Bengals fans are eager to see what moves will be made to build a winner. Who will they sign in free agency, or will they sign anyone? What’s the draft plan? We will soon get answers to all the questions surrounding Who Dey Nation.
Championships are won in the postseason, however, championship teams are built in the offseason. The beautiful thing about this time is everyone feels like their team has a chance to win. It’s no different with Bengals fans. Unfortunately, it can be a time of frustration as well when you look at the Bengals’ activity or lack thereof. This is a roster that has talent, but there are missing pieces that need to be placed to complete the championship puzzle. Those pieces are out there, the front office just has to find them.
This Bengals offseason seems to have an extra sense of urgency as Marvin Lewis is entering a contract year with an 0-7 playoff record. Lewis has provided some memorable seasons throughout his tenure. However, each year has ended in bitter disappointment. Still, each year, fans keep coming back. Why you ask? It’s simple, really…hope.
Allow me to elaborate, coming from a fan’s perspective. I can remember the offseason of 2011. The Bengals were coming off of another sub-par season in what I call ‘The T.O. Disaster’. Quarterback Carson Palmer was demanding a way out and all hope seemed lost. Even I felt like I was at wit’s end. Then came the draft, and with the #4 pick of that draft came a wide receiver from the University of Georgia named A.J. Green. Now all of a sudden I felt something I had not felt in a long time, and that was… hope.
The A.J. Files
While watching plenty of SEC football, I watched Green destroy every defense he faced, all the time thinking, whoever gets this guy will get a game changer. Now, all of a sudden, the Bulldog was a Bengals receiver. Suddenly, just like that, I believed again. The point of this story is simple. The players are out there who can get this team over the hump. It’s up to the organization to find them and bring them in.
Time To Get Busy
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With the combine coming this weekend Duke Tobin and crew will have all eyes on this year’s top prospects, and make no mistake about it–these guys have an eye for talent. The concern is what happens after the combine when free agency opens. This is where the stakes MUST be raised. Why is Andrew Whitworth still a free agent? Whitworth is a cornerstone and must be brought back. How about Kevin Zeitler? He was one of the few bright spots on a struggling O-line last season. Bring him back, it can be done.
There’s tons of uncertainty around Adam Jones and Dre Kirkpatrick is set to leave. We are literally days away from free agency and not even one of our major free agent’s has been signed. Let’s not forget guys like Rex Burkhead who have more than proved their worth to this team. I have no doubt that some of these players will be brought back. it would be nice, however, to see a more than capable front office be a little more proactive. Right now, fans are sweating when what we need is…hope.
There will be outside guys that deserve a look as well. Don’t get me wrong, there is no need to break the bank on an aging guy. Just find pieces to complete the puzzle. There are quality role players to be found that can help this team, and you can get them at the right price. How about making a move on day two or three of the draft. With all these extra pick’s, moving up to grab the right guy should be a viable option. Where there is a will, there is a way. Will that show this offseason, we can always hope.