The Scent Of Change


We can’t see what is happening in the kitchen deep inside PBS. But something smells different to me. It is not the usual gruel served up by Mike Brown for the last 20 years.

No, I’m not fawning over the Jay Gruden hire. We won’t know anything substantive about his hiring for 6 months (at least). But there is something about the way he was hired that strikes me as a bit different from the usual Bengal way. Look through this info and see if it strikes you the same way.

Jan 2: The 2010 mercifully ends with the Bengals at 4-12 and 4th in the AFC North.

Jan 4: The press conference from hell. Marvin is brought back as head coach, saying more than once that Mike calls the shots. Mike repeatedly asserts that the team will be better while defending all business practices and denying change to any staff or practices.

Jan 23: The public learns that Carson Palmer requested to be traded and threatens to contemplate retirement if denied. To no one’s surprise, Mike Brown denies the request the next day.

Jan 31: Bob Bratkowski is fired after following up a miserable season with a miserable 30 minutes at the Senior Bowl. Bengals fans rejoice.

Feb 3: Jay Gruden is named the new offensive coordinator.

Now that we have reviewed the timeline, take a look at this quote from Marvin as he introduced Jay Gruden as his new OC: “‘This is something I wanted to get right, to take the time to make the best decision,’ Lewis said…”

If you missed it, look at the timeline and the quote again. Firing Bratkowski took four weeks. FOUR WEEKS! What changed in four weeks? No games were played other than a lousy half of the Senior Bowl. That, friends, is Mike Brown speed. By contrast, Marvin took his time looking at OC candidates and it only took him four days.

Jay Gruden doesn’t strike me as the kind of name Mike Brown puts on the list of candidates. Mike makes a ‘safe’ pick, something that Peter King will praise as solid. It’s way too outside-the-box for Mike.

Marvin is changing the recipe, adding some new spices. And as Marvin says, that’s a good thing. Like I said in my previous post, I am far more inclined to trust Marvin than I am to trust Mike Brown.

It will be an interesting 6 months while we smell the new recipe baking.