It’s a plain and simple task. The Bengals have to turn things around for 2017. This will have to be the year of immediate impact from the draft.
The Bengals were able to make a few splashes in the draft. But, it’s time to get down to business. As the various camps roll around, predictions are being made about who will be starting and who could possibly be the rookie of the year. That’s all fine and dandy. But the hard truth is still looking fans and Bengals brass in the face. This team has to be molded into a winner. Marvin Lewis and Co. have until September 10 to make believers out the masses.
Yes, we know the talented Joe Mixon will be bursting into backfields. Who doesn’t know that the man who broke the sound barrier is going to be opposite A.J. Green? The praises of John Ross have been sung all across Bengals Nation. But, it’s all still up in the air. Until it all gets real in four months, the playoffs are still a pipe dream and a winning season is…well, possible. The Bengals’ schedule contains both lightweight and tough stretches. But, overall, they should come out in decent condition.
The problem comes with getting the team motivated and in the proper mindset to do some damage. Lewis has had teams that looked good on paper and didn’t deliver the goods when called upon. It’s easy to give the worn out excuse of injuries. But, that’s where knowing the makeup of the team comes in. This could easily turn into a bashing of Lewis. But, instead, this will be his call to action.
Use The Best Players
It’s time to see the product on the field. Players that have been groomed and readied for action need to be bumping heads. What’s the use of drafting talent and letting it waste away on the sidelines? All Bengals fans need to do is look at the two prior free agency periods. The pain is still very real. Reggie Nelson went on to have a stellar year for the Raiders. Mohamed Sanu was moments away from being a Super Bowl winner. Heck, at least he got to be in the Big Dance.
The practice of holding players from the field based on the amount of playing time is getting old. If Mike Brown wants to see an immediate improvement in his team, he needs to have a nice talk with Lewis. Okay, not every player is an Ezekiel Elliott. But, it won’t be evident until they’re allowed to get on the field. And for the love of all things football, please stop developing players and letting them walk. Rex Burkhead and Marvin Jones could have solved some of the Bengals’ problems last year. Unfortunately, Rex was overlooked as Jeremy Hill struggled through injuries and Jones was catching deep passes from Matthew Stafford.
Enough already. Put the best on the field. But, if they can’t produce, move on to the next level and (as the phrase goes) keep it movin’. The bottom line is winning…at any cost. At the end of the day, it’s a business. The rookies are ready to go. Why hold them back, if they have the drive and enthusiasm?
Turn The Youngsters Loose
The new lads on the block are ready. They’re excited to be in the Orange and Black and want to contribute to a new era for the Bengals Mixon has already sent out warnings to the other teams. So, he’s ready to demolish the competition.
Auburn product Carl Lawson is ready to get on the field by any means. He’s been working on different phases of the defense (SAM linebacker and DE) and wants to make the best of his opportunity.
"“They want me to play both and this is what they brought me in here to do,” Lawson said via the Dayton Daily News. “I need to be able to learn to do that and do it better than anybody else in the league.”"
The Bengals have rookies who are ready to go. They want to feel the excitement of NFL action. But, there’s the matter of letting them get on the field to prove what they can do. That’s how a winning product is made.