Bengals fans, I respect you and think you're loyal to put up with a dummy like Mike Brown. If I'm wrong about my predictions, please feel free to criticize me. We media types are supposed to have thick skin.
Today's NFL preview of the day brings us a report on the Cincinnati Bengals, a team that at the least needs a management overhaul.
I realize, as an NFL historian, or at least an aspiring one, that Paul Brown, the great Cleveland Browns coach, was the impetus of the Bengals' existence, but his son, Mike Brown, does not possess the football acumen his father did.
Consequently, perennial Pro-Bowl quarterback Carson Palmer is not desirous to be part of this franchise, which has generally struggled mightily since nearly defeating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 23 in the late 80s.
The new face of the franchise, Andy Dalton, actually has some solid game, despite bearing a strong resemblance to Opie Taylor back in Mayberry.
Since Dalton's Texas Christian Horned Frogs didn't play in the right conference (yes, a college football critique, if you're going to read my columns, that's something you'll have to deal with), they were shut out of the "national championship" game and many fans never got to see what he could do.
If the Bengals are desirous to retain Cedric Benson, who has amassed 2,462 rushing yards and 13 scores on the ground the past two seasons despite his legal matters, I can't really fault their logic unless he screws up again.
With Chad Ochocinco, or whatever he calls himself these days, en route to New England, there are some young Cincinnati receivers with a chance to assert themselves.
Last year, Jordan Shipley (52 rec, 600 yards, 3 TD's) and Jerome Simpson (three more receiving scores) showed they were ready for the rigors of the NFL and Cincinnati's progression will require a solid passing game.
Defensively, Rey Maualuga, while performing solidly, needs to step his game up anymore to lead a unit which could be excellent, if free agent acquisition Nate Clements can make Bengals fans forget the departed Jonathan Joseph.
I think Marvin Lewis is one of the best coaches in the league, but I also say he needs to do one of his best jobs to keep this team above water.
The Bengals do have significant talent in some areas, but to me, there are a lot of question marks.
I do think Cincinnati is a team I can only understand if I watch them this preseason (yes, that was a shoutout for my dish provider to step his game up and get me a new satellite system after my current one failed), but in all seriousness, if film study can make Aaron Rodgers a Super Bowl champion, it can work wonders for me as well.
Right now, I peg Cincinnati for perhaps six or seven wins, but the Bengals are free to surprise me as I readily admit my mistakes.