Commentary: It's About Damn Time

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 1: Anthony Collins #73, Domata Peko #94 and Rey Maualuga #58 of the Cincinnati Bengals get set to lead the team onto the field before an NFL preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Paul Brown Stadium on September 1, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Colts won 17-13. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The offseason has been filled with recurring story lines we'd rather forget than have reminded to us. The Mike Brown press conferences, while always a possibility in the near-future, are long over. Carson Palmer's drama continues, but only so much as the media drills it. The four-win high-expectation season last year is a thing of the past, rolling like a fog into the faded memory on amnesia boulevard. Rankings, grades, preseason prognostication drives head-first into a brick wall, undisturbed, penetrating only the smile on our faces as we inch close to the 2011 regular season.

And it's about damn time.

It's about time that we finally transition into the Andy Dalton era, watching the image of Carson Palmer sitting on a degraded wooden canoe flowing away along the current of the Ohio River. It's about time that Cincinnati's offense scrubs and washes (and scrubs again) the Bob Bratkowski era in favor of a modified version of the West Coast offense that's acknowledged to have been conceived and implemented in this beautiful city. It's about time that the star power that once drove this offense, is gone and replaced with a group of enthusiastic young players mixed with veterans that actually want to be here.

It's about time that Cincinnati's defense take that one-year hiatus after finishing fourth overall in 2009, only to suffer catastrophic injuries in 2010, and finally put together the sequel that was meant to be a top-five defense. Rey Maualuga, Chris Crocker and Mike Zimmer agree. It's time to actually see if the secondary is improved, or breaking even after losing Johnathan Joseph, replacing him with Nate Clements. It's time to see if Taylor Mays is an improvement over Roy Williams, or a draw.

It's about time to shove Tony Grossi's pompous remarks up his ___ (three letters with one vowel, please) for calling out Andy Dalton. A win would work, but three touchdown passes would really drive the proverbial stake. It's time to renew rivalries, remind that Cleveland Browns fans, who call us Bungal fans, have won one time in the past five meetings between the squads. And since 2003, the Browns are 5-11 against the Bengals. So if we're Bungal fans, what does that make them?

It's about time to acknowledge that Marvin Lewis may have received more authority after signing a two-year deal and watch that translate on the field. A young, though impressionable roster of potential that's far more promising than what this team has shown for some time.

It's about damn time to get this started.

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