Henceforth on WDR, Bengals.com writer Geoff Hobson will be known as Baghdad Hob. His disinformation efforts and general attempts at bending facts are reminiscent of everyone's favorite Iraqi Information Mister, Baghdad Bob. Remember him? He was the guy who claimed American soldiers were no where near Baghdad when they were right behind him during the original invasion in 2003. I liked him.
What Baghdad Bob did was keep the Proletariat in the dark. Where foolish Iraqis thought he'd be objective, foolish Bengal fans feel the same way about Baghdad Hob. Neither of them realize that the job of both is to distort the facts and spin, spin, spin. In the past, when the Bengals didn't make my eyes bleed, Hobson's efforts didn't show. Now, he is putting lipstick on a pitbull, or something. Hence, Baghdad Hob. Because it rhymes, you see.
Baghdad Hob's latest effort, which talks about an offense that I cannot even describe as inept for fear of offending the word "inept," somehow praises
Officer Barbrady Bob Bratkowski. It's so offensive, I feel like I need to break it down FJM style. Continue on after the jump to watch me take on Baghdad Hob.
Bengals Grapple With Offense
I would like to fight the entire unit as well.
Offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski and his staff treated Monday like a "semi bye week,"
I wouldn't be surprised to learn this meant they just didn't show up.
in an effort to analyze how the Bengals can revive an offense that hasn't been this bad since the Akili Age.
Is Akili a free agent? Surely he's not worse than Crazy Legs Fitzpatrick.
A day after his unit failed for the fourth time in six games to generate at least 216 total yards and at least 3.2 yards per rush, Bratkowski has put everything on the table.
Particularly the running game.
"We're analyzing everything we've done to this point," he said. "Try to fix things that need to be fixed and make sure we're doing more of the things we're doing well."
I think it's nice that, after looking like ass for over a third of the season, Bob will consider changing things up a bit. That's why we pay him the big bucks!
And can you believe that quote? Can you even fucking believe it? He's somehow flaunting the fact that he will do his job this week. What does he normally do during the week? Oh, that's already been covered.
With the club mired next-to-last in NFL offense and rushing, there is a school of thought that says what the Bengals haven't done well is establish themselves as a physical, ball-control running team and that they should go back to their identity as a big-play passing team.
Head coach Marvin Lewis disputed that notion Monday after revealing that backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick starts for the second straight Sunday against Pittsburgh as Carson Palmer continues to rest his inflamed throwing elbow.
"No, because if you can run the ball, you're going to see more eight-man spacing," Lewis said. "So thats [sic] going to give you a chance for those deep shots you're talking about. So that (theory) would probably not be a true look at it."
I'm sick of this notion that you have to be able to run the ball to get big plays in the passing game. With the talent we have at wideout, a halfway decent offensive coordinator could come up with something schematically that allows you to stretch the field. Then, maybe, just maybe, with the defense at least somewhat concerned with a vertical threat, running the ball would become a little easier.
Bratkowski indicated they aren't looking at an abrupt shift in philosophy but a guide for more points.
That's comforting, because it's not like this entire article is about how fucking bad your offense sucks. If it were, this quote would be totally out of place.
Also, what the fuck is "a guide for more points?" I bet Marvin came up with that one. That sounds like something he'd say. "Hey fellas, I like how we've been playing. It's not that we've been bad offensively, we're just missing the guide for more points. Has anyone seen it?"
"I don't think we'll ever get to the point where we won't run it," he said. "But it's become more of a point what do we run and what down and distances do we run."
Seriously, do you just think we are all brain dead? Of course you're never going to get to the point where you won't run it. It's nice that you're going to start thinking of when you're going to do it, though. Thanks buddy!
Here are some things that are different with the offense since the glory days:
Buckle up folks. I think we're about to get a lesson in Stupid Excuses 243.
_The running game really hasn't been consistent since the 2006 injury to center Rich Braham and an injury later that year to right tackle Willie Anderson.
Really? Rich Braham? Really? Listen, I loved Richie. Solid player, better person. He's 37 now. Are we really supposed to believe if he doesn't get hurt in Cleveland in 2006 we'd be rolling up and down the field right now? And Willie is healthy now. It's called "getting old." You may as well cite the decline of Anthony Munoz (genuflects) as an excuse.
In '05 with both of them healthy, the Bengals rushed for 4.2 yards per carry. In '06, when Braham got hurt in Game Two and Anderson got hurt in pregame of Game 13 and still played, the Bengals rushed for 3.7. Last year with both basically gone, it was 3.7 again.
This year it's a horrific 3.1.
Oh my God. I can't believe what I just read. My brain has melted into a mush-like substance, capable of processing only the stupid ramblings of Baghdad Hob. The Bengals offense sucks in 2008 because, the Thursday after Thanksgiving back in 2006, Willie Anderson got hurt. No, not some catastrophic injury during the game that force him to retire. He tweaked his knee in pregame warmups. He played well against Indianapolis two weeks later. Once again, this is called aging, not injury.
Side note: I was at that game against the Ravens. Keiwan Ratliff had a good punt return. Yes, that Keiwan Ratliff, the NFL's only 260 lb. corner.
Exhibit A? On Sunday Jets nose tackle Kris Jenkins had a big game against the Bengals' interior.
Nose tackle has good game against the Bengals. Also, you will die and pay taxes.
_The Bengals didn't have a true fullback after Jeremi Johnson suffered a season-ending knee injury and they could his lead blocking right about now.
Apparently football players getting injured is a phenomenon unique to the 2008 Cincinnati Bengals.
_Since '05, the Bengals have never had any consistency at No. 3 receiver. In and around Chris Henry's three suspensions, Kelley Washington went to New England, Tab Perry got hurt, and Antonio Chatman struggled with injury for two years.
So, players who suck (Kelley, Antonio, Tab) have either gotten hurt or left. A player you can't depend on has been rather undependable. Seriously, how can this even be considered a reason why this offense sucks? Does every good offense in the league have three elite receiving threats? No. It's a luxury, not a necessity. If you are an offensive coordinator, and you can't call a game without three big time receiving threats, you suck and I hope you die.
Also, re: Tab Perry. That kickoff return against Pittsburgh was the biggest play in the happiest I can remember myself being as a Bengal fan. I'll always remember him fondly for it. But he was a sixth rounder for a reason. He's not a reason. None of these are reasons. Why am I even typing? This is stupid.
Bratkowski wasn't delving into any matters like that. He's simply trying to get something ready for Pittsburgh to protect Fitzpatrick from a typically relentless Steeler pass rush that is third in the league in sacks per pass.
Fear not fellow Revolutionaries, Bratkowski's GOING TO THE LAB!
Bratkowski points to a variety of reasons for the lack of protection, such as adjusting to the change in running back, receivers not getting open as easily and as quickly, and more individual breakdowns.
"The protection issues have varied from week to week," Bratkowski said. "The backs have missed protections. Guys haven't shaken free so the quarterback holds the ball longer. We've had issues in individuals blocking people up front, or have had issues with sometimes the ability of two or three people to work together on a certain pass-rush stunt teams have done."
So the only problem is....everything? Except you, of course.
"We still had those issues, but we didn't have the individual breakdowns as much," Bratkowski said. "Or the breakdowns in the back position, or didn't have as many situations where we held the ball because we weren't shaking free."
To paraphrase: We still had those issues last week, except for three of the four issues I just named.
But it all gets back to the running game, doesn't it?
"In the effort to run the ball we have left ourselves with more third-and-longs and not converted them," Bratkowski said. "Which then becomes a cycle of first down, second down, third down, throw it. Back on the field, first down, second down, third down, throw it. So you're not generating enough first downs through the course of the game to get as may as runs and passes called as you like.
Gee, Mr. Bratkowski. That is a rather salient point. The playcalling has become rather stale. Perhaps, if you have access to him, you should point out this fact to the offensive coordinator.
Or, as Bratkowski says, "the longer the down and distance, the harder it is...
That's what she said!
...to protect the quarterback."
So, maybe on first or second down a few simple passing plays. A quick hit to Chad for three, a slant to TJ for six. This keeps us out of third and long. Running has pretty much proven it keeps us as far from a first down as humanly possible.
Another factor for the struggles? Four of the Bengals' first six foes are in the top 10 in NFL defense...
I think it's totally lost on Baghdad Hob that they are top 10 in defense in no small part BECAUSE they played the Bengals.
Now Fitzpatrick faces the second-ranked Steelers. Bratkowski wasn't pleased he held on to a potential long pass long enough to get sacked and stripped.
That's comforting. By the way, how about that play? He obviously saw the blitz, as he ran away from it. Then he stops, sets up shop, pumps, then looks surprised when he gets the ball stripped from him. What the hell did he think, the blitzer just gave up?
This is the blitzer's mindset from CL Fitz's point of view, "Ah, that's Crazy Legs Fitzpatrick, no way I catch him. Damn, I have to poop."
"We saw improvement in certain areas this week," he said. "I don't think he really threw the ball yesterday into trouble. He didn't make any poor decisions with where to throw it. He should have got rid of that one ball and you got to have a feel where people are around you, but he really improved in that area."
Some of the areas I saw improvement in CL Fitzpatrick's game - taking the snap, dexterity (still a long ways to go here), chin strap effectiveness. I think those are the certain areas Brat is talking about.
Bratkowski liked the way he ran the game.
"He was trying to look at the initial reads and do what the coverage says," Bratkowski said. "If the coverage said check it down, he was checking it down and that's what you ask a quarterback to do."
2005 Bengals: Fuck you, we're scoring every play. 2006-2008 Bengals: Take what the defense gives you. Mr. Bratkowski, you gots to go. Don't take it personally.