For a team that has been flying under the radar for the past two years as Draft Day enigmas, it’s almost safe at this point to say that the Bengals must be regarded as “savvy”, and while there is no way to completely be sure, it’s possible that a degree of respect and caution was already be awarded to the wily and devious schemes that are coming to be expected from the Cincinnati war room.
As with any great psychological campaign, the fruit of one’s labor will largely never be known; an adversary’s motivations – that which is your target and hopefully effected – can never truly be quantified as it exists only in grey matter locked away behind their eyes. Nonetheless, these transparent mind-games are often the ghosts in the machinery that bring rise to great ideas, men and organizations.
Jan 22, 2013; Mobile AL, USA; Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith scout the Senior Bowl south squad practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Make no mistake: the NFL Draft is game in and of itself, full of more trick plays, audibles, reverses, and unforeseen turns of events than any given Sunday. The Dark Decades have left the Bengals picking within the Top of 10 of the Draft thirteen times between 1991 and 2011, which perhaps dulled Owner Mike Brown and his nepotism-infested front office as to the guile and shrewdness that is required from a scouting department and legitimate General Manger if a true foundation of a franchise is ever to be built. Head Coach Marvin Lewis’s 2010 extension with the team was the product of a long sequestration between him and the Brown Family, and the full details of what kept Coach Lewis in Cincinnati were never made public.
Acknowledging several critical personnel decisions that have been recorded since that time in 2010, noted plainly in last year’s A Conspiracy In Orange article, it’s even more likely now that Coach Lewis has fully assumed the role of player-personnel puppet master for the Bengals.