Apparently everyone on the planet thinks that the Bengals hit one out of the park on nearly every pick of the 2012 draft. When I saw what Joe Reedy wrote about it - I was excited. I do like how the Bengals seem to have a plan, and that everyone is on board with said plan. When I read how Mike Brown is "acquiescing more" to the opinion of others, I fell off my chair. I also like how Marvin is talking about competition in camp, and "play for pay." They also did not draft a linebacker from USC - nice.
A couple of caveats that temper my enthusiasm...
The Bengals still have a huge amount of cap space that at this point in free agency, will probably go only towards ensuring a nice fat profit for the family Brown. The Law Firm was well, perfectly acceptable. But spend money in the future to win, please.
While Marvin appears to have a good recent handle on influencing personnel, this does not change how he coaches in crucial game situations. (TERRIBLY!)
We're not moralistic, finger waggers, but the Bengals still have that propensity to chase the same character discounts that partially helped derail the Palmer Era. And they just signed Burfict, whose behavior reminds me of "Odell Henry."
Drafts can look good on paper, but has anything really changed yet? A couple of new scouts remains the only tangible difference I know of. The rest is anecdotal stories about Mikey deferring to others in the draft war room. I still want that practice bubble, which is a no-brainer to everyone except You Know Who.
But it's hard to see what, if anything, looms beyond Suggs-like injuries to torpedo the 2012 season. They're some expiring coaching contracts land mines after the season that could blow things to holy hell, but well, for now all calm on the western front.
PS - SwB here, please welcome Comrade Ickey into the WDR family. He's going to help keep the blog more active than the past few months.