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Excitement about the Bengals and Marvin Lewis is okay

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BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 31: Tight End Tyler Kroft #81 and running back Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrate after a touchdown in the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 31: Tight End Tyler Kroft #81 and running back Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrate after a touchdown in the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Bengals will be an interesting team to watch in 2018. Marvin Lewis has added an element of discipline with his hires.

It’s okay. You’re not some lunatic who loves pain and is delusional about the state of Cincinnati football. The Bengals are making some smooth moves with the coaching staff and it looks like the tone is set for 2018. There have been more changes with Marvin Lewis staying put than there would have been if he left. With that said, it’s okay to be excited about the prospects of the upcoming season.

When Lewis was given an extension, it was a shock to the fans who aren’t familiar with how the brain trust operates at Paul Brown Stadium. Mike Brown is not a fan of change. So, Lewis coming back was always a possibility. But, there seems to be a bit more leverage than in the past. The Bengals have snagged hires for the coaching staff that should make an immediate impact. Yes, these are the people Marvelous Marv wants in charge.

And the bottom line is a no-brainer for Bengals fans. Being happy and looking ahead to what could happen in 2018 is not a crime. Yes, there are fans that can’t let go. But, it’s done. The Bengals will be under the watchful eyes of Lewis for two years and it’s time to let the shock go.

Why be happy? 

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Well, the biggest problem was change. In the days after Lewis’ shiny new contract, the  Bengals went outside the organization and plucked a few good men.

Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin has been involved with some winning franchises. He has vowed to do something that fans have waited for. He’ll be adjusting the defense to the strengths of the Bengals players. Hopefully, that means rookies and first-year players won’t get stagnant on the sidelines or be banished to the practice squad. Lewis was notorious for burying players. But, through the eyes of Austin, there should be more rising talent on the field.

Admit it. When the rumors of Frank Pollack coming to Cincinnati were confirmed, did you reboot your phone? Yeah, that kind of news is foreign to Bengals fans.

Pollack has the experience needed to get the O-line on par for the AFC North. In fact, there’s a theme resonating with all of Lewis’ hires. Do you want the key? It’s all about the style of play. And the Bengals will be a totally different beast.

Bill Lazor is another piece of the puzzle that will be interesting to watch. When he took over for Ken Zampese, he was able to get instant production against the Green Bay Packers.

With a whole training camp ahead, it’ll be interesting to see what he can do with his playbook and the best of the old school schemes.

The biggest reasons to be apprehensive

The incoming coaching staff is known for detail and discipline. For all of those fans still living with the memory of Adam Jones and Vontaze Burfict going berserk in the Wild Card game, that should be a thing of the past. Lewis looks to have gotten more “power” in this latest incarnation. And the assistants should see to that also.

Next: Pollack And The O-line

The team as a whole will be playing without fear. Pollack will have the big uglies in synch and Austin will have the Bengals D back on track.

"“I think being aggressive is that, on defense, we are going to try and play on their side of the line of scrimmage. We’re going to play without fear,” Austin said, per Bengals.com. “We’re going to play really physical and strong. I guess that’s what I mean by aggressive. We aren’t going to sit back and let somebody dictate what we do. That’s what I mean by aggressive. Aggressive is not fighting and talking and all that other stuff, it’s how you play the game. That’s what I want the people to see.”"

Essentially, it’s going to be an interesting year for the Men in Stripes. And it’s okay to be excited.

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