During the NFL Network's three-hour NFL Schedule release extravaganza, former Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame wide receiver, Michael Irvin, was very complimentary of the Cincinnati Bengals and the direction of their franchise. While discussing the Bengals' final home stretch of their schedule with fellow Hall of Famer, Marshall Faulk, Irvin made an interesting comparison.
"I'm all over the Cincinnati Bengals, I like that young team, I love what they're doing...the team reminds me of the 1991 Cowboys, it was a team that was ready to jump out and do things that people weren't expecting them to do. I think that the Cincinnati Bengals are that team, now. They have a good, young nucleus in the quarterback and the wide receiver and they're ready to make a move."
Faulk wasn't nearly as complimentary to the Bengals as Irvin, but it's very clear that the national perception of the team as a whole has a completely different feel from where that perception was last offseason. The fact that the team made the playoffs with a rookie quarterback and wide receiver amongst so much internal turmoil has earned the respect of many national analysts.
It's a flattering comparison from Irvin and an exciting prospect for fans to hang their hopes on. Let's hope that Irvin's prediction comes to pass for the 2012 season.