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Who Dey Revolution Manifesto

  • Preamble

    IN THIS TIME of perpetual Cincinnati Bengals incompetence and futility, with zero playoff wins in the nineteen seasons since the WhoDeyRevolution Godfather, Paul Brown, passed away in 1991 and handed the team to his fortunate son, the Despot, Mike Brown;

    Introduction

    WE, the members of the Who Dey Revolution, in our fervent dedication to the Cincinnati Bengals and fanatical desire to transform our hometown team into perpetual Super Bowl contenders, call for a popular revolution of fans to demand comprehensive reform to the managerial decisions and approach of Cincinnati Bengals ownership, management, staff and players, and hereby call for the adoption of the following Who Dey Revolution Manifesto:

    Manifesto Demands

    THAT the Mike Brown, Katie Blackburn, Marvin Lewis, along with every other member of the Bengals management, staff and personnel, state publicly to all Bengals fans, “I will do everything in my power to help the Cincinnati Bengals win a Super Bowl;”

    THAT Mike Brown will hire a general manager, drastically expand the scouting department and relinquish all control of player personnel;

    THAT all training, rehabilitation and medical facilities are considered best-in-class compared to other NFL teams;

    THAT the management fill the team only with players who fit the system, both mentally and physically, and are not reluctant to makes changes to player personnel when needed, regardless of cost or loyalty concerns;

    THAT offensive and defensive line depth is considered the top priority for all player personnel decisions;

    THAT all decisions made by ownership, management, staff and players, both on and off the field, are judged only by this criterion: “Does this help the Cincinnati Bengals win a Super Bowl?”

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« 'Optimistic' Lewis Eyes Extension | Main | Addendum to WDR Bengals State of the Union »

March 02, 2012

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I applaud your efforts at a fair and unbiased post, SWB. I tend to agree with your cautious optimism, but as I've said before, we won't really know anything for another two weeks or so, once free agency starts.

That said, I hope you're prepared to be called a sheep by the "loyal" Bengals fans here who don't believe the Bengals can do anything right.

And then the Bengals gave their kicker the franchise tag. Never mind these players they'd do well to keep like Reggie Nelson. Don't forget who's in charge.


Well there you have it, not only a new blog post, but also some good news among all the goings-on.
Great to read, including for those of us who:

* aren't inclined to regular research (if at all),

* would prefer to avoid bengals.com as much as possible, and

* prefer alternative resources for Bengals news/info

"Zim was allegedly furious when he heard JJoe was gone, and for good reason."

Damn right he was. They say that stupid cannot be fixed,
but let's hope they try here, unless they really want to piss Zimmer off.

The Nuge thing is not "confirming evidence" but it's also not the end of the world as long as they don't lose solid-and-not-too-pricey players like Nelson. They could easily keep Nelson even after franchising Nuge but we shall see.

I agree with both of your points, swb. It's still a flag for concern regardless. For one, Nelson isn't the only guy they need to/really should keep on the defensive side of the ball alone. Two, even if they keep Nelson but lose someone else it will mean another hole to plug especially if they don't through FA. Speaking of which, they better keep Nelson based on the FA market for safeties--based solely on what I've read from others, I don't know myself. Besides, isn't that one of the points you make about self-inflicting holes they need to fill (G and CB) when they could be building something else? Three, we have seen this move before, don't remember it working out well last time. I'm just saying, yeah some good signs but some questionable ones at the same time. We shall see.

I'm also curious, but too lazy to research, whether other teams put the franchise tag on their kicker (besides the Browns this year).

@ The truth. As much as I was horribly against the Bengals wasting their franchise tag on Shayne "Ginger" Graham a few years ago, I'm kinda for this move. By franchising Nugent, the Bengals get their kicker for just a shade under fair market value. Locking that free agent deal up early does two things: first it allows them more time to deal with bigger fish and second, it ensures that only 2.8M is now blacked out instead of some nebulous maybe-money number because the kicker isn't signed. You can't guarantee money to players in negotiations if you don't know if you'll have it.

I agree that Zimmer is going to weigh in heavy on Reggie's deal, maybe his is already. A big part of it is going to be the Bengals mid-round draft strategy (free safety?) and also how much faith Zim has in Robert Sands. I didn't realize this but, Sands is 6'4", 210 lbs and only 22 years old! Reggie doesn't break six feet on his tip-toes. Receivers are just getting bigger, and I'm still not sold on Nelson's ability to tackle. Its for just that reason that Reggie is a very polarizing player to a lot of teams, despite the lack of talent at the position in free agency and the draft.

The cost to franchising Nelson would have been approximately 6.5M guaranteed, which is solid for a starting FS. But if Zimmer isn't thinking about him as 'marquee' and the long-term plan is grooming Sands to take over, perhaps as early as next year, then why would you pay him a multi-year contract for start money?

Without knowing what Zimmer has planned for Sands or the Draft, I'd like to see Nelson back. What they offer him is going to be indicative of how much they need / want him long term.

What does John Thornton know about winning? The only thing he knows is raping the Bengals of millions for doing nothing worth to speak about in his career. lol Blog that JT! lol MFB will do nothing in Free Agency, you guys will never learn. I guess it will take another 20 years to realize this. This team has a tougher schedule and many holes to fill and will not fill them through Free Agency and they do not have enough draft picks to cover those holes. Even whomever they draft, they will not play them, the first round picks, yes, the others more than likely not. So please tell me how they are going to improve by just hiring a stupid scout on the west coast when you still have MFB and ML running this CIRCUS. lol See you in a couple of weeks for FA and in a month during the draft.

Nice to see a post again WDR. Haven't talked or even thought about this team in weeks. (that's a lie)

I'm over the Nugent thing. What's done is done. The focus should be more on improving at G, CB, and FS (Crocker? anyone? why is he not mentioned as someone that needs to go!?)

This is a very, very important off season.

Should hopefully be interesting.

The focus should be more on improving at G, CB, and FS.

I read somewhere (not Bengals.com, I know that, because I haven't been there in a while) that Zim was high on Sands and Mays and he wasn't worried about losing Crocker and Nelson. If true, this bodes exceptionally well, as both guys are big, athletic ball-hawking safeties. I'll scrounge around today and see if I can find where I read that at.

I've got to call bullshit on some of the people throwing fits about Nelson leaving. I bet a search of this site from when they traded for Nelson would show tons of posts about the Bengals being dumb, wasting time on another reclamation project, etc. now those same people ate saying they shoukd bend over backwards to keep him. Lastly I bet if they franchised Nelson and he regressed (remember he was considered a bust in Jacsonville) these same people would bitch that they didn't let him walk.

Ok rant over but I see the logic in not franchising Nelson he showed signs of potential last year but remember they almost signed Whitner to start instead of Nelson that should say something about how they view him as the long term answer

@The truth: you speak the truth.

Reggie Nelson is a guy who's about average. He's not a "franchise player". He probably will never be a franchise player. He's a guy they got for cheap off the scrap heap because he didn't live up to his hype.

Taylor Mays is anything *but* "ball-hawking" -- he had 5 picks in four years as a college starter, and it was said he'd rather go for the hit than the ball. He doesn't change direction well. He doesn't backpedal well. "Loses balance when looking up" said one scout. His natural position might have been linebacker if he was heavier, although he had no sacks in college. I'm surprised they haven't tried that since Mikey Boy likes to make tight ends out of defensive ends, and since the guys they have at LB are pretty mediocre (except Lawson who is a FA now).

Sands is a project... hopefully one that turns out better than Jerome "Cheech" Simpson.

Mike Brown has sixty million dollars to spend. If he wanted to win the 2012 Super Bowl he would sign three free agents who rank at or very near the top of their positions.

@DNOPBS: Forgive me for misspeaking, as I was literally on my way out of my office door and I rushed that post. I did not mean "ball-hawking", I meant "playmaking". Mays had 276 tackles and 21 deflections in his four years, and you need to understand that until his senior year, he was used almost exclusively as a center fielder, which really limited how many big play opportunities he actually had. In his junior year, USC gave up an average of 85.5 passing yards per game - teams just didn't go into their games with USC looking to throw the ball, so Mays leading the team in pass deflections that year (again, in spite of being used only as a center fielder to limit big plays) seems to indicate that he's actually pretty good when he knows his duties, something I'm confident Zimmer will take care of. Even in his senior year, when Pete Carroll switched up his role, he was used more as run support, as evidenced by his career-high 96 tackles that year.

At this point, it's all speculation, as he hasn't compiled a large enough body of work in Zimmer's system for someone like you or me to truly judge if he's going to be an asset to the team. However, if Zimmer thinks that Mays has the tools to fit his system and that they don't need to prioritize re-signing Reggie Nelson, then I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Zimmer has been the biggest bright spot on this team over the past three years and I think he's earned some trust in his evaluation and motivational abilities.

Good to hear from you again. Let's talk about this:

* Unfortunately high priced UFA acquisitions have never been consistently associated with success -- case in point: Jerry Jones and Dallas Cowboys. Mike Brown will cite this fact to support his thrifty approach.

* Bengals won't roll cap leftover from 2011 into 2012. That money is probably already stashed under Mikey's mattress. And they won't spend all $43 million available under the cap for 2012 right now either. Brown likes to save $10-15 mil and then use that money later in the season to re-up guys with bonus money for future seasons. This creates financial and minimal roster stability for future seasons using this year's money. This is the opposite of what the "winning" franchises do -- they expand current year salaries into future years in order to expand starter and depth talent. This shows up here late in the season when we're in the playoff hunt, have injuries and are starting street FAs at 2-3 positions (e.g., McGlynn, Pacman etc.).

* Reggie Nelson is an average, at best, NFL Safety. He looks better than that because he's playing next to guys that really suck. Probably Zimmer is telling the front office not to break the bank on this guy. Certainly, don't spend $7+ mil to franchise a guy who will just sign the tender and be back on the market in a year looking for an even bigger deal. That said, the DB situation looks bleak.

* Biggest worry for Bengals in next 10 days is managing the UFAs we need back: Collins, Lawson, Nelson, Sims, Fanene, Rucker, Brandon Johnson. Notice that 6 of these 7 are on D. Also notice that you hear nothing in the press about discussion of deals. Mike Brown likes to do this stuff silently like a doofus ninja of sorts. Hope that they get most of these guys back, else the assumptions of building on 2011 successes are going to fall a big step.

* Bengals front office management should be called the revolving door. We don't keep talent for several reasons that relate to money, franchise visibility and perceptions of lack of competitiveness. As soon as we get a critical mass of talent, a certain percent goes elsewhere bringing us back to sub-critical mass and need to replace through the draft and wait for the new guys to develop. This leaves an eternal hole somewhere on the field, and those holes are exploited. Some years this is at QB; others at OL; others in the DB; others in the D front 7; maybe others on STs. But always there is a critical hole or two that will keep us from achieving above 0.500 or a simple playoff one-and-done.

* Sum it up. Bengals need to get 10-12 of own UFAs back. Get the 7 above as well as Nugent. Then target some depth from returning one of a pair or trio of UFA vets who provide potential low-cost options (e.g., Pacman vs. Jennings; Livings vs. Williams vs. McGlynn; Lee vs. Scaife). Achieving these goals would bring back 11 vets, and to that we will assuredly return the 5 RFA/ERFA players (i.e., Pressley, Skuta, Peerman, Hayden, Rey). So that brings the roster to 60 players and probably uses up about $25 million or so in cap space. That leaves about $19 mil -- $6 mill for rookies; $10 mil for Mikey play-around dough; and maybe a few cheap UFAs. Whichever of the above 11 UFA vets don't return, that cap space can be applied to an outside UFA acquisition. And remember that some cap money will reappear when some of these guys are cut later -- right now you only have to count your top 51 guys anyway (but Mikey will count 'em all and make sure that Hobson relays it in that fashion to make us all think he's spending more than he really is).

* Final Word - there won't be any big name UFA acquisitions. No Nicks. No Grubbs. No fancy WRs. No top end CBs or Safety. Not any Who Hash or Roast Beast either. The Grinch lives.

West Tx not bad summary. Only thing I have to disagree with is the line about "winning teams" pushing current salaries into the future. That is what teams like Pitt and Washington have done but it's also what lead to their roster purges over the years and why Pitt may lose their #1 WR. New England is a team that wins and doesn't do this. Killing your cap for three years to be competitive in one is a bad way to run a team. Maybe I misunderstood what you meant

I disagree with who is "needed" back it's not 10 or 12 of these guys.

Lawson Collins Sims and Nelson are probably the only ones who grade above replacement level. The secondary, offensive line and linebackers are a disaster because they have a ton of replacement level guys or well below.

With replacement level UFAs coming in it's just roster musical chairs. One Mario Williams or Grubbs removes a chair from the line of chairs. Everybody looks better.

Signing back these 10-12 as I have suggested does not indicate that they are all roster guys. But you do have to have competitions for spots as well as depth. Reality here is that Mike Brown is not going to spend $56 million over 7-8 years on an OG -- so really, we can forget Nicks (or maybe 10-20% less for a Grubbs).

"Expanding" the cap is something that most teams (except the Bengals) do almost every year. Yes, Pittsburgh is cutting a bunch of players. But note that they are doing it in "Pittsburgh fashion" by making the hard decisions and cutting beloved vets when their time is due. What do we do with guys like Geathers, John Thornton, Jerome Simpson? We hold them for some stupid reason until their deals run out. What Pittsburgh does do, however, is to redo the contracts of multiple players to push 2012 salary money into future years as redirected bonus amortization. Is Mike Brown smart enough to do this? Yes. But he goes by an antiquated system in which you don't don't borrow money to buy a Cadillac when an Escort will suffice.

This gets us back to what we do and how we do it. I now am realizing why Mike Brown has not announced what we're doing in re-signing UFA guys. He is waiting for the 2012 cap to be announced. Is this surprising for a guy who is so fiscally conservative that he charges his players a dime to use the shitter in the locker room?

OK, that last part wasn't necessarily true (as far as I know). What is true is that the Bengals will do pretty close to what I wrote prior in bringing back as many of their own UFAs as will sign. Some of these guys are going to leave, and then we'll be scrambling to replace them -- my guesses are these might include Rucker, Fanene, Sims, Collins, Nelson and Brandon Johnson. That's 6 of the 8 priority UFAs we have (figuring that Lawson and Nugent return). And this is what I'm sore about -- we say that we're building through the draft and focusing on retaining talent and then let 15% of our veteran roster and key depth walk out the door without a reasonable attempt to keep them. And this is why this team sucks year-in, year-out. Come September they'll give a good effort. By December we'll be talking about next year. And in 2013 we'll be arguing about the same shit with another excuse why we can't spend too much to fill key needs or keep important back up players.

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    Bengals Futility - By The Numbers

    • 20 - Years since the Bengals have won a playoff game

      0 - Total number of playoff wins in Mike Brown's tenure as owner

      .359 - Bengals regular season winning percentage since Mike Brown took over as owner (115-206-1 in 20 seasons)

      29-34-1 - Record since 2005 playoff game vs Steelers

      6 - Seasons the Bengals have lost their first six games since 1991. No other team has more than two.

      0 - Teams North of Cincinnati without an indoor practice facility

      10 - Players arrested in a 14 month span from 2005-2006

      32 - Mike Brown's ranking, out of 32, of the "Best Owners in the NFL" by Michael Silver of Sports Illustrated in 2007

      458,000,000 - Amount, in dollars, that Hamilton County Taxpayers paid to build PBS

      2032 - Year that Hamilton County will have finally paid off its debt on the stadium deal

      3 - Total number of non-clerical employees employed in the Bengals scouting department, lowest in the league

      747,000,000 - Amount, in dollars, paid in free agency by the Bengals from 1994 - 2005, second worst of all 28 teams in existence for the duration, behind only Arizona

      118 – Ranking, out of 118 professional teams, of the “Worst Franchises” in professional sports, as ranked by ESPN the Magazine in 2003.

      97 – Ranking, out of 98 general managers in all four major sports with three or more years of experience, of Mike Brown’s performance as a GM, as ranked by Forbes in 2007.

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