Last year’s campaign ended in sudden disappointment. In 2016 the Bengals have to finish what was started.
The long wait is over. The NFL offseason is in its final days of life. For the Cincinnati Bengals, July 29 will be the opening of a new chapter. Rookies are expected to report to camp Thursday. After that, the quest begins. This is the year Bengals faithful will be tested. Mike Brown is investing heavily into the franchise, with the expectation of holding a Lombardi. The Bengals have to pull it off. The 2016 season has to end with a Super Bowl.
Since Bengals fans got a taste of the bright lights in 1982, the hunt for another sip of success has been ongoing. The 1988 season produced another Super Bowl appearance. Though they had the same results, both losses against the San Francisco 49ers are considered classic matchups.
Last season, the bitter loss to Pittsburgh was a shocker. The Bengals were threatening to win their first playoff game since 1991. The Steelers were less than two minutes away from defeat. But, the inevitable happened. As with all playoff games during the Dalton-Green era, the Bengals’ luck went stagnant. Cincinnati suffered a meltdown. The rest is history that still burns in the memories of diehard fans.
As training camp looms, the dream is back. This year, the Bengals have to finish what was started. The 2015 campaign ended in heartache for players and fans. There can be no excuses. The past must serve as a teaching tool to achieve the goal.
The hunger must go beyond winning the division. There has to be a desire to prove that last year was stolen. Bengals players have to go through training camp with a huge chip on their shoulders.
Entering the season will be a chore. Tyler Eifert will be lost, due to recovery from surgery. Vontaze Burfict will be serving a three-game suspension. The Bengals will still be expected to perform at a high level. The moment has come to prove their worth. Per The Cincinnati Enquirer, Brown has put more cash into the 2016 squad than ever before. He’s turning 81. Time is running out.
Money is no issue. Giovani Bernard became the Bengals highest paid running back in franchise history. The execs have kept the team together and the success is slowly leading to one thing…the Super Bowl. Duke Tobin, Director of Player Personnel, understands the process. He spoke about how players have to fit the system, via Bengals.com.
"“I think it makes sense to reward people who have earned their way and have been valuable to the organization. Every now and again you have to supplement with guys from the outside. But, the first look is always to the guys who have grown up and developed here. I think it resonates well in the locker room and gives the next crop of young guys something to shoot or and work hard for.”"
Contracts are in the books and the future is now.The only thing missing is a parade and confetti in the Queen City. This is the year Bengals faithful should see that silver trophy on Fountain Square. It’s time to finish what’s been started.