Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis held forth Wednesday on the subject of the Bengals’ offseason plans. He promised an offseason of both continuity and change. Call it “changenuity.”
“Continuity has proven in the NFL the best way time and time again, whether it is system or coaches,” Lewis said. “There are a lot of areas we need to improve in and we’ve got to get it done; both coaching-wise and playing-wise our feet are at the fire and we’ve got to get some areas fixed and be better than what we did last year. I feel comfortable that will happen in both change of what we do and how we do it.
Just how, exactly, the same coaches are going to get results different than the poor-to-mediocre ones they’ve produced for five of the last six years, I don’t know. Once upon a time, Marvin would have gotten the benefit of the doubt (anyone remember “In Marvin We Trust?”), but these days all changenuity gets him is mockery.
Doc is right that it feels like the same old, same old. Weren’t they going to “blow up” the offense last season, too? Haven’t we heard talk about discipline routinely every year? In his now-infamous “themes” address, owner Mike Brown blamed the poor season partly on the failure of David Pollack and Odell Thurman to return, a statement that earned him heaps of scorn from Bengals fans who knew neither was ever likely to make a comeback. This year, the Bengals are apparently still counting on Stacy Andrews, who just had ACL surgery and isn’t even signed past March.
And so, the beat seemingly goes on.
To be fair, there were a few bright spots in Lewis’ conversation. For one thing, he promised both coaching and ownership would look into the ridiculous rash of injuries that have dogged the team for the past two seasons. If they actually follow through, that’s a very good thing, since trimming the IR list alone would do wonders for the team’s performance. Lewis also said the Bengals would be “proactive” in free agency.
Lewis also reviewed the 2008 draft class, which generally disappointed fans, but Lewis? Not so much. He was particularly high on OT Anthony Collins, DT Pat Sims and S Corey Lynch. If the Bengals are to improve in 2009, I believe this group needs to come on in a way it certainly didn’t in ’08.