Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hey! Who Kidnapped The Bengals Front Office?

Are you kidding me? The Bengals front office did this? They pulled the trigger on a deal that makes perfect sense? It's so out of character that I expect the NFL to show up at the Bengals offices asking for urine samples. Lucky for the Bengals it was Hue Jackson's starting quarterback who went down with an injury last Sunday. Jackson is a former Bengals assistant and is very fond of Palmer. But give the Bengals credit for being shrewd and squeezing more out of Carson Palmer in one trade than the Bengals squeezed out of him in three of the past four seasons. I'm still sitting here late on a Tuesday night, stunned that the Bengals get a first round and at least a second round pick for the fading Palmer. The Raiders must have had patches over both eyes the past several seasons. Who knows? Maybe Palmer steps in and lights it up for Oakland right away. Maybe Chad's route running is what made Palmer look like a frightened Barney Fife trying to figure out how to shoot a gun straight. We shall see. But kudos to Mike Brown for dropping the stubborn mule act long enough to raid the Raiders of valuable draft picks. It's the latest in a string of decisions by the Bengals front office that makes you wonder. Has Mike Brown gone mad? Has he been kidnapped and an impostor has taken his place? No, that can't be it. It was vintage Brown at the January press conference announcing the return of Marvin Lewis as head coach. It was vintage Brown at the pre-training camp luncheon sticking to his mantra that a deal is a deal and if Carson wants to take his ball and go home, so be it. So I really believe it is the real Mike Brown still in the Bengals main office making the main decisions. But what a roll this guy is on. If steps up to a craps table, I'm laying my chips right next to his. In the draft, the Bengals resisted a nice trade offer for their first round pick from Atlanta. I thought it would have been a smart trade, until the first day I saw A.J. Green in training camp. Difference-maker, that's the phrase that jumped into my head. What a great pick. The Bengals also did something in the second round that goes against the old grain. They had decided on an offensive system, and set their sights on the perfect guy to run that system. Andy Dalton looks right at home in Jay Gruden's system. Hopefully for the Bengals these decisions are a trend and not a hiccup in 20 years of futility. The Bengals have a locker room that values team play, a businesslike approach, and good old execution of the plays. All of that makes it a locker room with great chemistry. It may not be good enough to make the playoffs this season, but I am no longer betting against them. Now it's time for Brown to resist pulling in troubled players who can be had for less than market value. If he can resist that, the league may want to skip the urine thing and go straight for the DNA.

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