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Reaction to mid-season grades

You knew it was coming -- mid-season grades and report cards. Yesterday I posted my mid-season report basically reflecting on whether or not the team has met expectations. Mostly every position and player was below my personal pre-season expectations. Admittedly, my expectations were pretty high after going 11-5 and making the playoffs. Who knew?

I wanted to go through Chick Ludwig's and Mark Curnutte's grades this morning starting with the offense.

Ludwig gave the offense a "D" saying:

After beating Pittsburgh to go 3-0, the offense relaxed, fell off its stack of press clippings and transformed into a gang that can't shoot straight.

Curnutte broke it down between rushing and passing. The run offense deserved a "D" and the pass offense deserved a "C".

The rushing offense has been way below expectations. As pointed out in previous posts, Rudi Johnson is having career lows in most categories. I disagree with the "C" grade for the passing offense. I still think the offense has been above average which reflects being 11th in passing yards and touchdowns in the NFL. Yes, we expected more but that's on us and our unrealistic expectations with post-injury Palmer and the absence of his receivers early in the season.

Mark Curnutte gave no love for the defense and Chick Ludwig gave a "C". Ludwig provides the best "please change" analysis saying, " Replace DT Sam Adams and CB Tory James with Domata Peko and Johnathan Joseph. James has lost a step and Adams' gas tank is dry. Peko pushes the pocket; Joseph covers well and is a willing run defender."

Ludwig goes on to say regarding his "Halftime adjustment" for the coaching staff, "Quit saying, 'We keep getting better.' It's time to prove it."

Couldn't have said it better.

Bengals have plenty of room to improve [DDN]
Second-quarter report card [Enquirer]
Mid-Season Report: Bengals below expectations [Cincy Jungle]