The number 85 holds a special place in Bengaldom. Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson made it a household name a decade and a half ago, while Tyler Eifert also did it justice in his seven years of Bengals service.
But, some of their predecessors were the ones that initially made it magical. Isaac Curtis did so in the Ken Anderson era, while Cincinnati’s 1986 second-round selection, Tim McGee, also provided electricity.
McGee became an integral part to the Bengals’ fast-paced, high-octane offense from the late 1980s and into the early 1990s. The system was Sam Wyche’s brainchild that was engineered by Boomer Esiason, as McGee teamed with Eddie Brown, Rodney Holman and a myriad of others for a lethal offensive attack.
On this week’s Orange and Black Insider, we were privileged to catch up with McGee, who is now both a local businessman and a radio voice for the Bengals. We touched on his time with the team, as well as how he’s seeing things develop in the second year under Zac Taylor.
Coincidentally, we had McGee on the program the same day the team made more splashes in the form of signing Vonn Bell and LeShaun Sims. We asked him about the team’s frenzied free agency approach this offseason and how likely a major turnaround could be in 2020.
“The first thing we have to look at, Anthony and John, we have to look at where the bar is set,” McGee said. “If we look at the bar, see where it is set, that’s where we can accurately see success, or lack thereof. If we compare to last year, they were 0-11. So, I’m willing to bet they win a game before their twelfth game, so therefore we can look at that as an improvement.
“Now, here’s what’s key: they have done some things outside of their wheelhouse,” McGee continued, talking about the free agency moves. “With that being said and with Joe Burrow coming in and A.J. Green being back and Joe Mixon being back, we still must, as I say on WLW all the time, manage our expectations because they are still picked by the so-called ‘experts’ to finish last in the division.”
Bengals fans and players alike are well aware of the expectations bestowed upon them entering this year. Even if those minimal standards are met, it’s still not enough in the grand scheme of things.
“But, once again, they’re crawling from so far beneath the pits of the NFL, that’s why they’re picking No. 1...so, let’s say they improve themselves to 6-10, that’s ‘improvement’,” McGee said. “Now we have to go and compare ourselves, as Bengals Nation, to Chicago, to New England, or wherever that may be and 6-10 just don’t get it. We have to make sure we have to manage our expectations as to what we think they will be and we can’t settle in on another losing season”.
McGee also continued by saying he felt that, despite the myriad of injuries to the team last year, the 2019 Bengals underachieved in Zac Taylor’s first year. He isn’t basking in what looks to be great moves on paper, but rather awaiting larger results over perceived organizational baby steps.
Speaking of Green, McGee also noted how important No. 18 has been to the team’s success. He still felt that, despite Green’s injury woes in recent years, if you look at the win-loss record on when he plays versus when he doesn’t, the star receiver’s impact can’t be ignored.
You also can’t miss McGee’s story about Wyche’s iconic “You don’t live in Cleveland” in-game rant from the perspective of being on the sidelines. And, in case you didn’t know, McGee is a native of “The Mistake by the Lake”.
Our gigantic thanks to Mr. McGee for joining us on the program! As he mentioned, he is still highly-visible in the Cincinnati area, both as a team radio voice and with his local luxury Sprinter van rental business.
Also on this week’s show:
- The Bengals keep adding outside free agent pieces—especially on defense.
- What does the Vonn Bell signing mean for Shawn Williams?
- How does LeShaun Sims’ arrival shake up the cornerback group?
- Might the Bengals even wait until way after the draft to further boost their linebacker corps beyond the addition of Josh Bynes?
- Is tight end a bigger need now with the departure of Tyler Eifert?
We also thank our listeners—both who joined us live and those who downloaded after the recording. Join us live if/when you can!
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