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Top Bengals Stories Of 2011: #4 Bengals Fire Bob Bratkowski And Hire Jay Gruden

It was predictable. Unimaginative. Lacking originality. Not using personnel to their strengths. Filtering through the litany of descriptions best defining former offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski, those are just a handful that we used. And since we're a family website designed for all ages, we had to eliminate 95% of the other descriptions -- Including the one that featured two snakes, a purple emerald and a sheep atop of a mountain cliff. Due to speculated increased power over his own coaching staff as one of his contingencies for returning, Marvin Lewis and the franchise fired former offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski.

Days later the team announced that they've hired Jay Gruden, whose most prominent position in the NFL was being Jon Gruden's little brother (and an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers).

Gruden's task was monstrous. Not only was the team revising their entire personnel in the passing game, they were implementing an entirely new offensive system all the while the NFL locked out its players, preventing coaches from speaking to players until late July. Thankfully the players, who had received playbooks prior to the lockout, took it upon themselves to acclimate themselves to the system, lead by guys like Jordan Palmer, Andrew Whitworth for a handful of volunteer workouts that resulted in a massive showing.

Though Cincinnati's offense is hardly considered a power house with a ton of consistency issues, they tend to show up at the right time.