We wrote a FanShot on this, but thought it merited its own recognition and post. Joe Posnanski (who also penned The Machine about the '75 Cincinnati Reds) with NBCSports.com wrote an essay that really detailed the shift and background on Bengals owner Mike Brown.
On drafting/signing troubled players, Brown actually admits that that's true, applying the memory that one team that had players with questionable character would always beat them.
"Once upon a time, we drafted with character as a big part of the judgment," he says. "And then we played a team – without naming that team – and they used to knock our socks off. They were playing with guys who we thought were, in some ways, I won’t say reprehensible but they were certainly, in our minds, questionable. Of course, that might not have been fair. After all, they were beating us pretty good."
So Brown applied the same approach. Brown has also hoped that some players that faced difficulties would find a way to recover.
He pauses. Brown doesn’t like to talk about the other reason he drafted troubled players. "That’s a perfect example of Mike," Collinsworth says. "People would say that he doesn’t care what kind of person he brings to Cincinnati. But he cares a lot. He really has a little bit of a soft side. He wants to see guys turn their life around."
Brown recalls a story about Stanley Wilson, already aware that he had a drug problem, but wanted to help him out. His father Paul didn't see it, but allowed Mike to make the move.
Over time and with a little help from Marvin Lewis, Brown has changed, realizing that troubled players aren't realiable.
"Mike has changed," Lewis says. "He has changed realizing that if we bring in a player who has some kind of issue, and the issue crops up, we don’t have a player. That chair is still empty."
It's a great read for everyone, especially older fans who have been part of the roller coaster years with Brown at the helm.