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Interesting take from Hobspin on AFCN
#1
Not usually a fan of his articles, but thought he had an honest approach on this Q&A piece.

Quote:In our division with Cleveland going from worst to the next best team on paper, Ravins with a dynamic young quarterback and Steelers being the Steelers, there seems to be no hope or exciting news for the Bengals. What do you see will be something we can cheer for ? Do we actually have any chance this year? Why are the Bengals so un news worthy? Rick Wiggers, Cincinnati, OH

RICK: Wow. I mean, I get the whole Cleveland thing but I’m also wary of paper. In this league, that may be the kiss of death. Odell Beckham seems to disrupt more than win and quarterback Baker Mayfield has a big enough personality to make you wonder how long before the first bad tweet between the two. But, OK, Cleveland is good and probably has the most game-breaking talent in the division. But let’s see Mayfield play the whole season with the book on him. But, yeah, the Browns should be good. But how good?

And you know what I really don’t get? The infatuation with Lamar Jackson. No question a hell of an athlete. But I don’t know how you can say a guy that completed 58 percent of his passes, threw for six TDs in seven starts and got turned into a high school quarterback in the playoffs is such a dynamic player. Maybe he will be. Jury is way out, though. And now he’s learning his second offense in as many years? To me the jury is way out on the Ravens, too, then. But I love John Harbaugh. He’ll always get you to 8-8 no matter what he’s got and in a year like this with a few breaks and some good health he’s in the playoffs. Hell of a coach.

And the Steelers are the Steelers? Really? Which Steelers? Not without Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. And I’d argue the departure of offensive line coach Mike Munchak is just as big. The Steelers are always dangerous with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, but they’re not the 13-3 Steelers of 2017 and they’ll have to grind to not be the 9-6-1 Steelers of last season.

The Bengals? Here’s another thing I don’t get. They’re picked for last? The least exciting team in the North? Just like the Browns, they’ve got two 1,000-yard receivers. They’ve got two starting first-round corners like the Ravens and Browns. They’ve got the only conference rushing champion in the division and they’re the only team in the North that has two players with at least 70 career sacks.

It’s a division in transition, not just the Bengals. No one is going 13-3 and no one is going 3-13. It’s a 9-7 division and any one of the four can win it. First one to nine.

Bengals not getting much respect from anyone but the fans and TBH, not all fans are sold either. I agree that the Browns look good on paper, but we also know the Browns. That team is nothing more than a Ford Edsel with a Ferrari paint job.

I’m not convinced the Ravens are going to be as tough or talented as some are forecasting. As for the Steelers, well, with much hatred in my heart for them, they have owned us. I think we are curious with the departure of AB. Not so much for Bell because Conner replaced him admirably last year.

Do the Bengals have what it takes to win this thing? I think they do, but honestly my opinion is shadowed with homerism. He may be right about the first to 9 prediction and I’m optimistic we have 9 wins in us.
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#2
I expect Mayfield and Jackson to both take big steps backwards this season, as there are now games on tape for both of them for DC's to study.....
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#3
(06-09-2019, 10:45 AM)Sled21 Wrote: I expect Mayfield and Jackson to both take big steps backwards this season, as there are now games on tape for both of them for DC's to study.....

This is huge and your right. I also think both will get injured early. Mayfield because people want to kill him, and Jackson because he’s reckless and lacks confidence in his own ability.
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#4
(06-09-2019, 10:45 AM)Sled21 Wrote: I expect Mayfield and Jackson to both take big steps backwards this season, as there are now games on tape for both of them for DC's to study.....

Jackson has the better shot to advance during the start of the season, as no one knows what the new offense will look like yet.

We might be able to say the same thing about Baker, as I would think they have tossed most of Hue's playbook during the offseason.
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#5
(06-09-2019, 11:20 AM)jfkbengals Wrote: Jackson has the better shot to advance during the start of the season, as no one knows what the new offense will look like yet.

We might be able to say the same thing about Baker, as I would think they have tossed most of Hue's playbook during the offseason.

That is true about new offenses/playbooks/etc.  but what cannot be so easily changed are the physical habits that are now fully captured on game film.  Every QB has physical "cues" that defensive players and coaches can all clearly see and read.  I feel like these cues are more telling and easier to diagnose in mobile QBs, as opposed to pocket passers who master the pump fake and the "look off" to create windows of separation for their receivers.  With mobile QBs, it's usually something more physically demonstrative, like a stutter or hitch in their step, or maybe the Safety catches him taking a long look at the middle of the field before he tucks and runs, etc.
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#6
Really I could make a case for ANY TEAM in THE AFCN winning the division.

At this point. our biggest questionmark is the coaching. They're inexperienced and all taking huge leaps up in level. IF that works out, we could win 10 games.

That said, we won what 6, 7, 6 games the last 3 years so of course people aren't going to pick us to go 12-4 this year.
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#7
id like to tbink that the rest of the AFC North are concentrating do much on each other that and are
forgetting about the Bengals.
I would not be surprised if Jackson Mayfield or Rothlisberger
suffered a injury from the other 2 teams.
when healthy this team is just as dangerous as the other 3.
the thing is that no one has brought up.
nobody knows what kind of offense ZT is going to coming out
with.
advantage Bengals
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#8
1.  Can't blame anyone for picking us to finish last.

2.  Browns are over hyped, but Mayfield is legit.  He will be a good NFL QB.

3.  Jackson has a long way to go to be a good NFL QB.  Not saying he won't make it, but he was not close at the end of last season.

4.  Part of the reason the hype is so big for the Browns is the fact that the Ravens and Steelers are struggling right now.


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#9
(06-09-2019, 11:59 AM)fredtoast Wrote: 1.  Can't blame anyone for picking us to finish last.

2.  Browns are over hyped, but Mayfield is legit.  He will be a good NFL QB.

3.  Jackson has a long way to go to be a good NFL QB.  Not saying he won't make it, but he was not close at the end of last season.

4.  Part of the reason the hype is so big for the Browns is the fact that the Ravens and Steelers are struggling right now.

#4 does not warrant optimism for the Browns. But I guess with how bad that shithole organization has been, a speck of possible improvement could spark undeserved attention.
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#10
(06-09-2019, 11:59 AM)fredtoast Wrote: 1.  Can't blame anyone for picking us to finish last.

2.  Browns are over hyped, but Mayfield is legit.  He will be a good NFL QB.

3.  Jackson has a long way to go to be a good NFL QB.  Not saying he won't make it, but he was not close at the end of last season.

4.  Part of the reason the hype is so big for the Browns is the fact that the Ravens and Steelers are struggling right now.

I agree with all of this. Not wishing my life away, but i am so ready for training camp. Anxious to see the new staff in action.
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#11
I think the Bengals have a distinct advantage that may or may not pan out. Our very inexperienced coaching staff doesn't have a ton of film to be used against them at this point. Most teams know most of our players, but they have no idea how our coaching staff is going to deploy them. It should be very different from 16 years of Marvball.. 
I fully expect to see a lot of WTF just happened?...as the season unfolds..Some for the good, some not so much..
I suspect there's going to be a learning and acceptance curve few people will realize until it either works or doesn't work..
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#12
If you take the dismal Bengals defense out of his stats, Mayfield becomes far more pedestrian.

20TDs and 14INTs if you take out the 7TDs with 0INTs vs one of the worst defenses ever.

I'm not sold on Mayfield yet.
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#13
This team can go 13-3 and it wouldn't surprise me. Good QB, Great skill group, Very good to great secondary, and a great D-line when the Big three are all healthy.
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Lebron left the Cavs this makes me sad. 
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#14
(06-09-2019, 12:41 PM)GreenCornBengal Wrote: If you take the dismal Bengals defense out of his stats, Mayfield becomes far more pedestrian.

20TDs and 14INTs if you take out the 7TDs with 0INTs vs one of the worst defenses ever.

I'm not sold on Mayfield yet.

Our dismal defense last year was the result of a few months of Austinism.. Now that he's gone and that slate wiped clean we'll just have to see how they do under Amarouso.. (sp?) I really hope he's way underrated..
This is the absolute last signature change I'll ever make...right up until the next one. The last will be just as soon as someone pays a funeral director on my behalf. 

Chicago sounds rough to the maker of verse, but the one comfort we have is Cincinnati sounds worse. ~Oliver Wendal Holmes Sr.


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#15
(06-09-2019, 12:19 PM)HarleyDog Wrote: #4 does not warrant optimism for the Browns. But I guess with how bad that shithole organization has been, a speck of possible improvement could spark undeserved attention.

I'm not betting it all on the Browns, but you have in your signature a picture of a fanbase of a team that was "cursed" for over 100 years and then got a top GM and top talent and won it all within a few years.  All I'm saying is that when the Cubs got Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon and went all-in on overhauling their roster plenty of people said they were still the Cubs and would never win anything.

I get the optimism for the Bengals and the new system.  But this whole "the Steelers will stop being good and the Browns/Ravens will not become good" narrative is just played out around here.  Pig Ben wasn't the next Bubbie Brister, he has yet to fall apart or miss most of a season, and the Steelers got rid of two giant cancer divas which should make them better if we are going to assume the Browns will be ruined because they acquired cancer divas.

I know we can win the AFC north, but if we win it because the Steelers/Browns/Ravens are just garbage squads it's better than the past few years, but it doesn't sound like real optimism to me.  It looks like the Ravens have been exposed at QB, and the Browns could very well be a mess of in-fighting...but the Steelers have owned us for years while their QB, RB, and top WR were all mega dbags who threw shade at each other, so that doesn't exactly mean we're going to sweep them because they're jerks.


I just say this stuff not because I love the Browns or have them picked to win it all, but because I've wanted the Bengals to get a real GM and make more aggressive roster moves for years.  For me to instantly dismiss the Browns after they've made the effort to do what I've been begging the Bengals to do for decades just seems unfair.  Does that make any sense?


tl;dr - I have a Baker Mayfield tattoo on my butt and I like to kiss my own butt.
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#16
(06-09-2019, 11:59 AM)fredtoast Wrote: 1.  Can't blame anyone for picking us to finish last.

2.  Browns are over hyped, but Mayfield is legit.  He will be a good NFL QB.

3.  Jackson has a long way to go to be a good NFL QB.  Not saying he won't make it, but he was not close at the end of last season.

4.  Part of the reason the hype is so big for the Browns is the fact that the Ravens and Steelers are struggling right now.

And on 4, they made a big trade to land OBJ. Signed Kareem Hunt. Traded for Vernon.

IF any team in the division added 2 Pro Bowl players, they'd be getting hype.
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#17
(06-09-2019, 12:46 PM)grampahol Wrote: Our dismal defense last year was the result of a few months of Austinism.. Now that he's gone and that slate wiped clean we'll just have to see how they do under Amarouso.. (sp?) I really hope he's way underrated..

IF everyone is healthy and plays up to potential. That's what doesn't happen.

On paper we look good at most positions except offensive line and LB.
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#18
(06-09-2019, 02:21 PM)THE PISTONS Wrote: IF everyone is healthy and plays up to potential. That's what doesn't happen.

On paper we look good at most positions except offensive line and LB.

OL doesn't look bad. If they can actually get Hart to perform up to his abilities and and the LB's as well, we have something here. There's always that rookie uncertainty as well but this is where coaching comes in huge. I think we have the right staff.
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#19
(06-09-2019, 12:41 PM)GreenCornBengal Wrote: If you take the dismal Bengals defense out of his stats, Mayfield becomes far more pedestrian.

20TDs and 14INTs if you take out the 7TDs with 0INTs vs one of the worst defenses ever.

I'm not sold on Mayfield yet.

If we look back, that is nearly the exact same statline that Andy had his rookie year, but Baker did it with worse receivers. Andy is a good QB. Baker is, too. He's legit. 

I agree with a lot of what "Rick" said. I am hopeful for the offense this coming season, but I am pretty pessimistic about the defense. The LBs are simply too weak and I am not sold on Lou I do think Cincinnati will be better than what think, though. I feel like most people have the Bengals pegged for 4-5 wins and I think they will be in that 7-9 range.
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#20
(06-09-2019, 10:41 AM)HarleyDog Wrote: Not usually a fan of his articles, but thought he had an honest approach on this Q&A piece.


Bengals not getting much respect from anyone but the fans and TBH, not all fans are sold either. I agree that the Browns look good on paper, but we also know the Browns. That team is nothing more than a Ford Edsel with a Ferrari paint job.

I’m not convinced the Ravens are going to be as tough or talented as some are forecasting. As for the Steelers, well, with much hatred in my heart for them, they have owned us. I think we are curious with the departure of AB. Not so much for Bell because Conner replaced him admirably last year.

Do the Bengals have what it takes to win this thing? I think they do, but honestly my opinion is shadowed with homerism. He may be right about the first to 9 prediction and I’m optimistic we have 9 wins in us.

It's easy to emote with your heart about your team and have hope.

It's harder when your head gets into it.

Browns make big changes and improve.

Bengals make only minor changes, some of which have questionable improvement value, so you have to kind of wonder if your hope should be tempered some.

Losing to the Browns twice last year was a dagger.
Katie, Taylor and Tobin use Mike Brown's secret free agent search technique.

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