We could argue for weeks the problems facing this second-year iteration of Marvin Lewis' third resurrected Bengals squad since 2003. Did you follow that? It's the rushing offense. No. It's Andy Dalton's suspicious regression while on pace to shatter career and franchise records. Mysteries abound. It's the offensive line, or the lack of a pass rush, poor defensive play from critical positions. Special teams, sure. Marvin Lewis' time management, disappointing midseason production from the offensive coordinators...
Andrew Whitworth says, stop. [Collaborate and listen]
On Wednesday the starting left tackle, player representative for the Bengals and de facto leader told journalists in the Bengals locker room that it's time to stop pointing fingers, placing blame and to just win games. Not sure if there's an underlying tone (directed to the media or something else in the locker room) but he's right. Win games and the supposed trivialities of placing blame and suggestive reasoning for issues disappears.
Actually when you settle into the recliner and put his comments into perspective, it's hard not to at least entertain the possibility of some division in the locker room. Maybe that's our suspicious nature, especially one day after the campaign season resolved to an abrupt conclusion Tuesday night (meaning I'm just glad the whole damned thing is over).
Yet within a more extended context, Whitworth is definitely shifting the comments towards his coaching staff.
"Guys have to put away things. Stop looking for someone to blame, whose fault is this or that and start worrying about winning football games," Whitworth said. "It seems like every week we're trying to say this person needs to do this or that person needs to do that. What we need to happen is we need to go win a football game. I hear Marvin (Lewis) and Jay (Gruden) and all these people try to point to people needing to go do things and we just need to win a game.
But then who has the right to blame anyone? The defense is categorically struggling, as is the offense and special teams. Just saying.
Yet it's all talk. Chatter. Static in the background if the wins remain elusive with a team projected at one point, from a supremely optimistic core of Bengals fans, to make the postseason.