Cincinnati Bengals fans are frustrated and rightfully so after the last two seasons. But it goes further than that.
Following another season falling short of .500, Cincinnati Bengals fans are more than just a little frustrated with their team. Rubbing the dirt in the wound was the team retaining head coach Marvin Lewis following the losing seasons and not winning a single playoff game in his 15 years with the team. Since retaining Lewis, nothing has been business as usual in the Bengals organization though.
There have been a colossal of coaching changes including two new coordinators. While offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was here last season, he hadn’t stepped into his role until three weeks into the regular season. New defensive coordinator Teryl Austin should bring some new looks to the Bengals defense. All signs are looking at a more aggressive and unpredictable defense.
Following the coaching changes, there has been a whirlwind of acquisitions including players like left tackle Cordy Glenn, inside linebacker Preston Brown, defensive tackle Chris Baker, and the retaining of tight end Tyler Eifert. A very aggressive free agency period when looking at the Bengals past performances. Even with all of these moves, some fans still believe that the club is rebuilding. Ownership explains at the NFL meetings how that is wrong.
“Very much the offseason for us has been focused on win now, we are not in a building program,” executive vice president Troy Blackburn said. “We have too many good players to be building for the future,” Troy said. “We have so many good players we feel we have to build for now. That’s really what drove us.”
Cincinnati also has plans to re-sign elite players like Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins. It might involve releasing some players to make cap room later on when the team cuts down the roster to 53 in preseason but it is on the schedule to hopefully get done before the season starts. Right now it seems they are trying to look at all the positions that they’ve struggled with the last couple of years and attack those heavily.
Blackburn also sang praises to his starting quarterback Andy Dalton and discussed how there hasn’t been enough protection for him to get back to his 2015 form. Dalton, who has been sacked 80 times in the last two seasons, needs more time to find his playmakers, whoever they might be in 2018.
“Whether it is Joe Mixon, whether it is Gio Bernard, whether it is A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, Tyler Kroft, Andy Dalton, we hope John Ross, Josh Malone, Brandon LaFell, Tyler Boyd, it’s a very good group of players,” Troy said. “But our offensive line play has not been strong enough to give that group a chance to shine. If we can improve up front I think fans may be pleased with what they see at the quarterback position.”
The Bengals ownership understands that season ticket holders are dropping off as the team continues to let fans down. They understand the frustration of the fan base and know that actions speak louder than words. While they have made some great moves to help this team, it has to be shown on the field for the fans to believe. Not just in the regular season, but in the playoffs as well.