Featured Guest Post: Mike Brown For MVP


Written by Nick Berman.

Widely regarded as the worst owner in sports, Mike Brown has slowly built up a reputation for being stingy, stubborn and a generally useless owner/GM. This year however, he has made some excellent moves that have not only helped the Bengals in the short term, but also ensure a bright future for the team.

Here are some of the moves that stand out:

Carson palmer Trade– WOW, there is no doubt he hit a home run on this one. You could say it fell right into his lap, but give the man credit for realizing that this deal was too good to pass up. Some experts thought it would be a stretch to even get a single second rounder from the aging Palmer. But, the Bengals got a first round pick 2012 and likely a second round pick 2013 (if Oakland doesn’t make it to the AFC title game next year) in exchange for a distracting, over-the-hill quarterback. Bravo!

Andy Dalton – Dalton has had an outstanding rookie with 20 touchdowns to 13 interceptions. He massively outperformed fellow rookie starting quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert (12:11 TDs to INTs, 4-10 record) and Christian Ponder (13:13 TDs to INTs, 1-8 record) who were both picked considerably higher and in the first round. Most importantly, he led his team (that was consistently 32nd in preseason rankings) to the playoffs. AJ. Green – need I even say it? Pro-Bowl, lead all rookies with receiving yards and receptions, human highlight reel, and a huge reason that the Bengals (and Andy Dalton) were as successful as they were.

Nate Clements – Nate Clements has stepped up to his role of replacing Jonathan Joseph with 55 Tackles, 2 Forced fumbles, 12 passes deflected, 2 interceptions, a sack and a blocked kick. He has become a reliable veteran and leader in the locker room, especially after Leon Hall went out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon. Though he isn’t as good as the young Joseph (regarded as one of the best cornerbacks in the league), Clements has helped this defense in more ways than what’s visible on the field. He’s a mentor to the still-young Adam Jones and constantly recognizes plays and communicates pre-snap. Overall a crucial offseason acquisition and a great fit for the Bengals.

Linebacker Changes– Not re-signing Dhani Jones and moving Rey Maualuga to his true position of Middle Linebacker has had great results in bolstering the Bengals run defense. The acquisitions of Thomas Howard and Manny Lawson have added two veteran LBs who can cover and tackle. It’s even more impressive when you consider that the Bengals lost first-rounder Keith Rivers for the year to injury before training camp. Roddrick Muckleroy also went down for the season and 2011 third-rounder Dontay Moch has also been inactive for most of the season. Overall, the changes with Maualuga, Howard, and Lawson have built a strong defensive core.

John Gruden– Bratkowski was utterly useless and it was very important to get rid of him in the offseason. Gruden (a former quarterback) is a huge reason that Dalton has devloped as quickly as he has. Similar to the other new acquisitions, they all contributed to where the Bengals are today. Good replacement.

Ochocinco Traded – Although at the time, some saw this trade as the Bengals removing their last good player, Ochocinco’s play deteriorated, yet he remained as big a Diva as ever. Mike Brown ridded himself of a $6 million contract, got a 5th and 6th round draft pick, and successfully relieved the Bengals of one of its biggest distractions. What’s more is that Ochocinco hasn’t done squat in New England, where guys like Randy Moss and Deion Branch have had their career’s revived by Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

Lowering Ticket Prices- Next season’s upper deck prices have been lowered a considerable amount to make attending games cheaper for the fans. He lowered prices on 14,000 seats and made the cheapest seat in the stadium far more affordable. Although this may have been a purely economic decision, this is obviously great for the fans.

2010 Draft Picks- There is a great deal of complaint about our lack of scouting, yet recent draft picks have been exemplary. Last year’s particularly, are coming up big. Jermaine Gresham is proving himself to be a reliable target in the endzone with 10 career touchdowns for the Bengals and fights his way through defenders for extra yards and first downs. Geno Atkins has had a breakout year with 8 sacks (leading all interior defensive linemen) and 48 tackles, a steal for the 4th round. Carlos Dunlap has also established himself and is contributing to the powerhouse that is the new defensive line. Both these young linemen are emerging as some of the best young players in the league.