During the NFL's annual meeting, Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis sat down with members of the media, including the voice of the mothership, Geoff Hobson, to talk some Bengals football. While they obviously touched on the Carson Palmer situation and the lockout, they eventually came to something that Lewis was extremely excited about, Jay Gruden and the new offense.
Lewis is excited about the merging of the running and passing game, and the re-emergence of the play action in Cincinnati. He also calls John Gruden, "a football fanatic and junkie."
"The biggest thing I’m excited about is our ability to mesh the run and pass together. Put pressure on the defense by attacking. We have people that fit that very well," Lewis said. "He brings great energy to that room. He brings a great feel how every position is going to be coached and critiqued without being one of those that micromanages. The installation of the offense with our coaches. You’re talking about someone who wants the right guard to step this way, the right tackle to step this way and on this play this is going to be the quarterback’s read, the receiver’s adjustment, the back’s track. To go through it that way and thorough and then disperse it to the position coaches."
Many might not know that before Gruden was the Bengals offensive coordinator and before he was the head coach of a UFL team, he was a quarterback, playing for an arena football team and before the, the University of Louisville.
Jay was a quarterback. He sees the offense through that guy’s eyes. To me that was a big plus to offensively put it in and install the offense through the eyes of the QB," Lewis said. "With the addition of James Urban, he coached QBs in Philadelphia, I’ve added two people who mesh well together and help the other coaches know right away this is how it's supposed to look and what the real critical coaching points are now."
It's good to hear that somebody is excited about the Bengals offense in 2011. The fact remains that the Bengals no longer have a quarterback, their main running back is a free agent, they're likely to lose their most experienced wide receiver, their offensive line is sub-par and a new playbook that can't be communicated to players because of the lockout.
Hopefully a combination of Gruden's new offense and some young talent, including players drafted in April, can inject some confidence and youth into an offense that has grown stale over the last couple years.