After Marvin Lewis had dinner with offensive coordinator Brad Childress Thursday night, speculation of Bob Bratkowski's exit increased. The truth of it is that no one knows the substance between what the two talked about. Could Chilly be in town to catch up with Lewis, or could the Bengals head coach be pitching a job to the former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator? No one really know. But that won't stop us from speculating anyway. Call it, Mock Offensive Coordinator Job Selection Even Though The Team Has An Offensive Coordinator.
It's possible that Chilly stopped in Cincinnati after a meeting in Cleveland, where the former Vikings head coach is speculated as being a candidate for the offensive coordinator position.
Lewis did hint that the Bengals could still be making changes on their return from the Senior Bowl. Per The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy:
Lewis did say “I think we still have a chance for change. We still have an opportunity to revise some things.” after they get back.
And hours before meeting with Childress, Marvin Lewis held a press conference and argued that the offensive philosophy has no identity. Something players argued all season.
"What upsets me is I can't tell who we are. My disappointment is I can't tell you what we are. The key to offense is to be offensive and stay offensive. What we are is a big statement. It has to be all encompassing."
Some argue that the team couldn't hire Childress, simply because he's implementing the West Coast offense. That doesn't fly with me because it suggests that professional football players, the men who have reached the most elite level of football anywhere in the country, can't learn a new offensive system in the seven months before training camp. I'm going to give our players a little bit more credit than being idiots with no capacity to learn a change within their craft in their own profession.
From our perspective, hiring Childress has more benefit than not. This is the same coach that found a way to utilize Percy Harvin, which could benefit the increasing playing time for Bernard Scott that people demand. During his time he helped wide receiver Sidney Rice, another former second round draft pick, go from a disappointment to a Pro Bowler. He utilized the power rushing offense when he needed to and helped an aging quarterback with a plethora of injuries find success when he should have long retired -- at least a season before adversity claimed the team in 2010.
On the other hand, with Bratkowski, Scott probably remains in his hardly-ever-play role and there's no telling how Jerome Simpson will react next year, now that people are relying on him to step up for a full season when the games count. And if 2010 was any indication, our power rushing offense will be spotty without any rhythm or threat and Carson Palmer will continue to struggle until either his career in Cincinnati comes to an end, or the team changes offensive coordinators.
Additionally, if there's a worry that he could be in-line to be a head coach in Cincinnati, you could look at it in two ways. Childress won't be here long to begin with, simply because he'd use Cincinnati as a stepping stone for another head coaching opportunity. By that time, the Bengals could rebound and have decent success, which will prompt the Brown family to give Lewis another extension anyway. And if Childress leaves for another head coaching opportunity, the Bengals will only be forced to look for another offensive coordinator. The main story in all of this is that the Bengals won't have fan-favorite Bob Bratkowski around any longer and that's the hope for the entire world.
We're not making an effort to convince anyone that the Bengals should hire Childress. But if the Bengals do go in that direction, then it's change (welcomed change), something that even Paul Brown wanted last week when he appeared on a piece of toast at a local Denny's.
+ Cedric Benson showed public frustration throughout the season, mostly with the play-calling and the team inching away from this power rushing offense from 2009. Marvin Lewis finally responded to Benson's frustrations during a press conference before heading to coach the Senior Bowl.
+ Bengals rookies Carlos Dunlap and Clint Stitser were named in the The Pro Football Weekly/Professional Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie Team. Additionally, Dunlap is going back to school to continue pursuing his degree in family, youth and community service with a minor in business.
+ Chad Ochocinco sent a tweet to the Boston Herald beat writer Ian Rapoport that read: "@RapSheet PePe and Bill #EPIC." Several days later an Oakland Raiders beat writer, helped with several tweets by Chad giving Hue Jackson praise, made the connection that Ochocinco would like to play for the Raiders.
+ Marvin Lewis responded to Chad saying, "win football games if you want people to talk about you."
+ Speaking of Hue Jackson, the newest Oakland Raiders head coach becomes the second coach to get a head coaching job that once worked underneath Marvin Lewis.
+ On Friday, the Bengals announced that they're not increasing ticket prices for the 2011 season. This comes days after teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers, both of whom barely missed the playoffs, reduced their prices for next season.
+ After the trade between Cincinnati and Jacksonville that swapped Reggie Nelson and David Jones, a conditional draft pick never met its conditions and therefore the Bengals will keep all seven draft picks for the 2011 NFL Draft.
+ Jason Garrison takes a look at the Bengals secondary.