If there’s anyone who knows how to build and maintain a successful NFL franchise, its former Colts and Buccaneers Head Coach Tony Dungy. He’s one of the winningest head coaches in NFL history He’s won a Super Bowl as a player and as a head coach. As a coach, his teams went to the playoffs 11 of the 13 seasons he coached, which included reviving a Buccaneers franchise that had become one of, if not the worst NFL franchise. Dungy is a flat-out winner, and he thinks the Bengals have all the right pieces in place to be winners. One big piece the Bengals have is their young QB, Andy Dalton:
He’s definitely legit. He’s smart and accurate. The game wasn’t too big for him and that’s what you look for.
I love A.J. Green; he looks like a big Marvin Harrison to me. He’s got the same wiry frame, he’s got the same deceptive speed, and he’s got all the hand-eye coordination and the skill Marvin had. But he’s big.
Dungy goes on to give the Bengals credit for all the adversity they faced in 2011, yet still manged to make it into the playoffs:
Marvin Lewis and his staff did a phenomenal coaching job in making the playoffs despite rebuilding the offense with youth in a season that had no spring workouts. They did an outstanding job of taking their veteran guys out of the picture and building around Andy Dalton and A.J. Green and a tough defense. First of all, you’ve got a quarterback everybody believes in and the way the game is played now with the rules you need a good passing attack and players that can rush the passer. They have that.
Its been rare the past decade for the Bengals to draw praise from those who are truly knowledgeable when it comes to winning in the NFL. The flash and flamboyancy of players like Chad Johnson made the Bengals attractive to watch, but those kinds of players aren’t what a winning atmosphere is made of. Maybe the Bengals finally have a winning atmosphere in Cincinnati.