Now wading waist deep in the aftermath of Tuesday's press conference, it's time for a recap of what exactly took place at 4:30pm in the bowels of Paul Brown Stadium.
As I posted Tuesday afternoon, Marvin Lewis had decided not to return. I stand by that, as I also stand by my comment that the situation could change. He had left the stadium and gone home, his coaching future in limbo, and honestly didn't know what his next move would be. Then a call from Sam Wyche. Another from Mike Brown, urging him to return to the stadium to try and work this out. Whatever happened between 1pm and 4pm, we might never know. But, as a Bengals fan, you have to hope it was something dramatic. Something more significant than agreeing to fire Bob Bratkowski or cut Chad Ochocinco. In reality, it probably wasn't. And that's pathetic. In the end, it was probably the ego of Lewis...the ego of an NFL coach...to believe that with a little more control over coaching and player decisions, that he can be the one to turn this thing around.
In the meantime, many commenters have asked for us for our thoughts on what we are calling the Worst Press Conference in Modern History. We're here to deliver.
“Reggie Nelson was a good pickup. Also the...uhh...(motioning to Lewis) the fullback from Rutgers?
WDR Take: That's right Bengals fans, your owner, your general manager, doesn't know Brian Leonard's name. This isn't the last guy on your practice squad. This has been a player on your 53 man roster the last two years. Also the player who you are using as an example to explain how talented your scouting department is...and you can't remember his name. Beyond incredible, and I'm surprised this has not been getting more play locally and nationally.
I suppose it could have been worse, he could have said that 'white guy who hurdles people'. Actually, I would have been impressed that he knew Leonard was white.
Mike Brown to Brad Johansen after he asked about the length of Lewis's contract:
“You keep asking, and I don’t think the answer’s going to change. It’s as long as any other coach, or longer. It’s long enough to protect him in his position. I would say this: I think we’re going to have a better year next year, and it might get longer than that real fast.”
WDR Take: Mike Brown essentially telling his long-standing radio play-by-play announcer: Hey Johansen, go hump yourself. Completely inappropriate and ridiculous behavior, especially when you consider Geoff Hobson HAD ALREADY POSTED THE LENGTH OF THE CONTRACT ON BENGALS.COM. Why even hold a press conference if you are going to act like this? Just issue a press release and wake us up after Bratkowski is fired.
Marty Brennaman later said on 700WLW that if the Reds owner or GM would ever talk to him like that, they could find someone else to do radio.
Marvin Lewis on the idea that he now has more control over personnel decisions:
“I don’t know where that comes from, because I don’t know if I’ve sat down here and ever said that (that he less than unsatisfied with control over personnel). People keep putting that out there. I have a lot of input in our personnel. It’s Mike’s ultimate say-so. He’s the owner, he’s the general manager, and it’s 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. It’s my job to educate him on why it’s the way I see it. I understand that. I actually relish that opportunity. As I’ve said many times, it’s one-stop shopping. There’s no middleman I have to go through. He and I talk and discuss each and every morning or afternoon or whenever it occurs, and that’s the way it is.”
WDR Take: You're right Marvin, it's just like Kroger. One-stop shopping. Except the produce is rotten, the milk is spoiled, and the employees berate you when walk up and down the aisles. But yes, one-stop shopping.
Mike Brown on what types of changes are planned:
“It has to do with how we set ourselves up to play the game, what we do when we are playing an opponent. That’s the real nitty-gritty of what matters. As far as Marvin’s role on personnel, I would venture he as a strong a voice in personnel as any coach in the National Football League. I can only think of an example or two at most when we may have done something differently than Marvin would have preferred, and in those cases I am not sure they were all that important decisions. It’s a misunderstanding to disguise it differently. People don’t know because they aren’t there seeing how we interact, but that is how we interact.”
WDR's Take: "It has to do with how we set ourselves up to play the games". I don't know what this means. Literally no idea. Mike Brown thinks the Bengals are close based on:
- Zero playoff wins
- Most losses by an NFL team in thet past 20 years
- Explaining away 20 years of horrible football operation decisions with 'bad luck and injuries'...while the rest of the league does it completely differently. Based on this logic, it's reasonable to believe that Mike Brown thinks teams like Pittsburgh and New England win year after year because they are lucky, and the Bengals are not.
I mean this with every fiber in my body: Mike Brown is not just delusional. He is clinically insane. I mean IN-SANE. Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. That is the definition of insanity. This press conference sealed the deal, if there was any shred of doubt remaining.
Mike Brown on if they’re in agreement on what needs to be done with the coaching staff:
“It’s something that we’re going to work together on as we go through the next few weeks.”
WDR's Take: Again, why hold a press conference then if you aren't going to answer questions?
Mike Brown on plans to make any changes to the scouting and personnel departments:
“The scouting thing is another criticism that rises up when we don’t 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 don’t apologize for our scouting. It’s an easy target, but if you look at the real facts, I think you’ll see it differently.”
WDR Take: Actually, looking at the facts is what gets you in trouble Mike. The stat you referenced means absolutely nothing. It means you are drafting the wrong players for your team. And who the hell is 1 thru 9 on this list? Do you even want to be #1 on this list? How many pro-bowlers have you drafted? How many playoff games have they won?
Mike Brown on where the team stands on building an indoor practice facility:
“Marvin has a desire to have a practice facility. I have a desire, but probably not as keen. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a desire to do it. The timing is important. Right now, we’re faced with major issues in the National Football League, and those are at the front of our agenda. When we get through that, then we’ll have time to consider this issue. It’s one of the important issues that we have in mind. I would make the comment that some of this is perception. We worked in the cold weather. We played in the cold weather. It didn’t seem to hurt us any to practice in the cold weather. We played pretty well in it. But I do know that it’s the way it’s trending. It’s 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 it’s coming.”
WDR Take: Who the hell uses the word keen? Are monks still writing the playbooks? No wonder Bratkowski hasn't used a new play since 2005. And also, that is a false statement about indoor practice facilities 'trending' that way. It already IS that way. What happens when the Bengals are playing in a dome or in San Diego in a playoff push in December? Won't be playing the game in cold weather, but you practice in 20 degree weather or 40 degree weather and rain for no reason. Practice facilities are not a new-fangled idea Mike...they are standard business practice in the NFL, a category ante, and it's a flat out joke you don't have one built. Period.
More to come in Part 2...