Bengals.com brings to our attention that Andrew Whitworth is helping to coach the offensive linemen from the North squad in the Senior Bowl. Someone wouldn't be doubling up as both player and scout, would they? Given our paltry scouting department, it's difficult not to read between the lines and think that in addition to Mike Brown watching college bowl games with a notepad and relying on our coaches to scout as a poor attempt to make up for an inadequate scouting department, we are also getting one of our O-linemen into the act.
Sure, maybe Whitworth is bored in the offseason and thought he'd get out on the field and try his hand at coaching. But (based on absolutely nothing but pure speculation), doesn't it seem more likely that he was either asked to take a look at the linemen in the Senior Bowl or took it upon himself to give extra manpower to do so? If so, it's admirable Whit has agreed or decided to do this considering the scouting situation but our players should not be relied on for these duties.
We've certainly touched on scouting in the past but it comes to mind now more than ever a few months before the draft. Let's review some of our prior posts on the scouting issue. Here is the excerpt we included in our letters to Mr. Goodell:
The Bengals scouting department is much smaller compared to that of other teams. In a recent interview, Mr. Brown claimed that the Bengals have six scouts. Most fans are skeptical if there are that many. Two of the "scouts" are Paul and Pete Brown who are Mike Brown's son and brother, respectively. Without digging further into the inadequacy of the individuals in the scouting department, a brief and admittedly informal survey of other teams' program guides and web sites demonstrates that the Bengals' scouting department is vastly inferior to that of other teams. To name just a few examples, the Indianapolis Colts have 19 people in their player personnel department, 10 of which have the word "scout" in it. The Baltimore Ravens have 20 and 9, respectively, and the New York Giants have 20 and 12, respectively. Also, the Arizona Cardinals, who have had their struggles but are on their way to the playoffis this year, beefed up their scouting department last offseason by hiring 4 additional scouts. However, despite the Bengals' consistently horrid performance, Mr. Brown maintains both the miniscule size of the scouting department and the same individuals therein.
Also, here's an old post comparing the Bengals personnel department to that of the Colts.
But, why would you look at your peers to ensure that what you are doing is best practices in your industry? Instead, here's my best crack at Mike Brown's response to the old "inadequacy of the scouting department" question next year: "Well we have Paul Brown and Pete Brown and Tavaris Brown and Duke Tobin and our coaches went down to the Senior Bowl this year (leaving out that they were able to do this because we were the shittiest team not to fire our coach) and even Andrew Whitworth looked at some guys this year. So I think we're putting ourselves in a position to be competitive."