10. Marvin Lewis - I've been a big supporter of Marvin Lewis all year and would actually like him back. Having said that, he blew it in the Houston game. He did a poor job of coaching and seemed to be pressing in moment, which may or may not have been a factor in several other players melting down on the sidelines. I've always defended Marvin, although I've always known he was not a very good game manager I thought he handled the team well, especially this year. Even though I thought Marvin performed well overall this year given the circumstances, I had to put him on the list based on his performance (or lack of) in the most critical game of the year.
9. Leon Hall - I know it's not fair because we cannot control injuries but even before he was injured, he was under performing. Having said that, the main reason Leon makes the list is because of his injury. The bottom-line is that we counted on him and he was not able to deliver, we let JJoe walk because we thought Leon was the safer and more reliable option, mainly because he was less injury prone. Again, I know it's not fair but he makes the list because of his injury.
8. Donte Moch - Another case of injuries leading to a disappointing season. I know the preseason is irrelevant, but after watching him in the preseason I thought he could be a real contributor to this team, especially during passing downs. He was a high enough draft pick where he should have been able to contribute at least a little this year, despite the injuries. Unfortunately, he never got his opportunities and we will have to wait until next season to see if he can make an impact on this team.
7. Brandon Tate - Yeah, I know he was up and down and our averaging starting was actually pretty good this year but overall he was not very consistent and did not pass the "eye ball" test. Every time he returned the ball, I was worried something bad was going to happen and he made absolutely no contribution in the receiving game. If you look around the league most other return guys also contribute in other facets of the game. He does not, and until he's able to do some other things in the receiving game, running game, or even on a coverage unit (like Hawkins does) I think he's a wasted roster spot.
6. Kelly Jennings - OK, I will say his play did actually improve as the season went on but based on the fact we traded a pretty good player to acquire him, he was an overall disappointment who I do not think is very good and I'd prefer not to have back next year.
5. Brandon Ghee - This guy was 3rd round who should know the system by now. How in the heck can he not get on the field with all the injuries we had in our secondary. The fact he was not able to get on the field puts him on this list.
4 Rey Maualuga - He had his moments, but I was not overly impressed with his overall play. I'm willing to give him a slight pass because it's his first year making the transition back to the inside. He makes the list because I thought he'd make the transition a lot quicker, especially when you consider he went back to his natural position. Next year, if he does not improve and play more consistent, I'll have to question if he's the right man for the job.
3. Taylor Mays - Chris Crocker was terrible this year, how could he not get on the field?? I know everyone thinks they know him and they know why he didn't contribute because they like to read back the scouting reports well "he's got stiff hip" and "he's got good straight line speed but not very quick in coverage". IMO that's all a load of crap. He was good at USC, and he has the ability to cover, although he was often way too aggressive. He has all the athletic ability in the world, now he just needs to get off his ass learn the schemes, work on his techniques and prove to the coaches he should be the one playing SS!!
2. Cedric Benson - I've listen to several interviews with Ced this year and I truly believe he may have been the only one on the roster who did not buy into the whole "team" mentality that we had going. I think Ced worries about Ced and that's it. Personally, I think Ced is a still a descent back and could help another team out, I just feel he's no longer a featured back and is definitely no longer a fit for this team.
1. Chris Crocker - I personally like Chris Crocker every time I hear him talk or being interviewed he comes across very well. Having said that, he is absolutely horrible!!! Our defense, was pretty solid this year and could have been dominant if they eliminated the big plays. I'd venture to say Chris Crocker was one way or another involved in or partially responsible for about 30%-40% of the big plays we gave up this season between both the run and pass game. If we can upgrade this position, and turn them 70 yards runs we were giving up now turn them into 12 yard gains, (which are still not good but they are not back breakers either) we will be in good shape.
10. Marvin Lewis - I know, I know Marvin made both list. I just do not feel you can look past all Marvin was able to accomplish this year with this team. He had a part in putting the overall product together, he did a nice job managing the young guys and for most part eliminating the diva's. If not for the coaching meltdown in Houston Marvin would be much higher on this list.
9. Jay Gruden - Rookie OC, with rookie QB, and star rookie WR. I think Jay did a great job developing chemistry between these two guys, which bodes well for our future. I also thought he did a nice job of calling the offense, especially earlier in the year. I do feel like he was more conservative laterr in the season and not as creative. Hopefully with a full off season, and a year under there belts he can really step up the game plan next season.
8. Thomas Howard - The guy came in and was a true professional. On a shortened off season with a new team he just flat out played great and was an outstanding pick up for this team.
7. Pat Simms - Honestly, I knew he was good, I just didn't realize how valuable he was until he got injured and our run defense turned to Sh##. I'd make a real hard push to keep the entire d-line intact for next season, this includes paying Pat Simms to retain his services
6. Andrew Hawkins - Who knew?? Love the guy and hope they continue to get him more involved in the game. Every time he touches the ball I feel like there's a chance for him to take it to the house.
5. Nate Clements - I just cannot say enough about how well he did stepping in for JJoe. He was a true professional and actually still has some real skills at the position. I'm very excited to have him back for one more season.
4. Geno Atkins - Stud!!! He's an absolutely beast and was absolutely dominant. Carlos Dunlap opened eyes last year big Geno did this year. I think these two will be battling it our for defensive MVP for years to come.
3. Andy Dalton - You just cannot say enough about what this kid has been able to do as a rookie. He's smart, deceptively athletic, and our future looks bright with him at the helm.
2. AJ Green - Stud!!! Does anyone remember the HOF jacket Chad sported several years . As long as AJ stays healthy and keeps his head on straight he will be the next Bengals WR sporting one of those but it will be a real one, and yes I believe he can really be that good.
1. Mike Brown - I CANNOT BELIEVE I JUST WROTE THAT!!! But hey he drafted both AJ and Andy, which would have been good enough alone to get him onto the list. But then he went ahead and fleeced the Raiders for two more high draft picks by giving them a guy who does nothing but throw ints and did not even want to be here he had to be moved to #1.