See that face. Look again. Right there. Marvin Lewis' smile.
During an interview last week with the NFL Network during one of the North Team's practices, Marvin Lewis pointed out that he wants the Bengals to have a power rushing offense again in 2011.
"I think we did click a little bit in the no-huddle offense as we got going in the season and it may have affected some of our detail of how we were doing things in the running game because you can't serve two masters that way. The no-huddle takes work on its own to get everybody on the same page all the time. That's the one thing if we look back on again we probably make that revision."
It makes sense. The team's best seasons during the Marvin Lewis era -- both winning seasons, mind you -- the team had a fantastic rushing offense. In 2005, it was generally used as a change of pace to keep defenses honest and a clock-killer late in the game. In 2009, it was the team's primary method of moving the football, using the passing game as a change of pace.
Unfortunately in 2010, the passing offense and rushing offense struggled. The team didn't have the other to go to and there was no defense to bail the offense out. It was a mitigated disaster all around, but that's not really new knowledge, is it?
During Thursday's press conference introducing Jay Gruden (the one where Marvin looks so happy to be alive), the team's new offensive coordinator made it a point to emphasize that the Bengals will run the football down your damn throat and the only thing that you're going to do is say, "thank you, may I have another?"
"We have to run the ball between the tackles," Gruden said. "We have to be a physical team up front. We're going to challenge our offensive line to be physical. We're not going to spread out and go no huddle every down and throw the ball 65 times a game. I intend on pounding the ball and being able to pound the ball."
YEA. POUND THAT SHI... Just as Marvin Lewis wanted. And who said this hire was made by anyone other than our head coach? We're not going to say that this team is changing at the level we all believe it needs to be made. But...
Power rushing game and west coast offense, here we come.
Now, only if we actually knew who that running back would be and if our quarterback was actually going to play football in 2011.