The 2015 version of the Cincinnati Bengals was a sleeper. It was a unit that started the year with doubts about Andy Dalton and concerns over the postseason. There were also rumbles that head coach Marvin Lewis couldn’t control the team. In other words, the results exceeded the expectations. In 2016, the Bengals have been pegged as a legitimate contender. Lewis and Duke Tobin have constructed another sound team.
“We were in a great position last year and let it slip away.”
The injury bug has hit hard. Bengals players have been suffering from various ailments, during the first week of Camp Marvin. When viewed from a non-homer standpoint, the Bengals are on par with the rest of the league. But, where the comparisons differ is on paper. Owner Mike Brown has dug deep. He’s looking at the clock and realizing what has to be done. The money will not be the deciding factor. The Orange and Black are built to win.
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It’s easy to say that the time is now. Last season’s Bengals squad was on the verge of changing the perception of Cincinnati football. With under two minutes to go, the Bengals were dealt a blow. A devastating loss to the Steelers effectively ended the miracle. Though A.J. McCarron played admirably, The Game was “won” by Pittsburgh. Another playoff failure.
Brown is determined to build a team that will transcend the regular season and do some much-needed damage in the playoffs. The Bengals are built to win. They have all the parts necessary to dominate the AFC North and beyond.
The fact that my allegiance lies with the Bengals has a little bearing, but not much. There are a few glaring weak spots on the team. But, nothing that can’t be tweaked or overhauled.
The running game will get better. Jeremy Hill suffered a setback, in what was supposed to be his breakout year. Yet, most of his struggles can be attributed to too much leg weight and the dreaded sophomore slump. He’s vowed to erase his reputation for fumbling.
“I want to take care of the d*** football, that’s what I want to do, I want to make that clear,” Hill emphasised, via Cincy Jungle. “I think that’s what’s most important and I think everything will take care of itself.”
Things will certainly be okay. Reports show that Brown has sunk $200 million into this year’s Bengals team. Cash is never the real issue. The players have to prove their desire on the field and play to the ability expected. So far, Brown is pleased with the effort his warriors are giving. It’s up to the players to execute.
The offense will be under the guidance of a healthy Dalton. The defense will be hard-pressed to repeat the numbers of 2015. But, with the hard-nosed coaching staff will make sure the best comes forth. With WJ III suffering a torn pec muscle, all’s not lost. The Bengals have one of the deepest rosters in the league.
Last year was just the beginning. Adam Jones spoke on The Game and the future of his team.
"“We were in a great position last year and let it slip away, you know. You never get those chances back, so all you can do is build on right now and get ready for the ride.”"
Mike Brown knows the Bengals are built to win. Now, the players have to believe.