• What if

      The Cincinnati Bengals have made the playoffs the last two years and three out of four years but have not won a playoff game. What if things go Bengals way this year? What if Marvin Lewis decides that his coordinators decide what is best for their units instead of Marvin pushing his agenda. Point to be made. In 2009 the Bengals made playoffs as a running team, next year Marvin decides we need to be a passing team. Result we go from 10-6 to 4-12. What if Marvin Lewis starts benching under performing veterans and replace them hungry young back ups. Point to be made. Michael Johnson playing behind Fanene and Rucker. Result Fanene and Rucker combined had 10 sacks in 2011 while Michael Johnson had 13 in 2012. Robert Geathers hasn't had more than 3.5 sacks since 2006 when he was young and hungry Carlos Dunlap has had 20 in last three years and never under 5 sacks. What if Marvin would have let Benson be the primary RB instead of RB by committee with Scott?
      I showed you a couple of example if Marvin would of stayed out of way and let Zimmer play who he wanted in there and Gruden free to do what he wanted. In 2011 and 2012 Marvin Lewis was forced to play the young players. In 2011 it was Jerome Simpson making his debut as starter. He made many mistakes with a few drops but could he have been a better player if he got to play before his 4th year. In 2012 Marvin Lewis has held Sanu, Jones, Stills, and Thompson back in 2012. Hopefully their talent is used in 2013.
      Mike Mayock has labeled the Bengals 2012 draft class as red shirts. Meaning they sat out a year to be more involved the next. And this could come true, depending on Marvin. What if the light goes on in Marvin's head? I believe the Bengals scout are giving the Bengals excellent players but not getting them on the field is like coaching them down. Through out my many years of watching the NFL and listening to coaches and players. I know there are practice players and game time players. Practice players are those who do great in practice at a slower pace but come game time the pace is to quick for them. Game players are the opposite, in practices the pace is to slow and they can't be over aggressive running their plays because you don't get wins and losses in practice. Then you have those who do well with both. The Bengals have many of those as starters but also have practice players starting instead of game players. One such player is Rey Maualuga. He is under aggressive at game time although we here he practices well. This year for inside linebackers, Rey was 5th in missed tackles and #1 in giving up most yards after a catch. And had 0 pass defenses.
      So how could this team look if Marvin kicks under performer out in the street. I believe we can have a championship team. Follow me as I will start changing the lineup with the what ifs replacements. First I going to start with our biggest area of need. The line backing core. Basically all the linebackers are free agents except Burfict, newly signed Maybin and Brandon Joiner who was just release from prison. I would let Rey walk and sign Lawson, Howard and Vincent Rey. Skuta can go with Rey M. Again we are going with what if they perform as expected. My starting linebackers would be Burfict in the middle with Howard and Joiner. I expect Joiner to follow in the steps of Burfict and become a model players. If Rey Lewis can be forgiven for his crimes, why not Joiner and Burfict. At DB my what if would be Hall, Kirkpatrick, Newman and Adams as my top corners. Going with Allen and Nelson at safety. Across the D Line I let Geathers walk and have Stills replace Peko as starter. With this lineup you have hungry young players and very good veterans backing them up.
      On offense you go with QB Dalton, Green and Jones to the outside with Sanu in slot. Gresham and Charles at TE. But here are this years changes. In first two rounds I would draft a center, tackle and a running back. Let every free agent offensive player walk except Smith and Hawkins.
      Starting offensive line would be Whitworth, Boling, Robinson, Zeitler and Smith. With Wharton as top guard backup and the drafted centers soon replacing Robinson unless Robinson keeps getting better with a possible Pro Bowl vote. And the new tackle ready to replace Whit or Smith.
      What if they all perform to potential and Marvin let the coordinators call their game. And the injuries were minimal. Do you believe this team is talented enough to go all the way?
      Comments 13 Comments
      1. ralphmtsu's Avatar
        ralphmtsu -
        I like the premise of letting the coordinators do there thing. I think in many ways, Zim has been under less scrutiny than Gruden. I think ML has his fingers in the offense more than what most would like. I would like to see a new starting center and let's get rid of a lot of dead-wood in terms of vet players. Actually, I think ML made some strides there. After all, he did let Bobbie Williams, Rucker and even Crocker leave (Crocker of course being a mistake). I'm not totally sold on the kids starting-- especially the WRs. I believe we need a vet to go along with AJ.
      1. I_C_DeadPeople's Avatar
        I_C_DeadPeople -
        ML had stated that he leaves Zimmer alone but no doubt he sticks his nose in the offense, probably because he wants to reduce the risk of mistakes (Marvin Ball). This just leads to vanilla Offense and in this day and age it won't work. Hopefully he gives Gruden more rope (and if he hangs himself then replace him).
      1. Lewdog's Avatar
        Lewdog -
        I try to avoid 'what ifs' because more than likely they are just depressing. What if the Bengals would have given Tom Coughlin the job instead of Marvin and the power in the organization he wanted?
      1. LimaBengal's Avatar
        LimaBengal -
        One heck of a lot of what-ifs for the Bengals

        you left one out...what if Baltimore and Pitts make a few improvements.

        But yeah, if a thousand things go right, or change, the Bengals could win a playoff game.
      1. FieldMopBengal's Avatar
        FieldMopBengal -
        Quote Originally Posted by LimaBengal View Post
        One heck of a lot of what-ifs for the Bengals

        you left one out...what if Baltimore and Pitts make a few improvements.

        But yeah, if a thousand things go right, or change, the Bengals could win a playoff game.
        Yep , Twenty - One Seasons worth of what if's for the Bengals .
      1. Neon Tiger's Avatar
        Neon Tiger -
        Plugging Joiner in as your starting LB seems a bit odd, have you even seen him play LB? He played DE in college and just got out of jail?

        Manny Lawson looks washed up to me and needs to go. Lamur outplayed him so you kind of go against your own article there? But Joiner and Lawson are ahead of him? Strange.

        Kirkpatrick doesn't appear he can stay healthy, no way you depend on him for anything.

        Jason Allen at safety doesn't make any sense. He is on a big contract and didn't perform - he needs to be cut. Also no way Wharton is brought back as a backup. He'll be starting or he'll get cut - more likely the later.

        Marvin and MFB need to learn to overpay the good players you have instead of letting them walk and signing other teams unwanted players like Wharton and Allen.
      1. Super Cat's Avatar
        Super Cat -
        Quote Originally Posted by Lewdog View Post
        I try to avoid 'what ifs' because more than likely they are just depressing. What if the Bengals would have given Tom Coughlin the job instead of Marvin and the power in the organization he wanted?
        This is a What if for the future. Not a What if of the past. What if from the past is second guessing.

        Quote Originally Posted by LimaBengal View Post
        One heck of a lot of what-ifs for the Bengals

        you left one out...what if Baltimore and Pitts make a few improvements.

        But yeah, if a thousand things go right, or change, the Bengals could win a playoff game.
        Baltimore will make improvements but they lose Rey Lewis, and maybe Reed and Birk. If Reed and Birk retire with Lewis, that is leaving 3 big holes to fill.

        Quote Originally Posted by Neon Tiger View Post
        Plugging Joiner in as your starting LB seems a bit odd, have you even seen him play LB? He played DE in college and just got out of jail?

        Manny Lawson looks washed up to me and needs to go. Lamur outplayed him so you kind of go against your own article there? But Joiner and Lawson are ahead of him? Strange.

        Kirkpatrick doesn't appear he can stay healthy, no way you depend on him for anything.

        Jason Allen at safety doesn't make any sense. He is on a big contract and didn't perform - he needs to be cut. Also no way Wharton is brought back as a backup. He'll be starting or he'll get cut - more likely the later.

        Marvin and MFB need to learn to overpay the good players you have instead of letting them walk and signing other teams unwanted players like Wharton and Allen.
        As far as Joiner goes it is the biggest What if. But I like the idea of a hungry player. Kids that look back and see what their actions cost them. Never seen him play but did do some research and his was Sun belts defensive player of year, and was fourth in nation for sacks. Yes he played DE but many DE's switch to linebacker and are successful. I don't know how high he would have been drafted if teams knew he wasn't going to prison. Bengals took a chance on him and Burfict because they knew they had to rebuild the LBing unit as they fail at drafting hungry college players the last four years. River, Maualuga, Muckelroy and Moch. If Bengals can come up with good young linebacking unit, they can become very strong for next 6 or more years with the defense and in those years they can slowly replace players instead of having to gamble on players now.

        As far as Kirkpatrick being injured. It happens to the best of players, it is part of football. Only reason I had Wharton as back up was because of Bolings play and he is younger.


        Jason Allen only missed two games in 6 years before last year. He got injured, it happens, it is part of football.

        Nothing wrong with Wharton either. He got injured, it happens, it is part of football
      1. spicoli's Avatar
        spicoli -
        Quote Originally Posted by FieldMopBengal View Post
        Yep , Twenty - One Seasons worth of what if's for the Bengals .
        well at least they're winning games and consistently getting to the playoffs now...there's definitely a lot of other teams out there that can't say the same....sure it would be great to start winning playoff games, but would you rather go back to the bottom feeding days of the 90's where they're picking in the top 5 in the draft every year right alongside the Cards, Rams and Lions? The playoff wins will come as long as they keep getting there.
      1. ralphmtsu's Avatar
        ralphmtsu -
        I do think the Bengals are positioned well for the next several years. The Steelers are going to be in decline. They are getting old on defense-- fast, and some of the players they thought could be replacements aren't stepping up. Also, they still have tons of issues on offense. The Ravens are going to be good on offense even if/when Rice begins his destined downslide. The still have a good passing game. On the other hand, their defense is in decline much like the Steelers. Believe it or not, the Bengals have the best defense in the division. Now if we can only get ML to stop playing so conservative on offense.
      1. Lewdog's Avatar
        Lewdog -
        ...and it begins. I would say that it is 30% he goes- 70% Green stays at this point. What if AJ Green leaves in two more years? Then what?

        http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...-playoff-loss/
      1. FieldMopBengal's Avatar
        FieldMopBengal -
        The List is a long one , of players who have sought to leave the Bengals and continue their careers somewhere else , only time will tell if A.Smith and AJ Green join that list .
      1. Lewdog's Avatar
        Lewdog -
        Quote Originally Posted by FieldMopBengal View Post
        The List is a long one , of players who have sought to leave the Bengals and continue their careers somewhere else , only time will tell if A.Smith and AJ Green join that list .
        If AJ Green keeps having years like he has so far he will get franchised for a 5th year so I need to change my percentages to 0% he leaves after two more years. After that however, is fair game.
      1. I_C_DeadPeople's Avatar
        I_C_DeadPeople -
        Best thing the team can do right now is to sign all the young talent that is eligible to be signed. This will build confidence in all players that the team is really trying to win. It always comes down to Mikey. if he low balls players like Atkins or Johnson the players will act accordingly. The team has gathered some nice young talent, but now Mikey has to KEEP them.
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