As much as people were bashing the anemic play calling of Bob Bratkowski early against the Patriots on Sunday, it was the team's other coordinator that's taking the blame for how poorly his unit played.
Mike Zimmer, Bengals defensive coordinator, is shouldering the blame for the team's woes on defense, saying that "We had so much time to prepare playing against a good team, we had to take care of this guy, we had to do that, we had to do this, we had to take care and we forgot to play football so it was my fault.” Interesting phrase he uses, "paralysis by analysis", basically agreeing with fans that the offseason is entirely too long. And with all that time off, as Zimmer says, there was too much thinking by the defense that "we forgot to play football."
But don't think that this will be a constant thing. He's done taking the blame this year.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, and I'll get beaten up for using terribly outdated catch phrases.
“I don’t know what we are right now but we’ll find out,” said Zimmer. “We’ll find out where we are. But this one won’t be on me this week. This one will be on the players. If they don’t play well, it’s on them. I took the last one but that’s the last one I’m taking.”