Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Hey, it's another mailbag. We discuss some things like Duke Tobin possibly being a GM candidate for other teams and more on Bengals culture.
[We have revitalized the mailbag, discussing topics that you, our readers, email, tweet and comment on Facebook. We'll also take a few FanPosts and expand on our thoughts for additional discussion. If you have a question you want us to examine, or just want to see your name on these posts, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org]
+ From @JinxAllessio: "I think Duke Tobin, Director of Player Personnel, will be in the running for a General Manager position in the next few years."
Duke Tobin, son of Bill Tobin and nephew to Vince Tobin, has held the title of Director of Player Personnel since 2004 for the Cincinnati Bengals, often coordinating with head coach Marvin Lewis in developing the team's rosters during the eight years they've worked together. If Cincinnati ever decided to fill the vacancy left by Jim Lippincott as Director of Football Operations -- or promote someone within to a newly developed title of General Manger -- Tobin would be the most logical promotion.
Arguments could be made for or against Tobin's successes with the Bengals through the years -- followed up with discussions on how much power and input he may actually have -- but there are other candidates that could receive greater consideration for General Manager openings right now. Names like Marc Ross (Giants Director of College Scouting), Eric DeCosta (Ravens Assistant General Manager), Omar Khan (Steelers Director of Football and Business Administration), Mike Maccagnan (Texans Director of College Scouting), David Caldwell (Falcons Director of Player Personnel) and Brian Gutekunst (Packers Director of College Scouting).
We suspect that Tobin will more likely take the Director of Football Operations position for the Bengals before he's plucked from another organization. But team's roster dating back to 2011 only favors his resume.
+ From one reader after the Baltimore Ravens fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron on Monday.
"The Ravens fired their OC, Cam Cameron, today. I realize that they lost yesterday, but still, it's a pretty unusual move for a successful team late in the season. Obviously, that organization (and the Steelers) have extremely high expectations, while we seem to be willing to settle for less. Marvin is a very generic, risk-averse coach, and Mike Brown has claimed that he wants to win a championship, but he hasn't invested much in the team outside of player salaries. Between those two "better safe than sorry" personalities, it seems like we're the picture of a perpetual 8-8 team.
"My question: is the culture of the organization a weakness that should be fixed, or is it a necessary evil? Obviously, the Steelers and Ravens can take risks in terms of coaching/player personnel, and they'll have qualified replacements beating down their doors, just because of their name-power and modern-era success. We don't have that luxury. If we fired a coach, there's a very real possibility that we wouldn't be able to attract a worthy slate of candidates to choose from. Should the team continue with its current cautious, low-expectations strategy, or should we take some risks and try to shake things up?"
Let's keep in mind that Cam Cameron entered his fifth season as the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens and ironically enough, the Ravens offense were ninth in the league in scoring -- which is the highest its been under Cameron's reign as offensive coordinator (ninth in 2008 also). Whether the team was frustrated by the lack of Ray Rice participation in the second half of games, a general frustration with the play calling or players just not giving it all (using Cameron as an excuse), who knows.
Either way it was a move welcomed by players and fans alike.
Since no one wants to blame the popular players or the loveable coordinators in Cincinnati, the obvious "change" will come with Marvin Lewis -- despite popular players dropping passes, popular coordinators passing five times during the final drive, collapsing when entering the redzone, or giving up 23-yard receptions on third and 20, or allowing a nine-point deficit to fade within six minutes.
While personally I favor Lewis, the facts are there. In ten years with the Bengals, Lewis is 76-83-1, has three winning seasons while working on a fourth without a postseason win on his resume. Lewis will be here through the 2014 season and based on their record this year and last, Lewis won't be removed from office any time soon.
Maybe it's a culture of mediocrity. Everyone has their opinions. The players still play for Lewis, respect him as a head coach and at some point they need to be held accountable to the same standards as the coaches. Players execute. Coaches put players in a position to succeed. You know, team concept. Yada, yada.