It took a year, but the Zac Taylor era really has given Cincinnati Bengals fans a “New Dey” and a fresh approach to be excited about.
As the saying goes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The Cincinnati Bengals lack of activity in free agency is far from the only reason the franchise has not won a playoff game since the 1990 season.
However, it has played a significant role in the team’s regression back to laughing stock territory over the last couple years. Take a look at the tweet below from the @report_bengals Twitter account.
These were the only free agency moves made to a roster that went 6-10 in 2018. Throw in a very young head coach who was learning on the job and a front office that has struggled with the last few drafts, and Cincinnati’s 2019 record of 2-14 isn’t a surprise.
But good news can be found in the next tweet below from Bengals online community member @codiki. The Bengals have spent $145 million in free agency this offseason.
Most of the Bengals money was spent on defense, with good reason. Cincinnati gave up over 26 points per game last year. Former Texans defensive lineman D.J. Reader is a mountain of a man at well over 300 pounds. He gives the Bengals a much needed burst of youth and a bit more nastiness up front. If nothing else, he will cause problems for opposing offenses simply by clogging the middle.
Former Saints defensive back Vonn Bell is one of several new faces that will lead an extensive secondary makeover. Bell had 80+ tackles in each of his first four seasons with New Orleans. He is also a rarity as a defensive back who can rush the passer a little bit.
Are the Bengals ready to compete with the Ravens and Steelers this year? Probably not. Can they make a five or six win jump from last year if Joe Burrow plays well and doesn’t try to do too much? Absolutely. That would be huge for the franchise, city, and fans. It all stems from the fact that the Bengals finally realized the definition of insanity above and made real changes. That was and is a huge key to turning around this team.