As you look back at the 2011 season and evaluate the 22 starters for all 17 games several FACTS jump out at you. The FIRST and perhaps the most important FACT is that our Bengals could NOT run the football efficiently. I DVR every game and therefore I have watched each game at least 2 times (most games 3x's). Every single Bengal's fan on God's green earth knows that we need better guard play. In fact if we want to have a chance to be a perrenial division winner we need excellent guard play. To me that is the position that most needs improving, which says something since we also need a RB, a #2 WR, a SS a, a CB, better MLB play, and a dominate blocking TE that can also contribute to our play action packages. The SECOND FACT is that we sorely missed a veteran WR opposite AJ Green to assist in his development and to provide a reliable secondary target for Dalton (which would also help Dalton's development). I love Jerome Simpson's potential but in the NFL potential is a dirty word. It needs to be realized early, and on display consitstently. I'm not sure if Jerome is our #2 WR? The THIRD FACT that we cannot avoid is that Chris Crocker's best days are behind him. I love Crocker and the tough and disciplined play that he brought to the secondary. I love that he knocked the snot out of Santonio Holmes a few years back. I love that he appreciates playing in Cincinnati. I love all those things but if we are to be successful moving forward he can't be back there. He's a liability. The FOURTH FACT is that we need new life in the backfield. Cedric Benson would be great on the Jets or Jaguars, teams that run power and inside zone right up the gut. But that's not what this offense does. We need a back with great feet for cutbacks and the explosiveness to get outside. We need someone who also has the balance, power and vision to run inside. We need our own Ray Rice, Matt Forte, or Shady McCoy. Essentially we need one guy that can be Ced, B Scott, and (the underrated) Brian Leonard all in one. Then we keep Leonard because I think he would make a very solid backup. With his size and ability to run in between the tackles and his pass pro and ball catching skills he gives you more flexibilty than Scott. The FIFTH FACT is not actually a fact, let's call it a gut feeling. We need to draft a starting corner. There is no guarantee that Leon Hall will return to the field and be the same player. We need to be prepared for that. Draft someone that can learn from Hall and Clements and is talented enough to plug in there if either of those guys can't go. I've heard that Ghee is athletically gifted and is starting to digest the coaching but we can't risk waiting on him. Since I've shared with you the FIVE FACTORS that must be addressed this offseason allow me to offer the gameplan that will improve our depth, add talent to our starting 22, and ensure a return to the playoffs next year. Unfortunately....... you'll have to wait until tomorrow!
Until then, goodnight fellow Bengals fans. WHO DEY!!!!!