I am disappointed in that I don't think Marvin makes good decisions regarding utilizing the players on the bench (look how long Simpson sat and Scott wasn't used enough), clock management, and challenges. Perhaps decisions regarding player utilization on offense Brat has a hand in. So I can almost deal with this IF Brat isn't coming back, more control of player personnel is given to Marvin, the scouting department is expanded, and a practice facility is erected near the stadium. That is a very tall order, and the article by Hobson indicates that there are changes in the works, but it does not indicate the scope of said changes. In fact, it leaves with a dreary feeling.
The key elements in the negotiations appeared to be potential coaching changes, the signing of assistants, and possible scheme changes with all options on the table to be discussed in the next few weeks, such as change in emphasis, reassignments, or replacements. Lewis said he expects changes while Brown pointed out that Lewis has a deal as long as anyone on the staff.
Then when it comes to Brat:
With the fan base howling for changes on offense, Lewis was asked if he's going to change out 10-year coordinator Bob Bratkowski.
"That's kind of private to me," he said. "That would be a huge change."
Lewis admitted Brown is "not a quick-change person. He's not going to change that way. He's very well thought out. We'll have some evolution."
But Brown, shaken by a season that started with the experts calling it the most talented Bengals roster ever, freely used the "CH" word Tuesday in their joint news conference.
"How we do things on a coaching level is an issue," Brown said. "There are some things that we both think need to be addressed, and will be as we go forward. There are different ways to address them. We can get change internally or we can get it externally, but we are going to have change.
It really leaves us hanging. This is Mike Brown we are talking about, and his changes could be as simple as switching out an assistant coach and adding a family member as a scout.
The article seems to answer the question about Palmer being here next year. I guess they are going to pay him the $11 million (is that right?) and keep him. I would imagine they will draft a QB in the later rounds.
Onto player personell:
"I dont know where that comes from, because I dont know if Ive sat down here and ever said that," said Lewis of the claim Brown doesn't let him bring in or cut players. "People keep putting that out there. I have a lot of input in our personnel. Its Mikes ultimate say-so. Hes the owner, hes the general manager, and its my job when we disagree to show him why this is the way I think.
"As he will tell you, most times he sides with me," Lewis said. "Its my job to educate him on why its the way I see it. I understand that. I actually relish that opportunity. As Ive said many times, its one-stop shopping. Theres no middleman I have to go through. He and I talk and discuss each and every morning or afternoon or whenever it occurs, and thats the way it is."
Oh geez. Well, perhaps I can hope that Mike has agreed to take Marvin's side even if he disagrees, but it still sounds like Mike will have ultimate control.
Scouting (via transcript):
BROWN: "The scouting thing is another criticism that rises up when we dont do well. If you look at our record on scouting over the last 10 years, we rank 10th for the number of games played by players we drafted. I think we sank to 11th on the number of players who are in the league that we drafted, and we would be higher than that except for injuries that were serious that players like (David) Pollack suffered, or Chris Perry, or what happened with (Odell) Thurman, or what happened to Chris Henry. We had a number of those. It was disproportionate. I dont apologize for our scouting. Its an easy target, but if you look at the real facts, I think youll see it differently.
No surprise here. This is the same spiel he gave to the ticket holders writing him angry letters. I thought perhaps he conceded in his deal with Marvin and agreed to hire more scouts, but now, I have little hope. The other teams in the NFL are all wasting their time with big scouting departments, you see. They only need one scout with a computer like the Bengals. Sigh.
"Marvin has a desire to have a practice facility. I have a desire, but probably not as keen," Brown said. "That doesnt mean I dont have a desire to do it. The timing is important. Right now, were faced with major issues in the National Football League, and those are at the front of our agenda. When we get through that, then well have time to consider this issue.
"Its one of the important issues that we have in mind. I would make the comment that some of this is perception," he said. "We worked in the cold weather. We played in the cold weather. It didnt seem to hurt us any to practice in the cold weather. We played pretty well in it. But I do know that its the way its trending. Its the fact that we have been left behind what others are doing. Whether that makes them better than us because they have an indoor practice facility is a question, but its coming.
This sounds iffy to me. Once the CBA gets taken care of, what will his excuse be? Bottom line is, while he may concede, he's perfectly content not to have one.
Overall, the article was a confirmation, the most candid we've ever gotten from Marvin, that Mike Brown's heavy-handed control was hampering this team, and unless he was willing to cede some of that control, Marvin basically felt he couldn't take the team any further. It really remains to be seen the control Mike Brown has ceded and the changes made. I just don't have a good feeling. Looking at this article and the press conference transcript quotes BA posted, I feel as though it's basically going to be status quo. Why should I think differently? What have the Bengals ever done to lead me to?
Crazy? Whats crazy is the fact that were just terrible. Thats just plain and simple. When I say we, thats me included. Let me look you in the eyes and emphasize we are terrible. Terrible. I have no answers for you. I have no sound bytes for you. All I know is, right now, we are terrible... I dont understand. I dont know what it is. We find ways to lose the game."
-Terrell Owens after Buffalo