But if doubt is the dress-code for deception then Coach Lewis gets ready for a black tie affair as soon as the Super Bowl concludes. This year to compliment his annual infuriatingly vague statements to the press and his coaching and scouting staff’s confusing and near diversionary movements across the lower-48 that resemble a bad remake of Where In The World Is Carmen Santiago more than scouting trips; Coach Lewis and the Bengals’ front office pulled off one of the most diabolical smoke and mirrors moves of the NFL off-season in order to fully mask their intentions with their three picks in the first two rounds: the deception of the Andre Smith hold out.
The largest Draft Day wild cards are always teams that have more needs than picks going in. Debatably, Cincinnati had three – Strong Safety, Running Back and Linebacker. A closer look shows that while there are some question marks remaining, depth in the linebacker corps has wasn’t terrible with Burfict, Maualuga, Maybin, Lamur, Joiner and Moch.
The late addition of James Harrison would have made any NFL front office draft strategy take note that linebacker was no longer a critical need, and thus the Bengals could be penciled in as targeting the top running back or safety on the board, which is a great way to be leap-frogged or forced into moving up during Round 1. Conflict and doubt had to be re-created.