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All I want from the Bengals this offseason

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In the spirit of children asking Santa for presents, I have a few presents I’d like to see the Bengals get from Mike Brown this offseason.

Detroit Lions v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Bengals may have just stolen Christmas from the Lions on Christmas Eve, but we as fans still deserve something nice in the coming offseason. Here is all I want from the Bengals this offseason.

A fresh offensive minded coach

The Bengals really need a new voice in the locker room. As much as I respect Jay Gruden and Paul Guenther, I think the Bengals could really benefit more from a fresh outlook on this team rather than keeping the status quo.

The reason I’d lean towards an offensive minded coach is simply because that seems to be where the Bengals have struggled most recently. They have struggled even though they have some very talented players on that side of the ball. It is fairly obvious to anyone watching they aren’t being put in a good place to maximize their ability. Coaches high on that list are obviously Josh McDaniels and Pat Schurmur. The advantage to both of those guys is also that they have experience as a head coach already.

I really wouldn’t care if the Bengals brought in a defensive minded coach as long as they brought someone with a great track record for working their offense around their roster and not trying to fit the roster into their system.

Start paying for quality

The Bengals have long been known as the team that won’t guarantee you huge amounts of money to retain free agents or bring in outside players. Instead they offer long term deals that they have the players play out the whole deal without cutting them. Even if it means carrying a fair sized cap hit into the next season.

The Bengals are one of the cheapest teams in the NFL and I don’t think that is even a warm take. When the team drafts well they have good seasons, but when they don’t we have seasons like this one. If this team wants to start winning consistently they need to start paying like they want to.

I’m not saying they should go out and sign all the top talent or even spend the most money during the offseason. What they need to do is maybe start to retain some more talent that they let walk or bring in players to help fill some needs. I mean quality replacements and not bargain bin fill ins.

There are two examples of this recently with the Bengals. The first was when they allowed both Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones Jr. to walk in the same offseason leaving a huge need at what was a strength prior to that. They replaced those two with Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd, which we have to admit at this point isn’t working. Maybe Jones wanted a bigger role than what the Bengals could allow, but to let Sanu walk as well hurt.

The second example was this offseason when the team let Andrew Whitworth leave for the Rams. They replaced him with Andre Smith, which meant they were going into this season with no backup plan aside from hoping that Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher would improve. They ran with this plan despite them showing no real signs of hope the season before.

If the Bengals had spent a little more to retain these players then they may not be in such a bad spot now at those positions.

Keep speed as a priority

The Bengals had clear goals last offseason. They wanted to be able to put more pressure on the pass rusher and get faster as a whole. They covered the pass rushing needs with the additions of Chris Smith, Carl Lawson and Jordan Willis, but they are still fairly behind on the speed. The major area they need to add speed to is the middle of the defense.

The Bengals linebackers have been a pretty big issue toward the second half of the season, and most of the problems have been related to speed. Opposing teams just have their running backs beat the Bengals to the outside too often for it to not be addressed.

The linebackers have also been terrible in coverage for most of the season, and in today’s NFL you need linebackers who can cover tight ends and running backs regularly throughout the game.

At this point depending on who is there when the Bengals are picking in the first round, they should seriously consider taking a star linebacker they can plug into the middle. Of course this is assuming the top offensive linemen are gone. They Bengals should also probably add a new veteran back up and replace Vincent Rey who is clearly past his prime.

Overall I just want hope

Next year I want to believe that this team can go into any stadium and at least put up a fight. They aren’t far from that. A coaching change will do wonders for this team, and a few more key players could have this team back in the playoffs quickly. Here is hoping the Bengals can pull it off.