Remember Jim Lippincott? He was an interesting guy, known more for his unorthodox ways of cutting players than for his 21-year resume as Director of Football Operations for the Cincinnati Bengals. After the 2011 season, Lippincott retired from his gig with the Bengals and now moonlights as an assistant to Moeller High School's football program. Not exactly the most lateral of career moves, but no matter.
Since that time, the Bengals have added two scouts to their staff, but have not found a replacement for for the position that Lippincott once held. In looking over every franchise in the NFL, they have either a General Manager position filled and/or a position similar to Director of Football Operations. The Bengals don't currently employ anyone for either job (other than Mike Brown assuming a dual role as G.M. and Owner). In fact, the closest thing that they have to either position currently on their staff is the one held by Duke Tobin--Director of Player Personnel.
We argued that Tobin could be a frontrunner to nab the position if/when it's filled, but it is troubling that the team has yet to fill this position, as well as hire a non-Brown family member to become the G.M. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported recently that the Bengals could be hiring a prominent front office position this offseason--be it G.M. or for Lippincott's old job. Still, if Tobin is promoted to Director of Football Operations, would they then leave the Director of Player Personnel job vacant?
It's no secret that the Bengals have been a punchline when it comes to the lack of internal resources they have in critical positions. Think about it though: a team with two vacant jobs that are critical to building a roster, has made the playoffs in three of the past four seasons.
While the Bengals have been competitive of late, they still have a ways to go in terms of operating in the same fashion as nearly every other NFL franchise. Filling Lippincott's position and finding a G.M. not named Mike Brown would help continue to usher them into the 21st century.
[Editor's Note: All of Lippincott's positions were distributed throughout the organization.]