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Marvin Lewis must show improvement; Andre Smith and the Bengals to start negotiations soon

Finally. My new desktop computer is up and running. It's fast. Really fast. I also got a 22 inch wide screen monitor and honestly, it's fraking awesome. I tried watching a movie on it. When I watched it before, I thought the clarity of the movie was awesome, no, perfect. Now? Not so much. It's a bit grainy and pixelates a lot more. The monitor and video card are both brand new. Before the upgrade, I had a really old 19" monitor and a piece of crap video card. Actually. It was worse than a piece of crap. This video card made pieces of crap look great. See, the last time I built a system from scratch for my own use (I've built several for other people), the thing was packed full of IDE cables, PCI cards and a big (yet really thin) video card in the AGP slot. Now, none of that exists. Everything is SATA, I have one PCI express card and that's it. No AGP (that's going bye bye) and all of my other devices are connected via USB and Firewire.

So now I have a system capable of running the latest games. Since the days of the original Half-Life, I slowly migrated to console systems, so I'm out of touch. What games, other than World of Warcraft, do you recommend?

Before we get to the Bengals, I wanted to know if anyone else saw that miserable beating last night. The Reds gave up 10 runs in the first inning to the Philadelphia Phillies. Sadly, the Phillies hadn't even scored half their total runs for the game yet. It was the worst defeat in Reds history. Over last weekend, the Reds were in position to compete for first place against the Cardinals. Now the Reds and Astros are tied for fourth place -- if the Reds lost and 'Stros win, the Reds will be in fifth place all by themselves. Reality is a tough pill to swallow sometimes. It's a close division, but losing 22-1 against a good Phillies team doesn't help the idea of this team making a run for anything. It was only one game and how badly you lose doesn't affect the other 161 games. But still. Good god. That was just disgusting.

While he isn't on the hot seat, Marvin Lewis is on a list that "must show improvement" this season. Normally, I've defended against these type of arguments because the Brown family doesn't have a good track record hiring head coaches. So charging them with that responsibility makes me a bit nervous. However, I agree. With this team, and the return of several players, he needs to show improvement. We're not talking playoffs because I believe, in reality, that's still a stretch at this point. We just don't know about a lot of things -- how are the free agent veterans going to play, are the rookies going to contribute right away and will they produce?

The Bengals and Andre Smith are expected to be in contact in the next week or so, writes Geoff Hobson.

The speculation is that the agent for No. 1 pick Andre Smith is going to start his negotiations just below Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez's deal at No. 5 for $28.5 million guaranteed and that the Bengals are going to start at the $21 million guaranteed the Jets gave linebacker Vernon Gholston at No. 6 last year.

So the Bengals are going to offer Smith, at least to start, $21 million guaranteed. How much you want to bet that number is gaffed at by Smith's representatives and the holdout is for at least $4-5 million guaranteed?

Dave doesn't care. If negotiations take time, then we have Anthony Collins.

Who cares.

Ben Utecht says:

"Things are looking good in Cincinnati," he said. "Everybody's healthy, and I think that one of our biggest downfalls last year was that we had 21 guys on injured reserve, and a lot of those guys were starters and big contributors."

Tisk. Tisk. Injury excuse again.

Marvin Lewis must show improvement; Andre Smith and the Bengals to start negotiations soon