The New York Times released a season preview this morning that was surprisingly detailed and comprehensive. The author, Andy Benoit, is doing previews for all 32 teams.
In previews done by the national media, the writer will usually mention the departure of both Palmer & Ochocinco and criticize Mike Brown, counting the Bengals out from the very start. Benoit did this in his first paragraph, but followed with some decent analysis.
The article contained 2000 words and mentioned almost every player. Some analysis was a far cry from the truth, but Benoit overall did a decent job. It was about as good an article as you can expect from the national media.
Though, I do have to point out how foolish his final conclusion is:
Locker room issues? This team is gelled together right now in an effort to prove the nationwide disbelievers wrong. Peko and Whitworth emerged as leaders on both sides of the ball. The polarizing figures of Ochocinco, TO, and Palmer are all now gone. This locker room is close. Especially after the win against the Panthers on Thursday.
And the Defensive front 7 looks good right now. At DT, Peko/Sims/Atkins and the emerging Clinton McDonald make a solid interior line. On the outside, Dunlap and Johnson are very capable pass rushers, Geathers is slowing down, but he is all-around more starter-ready than Dunlap right now. Adeyanju and Rucker have done well in limited snaps this year. At LB, we have an entirely new group than we did last year. They have had their growing pains, but I have confidence in Maualuga in the middle. Lawson and Howard/Johnson are capable. And the new additions Lawson and Howard will improve as the year goes on.