By all accounts, James Walker seems to be doing an alright job as one of ESPN's NFL bloggers, primarily covering the AFC North. Yes, we've complained about him and his seemingly favorable coverage regarding other AFC North teams, but we tend to expect that and our instant-reaction against most writers is a family tradition in Cincinnati. It is what it is. The national media likes to poke fun at the Bengals and Walker doesn't bring much of a unique perspective for us to shape a differing opinion. But no, we haven't done anything to really reverse that.
Walker thus moves beyond the Bengals, instead of poking at Bengals fans on Thursday, basically saying to someone that might overreact to such things, "look at those silly Bengals fans, they actually thought they'd win this year."
It's true, Bengals fans were pretty excited about this team in the offseason. Why wouldn't we be? We're coming off a playoff season with a team remarkably similar to those division powerhouses that's used a defensive and rushing philosophy. A lasting philosophy. And it worked. The Bengals swept the division, won the AFC North and went to the playoffs. Even though they were one-and-done, there was still anticipation for this year. Palmer received his weapons in Terrell Owens, Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley. The offensive line developed with a year under the belts, hopefully rewarding the team with a vastly improved cohesive unit. The Bengals were so impressive, Walker picked them as the tenth best team in the preseason power rankings, just five spots below the team he believed would win the AFC North.
It hasn't started the way we thought it would, there's no doubt.
Walker thus remarks what Bengals fans said during the offseason, apparently to indirectly kick fans while they're down and introducing the post as saying "Bengals fans were among the most vocal this offseason coming off a division title and a playoff appearance. So here is a recap of their recent the trash-talking."