Hey there WDR readers, I haven't been writing much recently, did you miss me? No? WELL I WASN'T ASKING YOU ANYWAYS.
Now that we have that out of the way, here are my quick thoughts on the current state of Bengaldom (Hobson, Bengals.com) through the first 6 weeks of the season.
The "Real Fans" Argument: People come on this site all the time and claim that the writers and comrades of the Revolution aren't "real fans" because we want the Bengals to change their management decision-making personnel and process. Then there are others who are angry that the team magically seems to have more "fans" whenever the team does well. To them I say, relax. We are talking about sports here. This is not 'Nam. Sports are a distraction from real life, something to enjoy. People enjoy supporting a winner. That is why WDR exists - to try and force the Bengals to change how they do things so the team wins more often. Let's take out the personal attacks and agree that we all want the same thing - for the Bengals to win football games.
The "4-2 Record Means the Revolution is Over" Argument: The NFL is designed to promote parity - every team is hypothetically doing everything they can to get an edge. The league is absurdly competitive. Take a look at the Titans - from 13-3 last year to an embarrassingly putrid 0-6 this year. The margin of error that results in wins and losses is razor thin. To win, teams need to do everything they can to get an edge. Is WDR pleased that the Bengals are 4-2? Yes, yes and yes. But could the Bengals be doing more to ensure that these wins continue, perhaps (GASP!) into the playoffs? YES.
Keeping a Long-Snapper on the team (who is comically easy to replace) was one thing. But get ready for that old Bengals excuse refrain you are all used to - injuries! Every team gets them. Only the Bengals are surprised year after year that some of their players will get hurt. Other teams have depth. The Bengals have an excuse.
Yes, it was unfortunate that Reggie Kelly and Ben Utecht got hurt this preseason. The Bengals drafted a TE as insurance. A TE who worked in a spread offense all through college who never had to block. And now that same TE is not active because he is learning how to block. That's what I call strategery! Instead, the Bengals are throwing out Daniel Coats and JP Futon.
Now the Bengals are going to have to deal with some severe blows to the D-Line. As David Fleming writes: "I worry that the now injury-plagued Bengals are about to become living proof of the most boring but essential tool in determining success in the NFL: roster depth. The problem? They have none."
Again, every team gets injuries. Successful NFL teams, the ones with highly functioning front offices, acquire the depth so that injuries can not be used as an excuse for losing. Marvin, Brat and Zimmer can only do so much with sub-standard players who fill in. The injury excuse is just an excuse. It's all Mike Brown's fault.