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Daugherty: Bengals Timing in Firing Bratkowski Raises Questions

After the shock from the news that Bengals owner Mike Brown decided to fire offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski wore off, a state of confusion set in on many. I'm no exception.

Yes, I'm happy because the Bengals have obviously made the right decision. Bratkowski definitely needed to go. However, I do wonder why the Bengals decided to do nothing from their last game of the season, which was played on January 2, to now. Why wait that long? Lance McAlister tweeted that the Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams, Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks  all hired new offensive coordinators while the Bengals did nothing. That's six teams and six potential offensive coordinators off the board.

Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty believes that this was a knee-jerk decision.

You don’t fire the man right after the season. That would give you time to hire his replacement and have that person in place for a week in Mobile, to install a basic offense. You don’t fire Bratkowski on Jan.3. You wait nearly a month, so most of the good candidates already have been spoken for.

You don’t do Bratkowski the decency of letting him go quickly. You allow him to twist in the proverbial wind, while his head coach very publicly wines and dines his potential replacement, Brad Childress. While his quarterback suggests through channels that he’d like the man gone, too.

So, what was it? Did Carson Palmer threatening retirement if he isn't traded force Brown's hand? Did the recent polls conducted by Joe Reedy and McAlister that showed the majority of fans weren't going to be renewing their season tickets scare Brown? Anybody who possesses the smallest amount of football common sense knew that Bratkowski needed to be let go before the 2010 abysmal Bengals season even came to an end. Why didn't Mike Brown?

This shows how unbelievably disorganized the Bengals front office is. It makes you wonder if they were really planning on keeping Bratkowski until Palmer dropped his bomb or Reedy and McAlister showed Brown that fans have had enough. It makes you wonder if Brown really needed to be forced to do what we all knew was right a long time ago.

Then there's the way that Bratkowski was fired. Instead of sealing his fate and allowing him to try and find another job right after the Bengal's season ended, Brown elected to hold on to him, allow him to take a free trip to Mobile, Ala., and have every Bengals fan and their brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers scream about how badly he needs to be fired. Even Marvin Lewis' dinner with Brad Childress was considered by many to be his way of saying that Bratkowski needs to go. Bratkowski had to sit in his office, located in a city where the majority of the population hates him and read the news about his head coach eating dinner with Chilly and Benson refusing to return if Bratkowski does.

Monday was proof that good news can be just as baffling and disconcerting as bad news. I am, and I'm sure all of you are as well, happy that Mike Brown finally decided to let Bratkowski go. It was a long time coming. I am not happy with the timing, though. The fact that he waited this long makes me wonder about his football IQ and commitment to winning even more.

I guess I'm one of those fans who just can't be made happy.