[H/T to Emeybee for the idea on twitter]
The best thing about the internet is that once something is uploaded, it will be there forever. Archive.org takes snap shots of websites, which usually takes this old "blogger" on a fun ride towards nostalgia. One of those old postings was the hiring of Mike Zimmer on Jan. 15, 2008 and my reaction to it.
Take the ride down memory lane, which was admittedly far more pessimistic* than I remember.
*Pessimistic in that the team and roster just wasn't that good.
This posting was originally posted on Jan. 16, 2008.
There's two mindsets at work after the Bengals officially hired Mike Zimmer to become the team's defensive coordinator. Both of which rely on a history of experience. As a Bengals fan, you just get that feeling that it doesn't matter who the defensive coordinator is, the defense will continue to struggle. Coaches are coaches. Players are players. If the players aren't that good, then the coaches aren't either. If the coaches aren't that good, in some cases, the players can make up the difference or make the coach look better than he really is.
Leslie Frazier was the first Marvin Lewis defensive coordinator. After an unsuccessful run -- and being a scapegoat coordinator -- Frazier went to Indianapolis -- coaching defensive backs -- helping the Colts improve their defensive ranking from 15th in 2005 to 2nd in 2006. He went on to Minnesota as the defensive coordinator and finished with a 20th ranked defense -- first against the rush, dead last against the pass.
Ironically, the Bengals best defensive season in the past five years was Frazier's last season (2004) when the defense was ranked 19th. Chuck Bresnahan didn't fare much better. The defense didn't toughen up. However, they did become an opportunistic group leading the league with 31 interceptions in 2005 with 30 forced fumbles (6th in NFL). The Bengals frequency of interceptions ranked in the top-eight each of Chuck Bresnahan's three seasons.
I'm not degrading Mike Zimmer one bit. I think it's a good hire. Why? Because of the available candidates available, the Bengals got the most established that would reasonably be in Cincinnati. No chance of Rex Ryan. No chance of Tim Lewis. No consideration for Donnie Henderson.
And Zimmer has produced results with the Cowboys taking younger players and establishing them as stars -- pun intended. It's not that I don't believe Zimmer can do it. That invading thought that no matter who the Bengals hire as defensive coordinator, it won't make a difference. But we'll see. We have all off-season to speculate.