Several months ago The Big Lead published a story that wrote ESPN will be hiring writers to cover all 32 teams in the NFL. That story was confirmed last month by Senior Vice President of Editorial, Print and Digital Media, Rob King. Instead of having divisional breakdown like the AFC North blog and the other inferior divisions in the NFL, there will be one blogger covering the Cincinnati Bengals. One blogger covering the Pittsburgh Steelers, one for the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, so forth and so on.
In other words, the SB Nation model.
ESPN announced their NFL roster on Monday, naming a writer for each of their teams -- some of whom were already at ESPN.
"The expansion of NFL Nation represents one of ESPN Digital’s most ambitious projects in our continuing effort to provide the ultimate personalized experience for fans," said ESPN.com Editor-in-Chief Patrick Stiegman. "This will create the most credible, authoritative team-by-team network anywhere, with multimedia journalists providing news, analysis and perspective in every NFL market, across all ESPN platforms. Coupled with our highly respected national voices, NFL Nation will provide unprecedented coverage for fans."
As for the Bengals, Jamison Hensley will go back to covering the Baltimore Ravens as the division-model closes down. Covering the Bengals will be Coley Harvey, who covered the Florida State Seminoles with the Orlando Sentinel. He writes in his good bye posting Monday.
Like the 2011 Seminoles who were trying to finally turn the corner of national relevancy again, the 2013 Bengals are weeks from enjoying perhaps one of their best years in franchise history. Like the 2011 Seminoles, the talent is there for Cincinnati. The Bengals have a quarterback who has come into his own, an offense that has so far shown a semblance of strong balance and an aptitude for scoring, and a defense that includes the right mix of veterans and youth, making it one of the deepest units in the entire league. Just like here in the Big Bend, this could be a fun year on the Riverfront.
Things will begin to take shape next week.