The Bengals head into the offseason with a certain level of momentum. It proves that this team can perform when they want to. The domination against Tennessee proved that. I understand that the win was against a team that finished 1-15. The Bengals offense did, mostly, what they wanted. The defense made some good plays. There was positives from Sunday even though the defense looked finished early giving the Dolphins their final eight points in the 38-25 win, rather easily.
What's that mean?
The Bengals will head into the offseason either planning to completely rebuild or filter out what Marvin Lewis perceives as detrimental to the team's success. Selfishness, mostly.
Will the team try to re-sign Justin Smith? Will Madieu Williams ask for more money the Bengals deem too much -- or will he take a hometown discount? Will Deltha O'Neal and Dexter Jackson be gone? Will Rudi Johnson be the odd-man out in an overloaded running back competition? Can the team re-sign Landon Johnson? Or land a free agent? Will the team re-sign Stacy Andrews? Or will they move Andrew Whitworth back to tackle and draft a guard? Will that mean that Willie Anderson is the odd-man out? Will the Bengals try to unload highly talented receivers for draft picks if there's truth to the reports that they are a "distraction" or trying to run the team?
There's also the issue that Marvin Lewis says nothing "earth-shattering" will happen, though he follows that up with comments like "blow this whole thing up" or "start from scratch".
There's a lot to go through. A lot of potential moves.
I really believe that this offseason will be the most emotional from fans since Lewis took over. If they make a ton of changes, then we'll get fired up and pumped that the team is avoiding status quo. If they don't make moves, then we'll be upset, and bored, reminding ourselves that Lewis pumped us with hot air.
I appreciated the season here. You guys were rock solid. And I hope that we'll find new friends and new people to make this even better. I hope I provided a point of view that was thoughtful and better game day access for those outside the viewing area -- especially guys like Vols far away in the military.
Bring me everything. Your thoughts for the off-season. Write up a diary and if they're good, I'll promote it as the main story. But we'll be chugging into the off-season and I can't wait for your guys' opinion on the offseason and an include of hope that makes this team a playoff team in 2008.