, Odell Thurman, and Rey Maualuga. How is this working out for us? Andre blocked Abraham last week... wait, no he didn't, Odell is out of the league, and Rey looked he got hit by a Chevy truck whenever he tried to tackle Turner. Of course the last few drafts we've found some gems, Shipley, Scott, Huber, etc. But without a GM and an adequate scouting department this team will never draft consistently enough to put elite talent on the field.
3) He won't get game changers (unless their on the bargain bin of course) - Do you think we'd be 2-4 if we'd gotten a Julius Peppers, Aaron Kampman, or Kyle Vanden Bosch? I don't. How about Albert Haynesworth for a second round pick (not like we don't waste second round picks anyway)? But despite the fact that each of these guys would be a perfect fit in a 4-3 system, we never heard a whisper about picking up any of those players. TO has been a game changer this year, but don't you think a Brandon Marshall would look just that much better? Do you think Brandon Marshall would have stayed in bounds on that bomb in the fourth from Palmer? I do. Maybe its complacency, maybe its something else, but what i know is that this team has to be more aggressive in free agency and the trade market to be considered elite.
Regardless, these are the pointless ramblings of a depressed man. Despite Mike Brown, this team has a ton of talent and the ability to win games against the best teams in the league. If only we could fire Mike! Who Dey!