The timing of Bob Bratkowski's firing has raised eyebrows.
The Bengals press conference announcing Marvin Lewis' return came on January 4. Twenty-seven days later, the Bengals dismissed their offensive coordinator of ten years. Why now and not then?
Some will argue that by firing Bratkowski so late, the offensive coordinator will have a hard time now finding a job, whereas he would have been available earlier this month having a better shot at an offensive coordinator position. Paul Daugherty writes that "You don’t do Bratkowski the decency of letting him go quickly." True. But don't feel too bad for Bratkowski. He's still going to get paid his 2011 salary. I'm sure he'll be fine.
The timing isn't the issue here. We highly doubt the Bengals front office, with Marvin Lewis of course, sat in a room on January 5th decided that they were going to fire the team's offensive coordinator on January 31. Is there disorder? Sure. Is there waffling? Yea. Did perhaps Marvin Lewis use Bratkowski for the Senior Bowl weekend so they had an offensive coordinator? Maybe.
But let's be honest here. There's no reason to suspect that the firing of Bratkowski was anything but a direct result of Carson Palmer's demands for change. Chad Ochocinco agrees, saying, "They’ll do whatever it takes to keep him." After The Press Conference, there was little in the way in believing that Bratkowski would leave the Bengals, by choice or by demand. There were quotes we broke down, but realistically, there was absolutely nothing regarding change coming out of Paul Brown Stadium.
Carson Palmer demands a trade and over a week later Bob Bratkowski is fired. The belief that timing had anything to do with this completely resides in how long it took Palmer to demand a trade for the team to act on it.