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The Mike Brown Era, Will it Ever End?
#1
Sled’s thread regarding Taylor and Tobin inspired me to write this, so blame Sled.  Lol.  This is long winded and to many, nothing new.  

Many fans are too young to remember the Bengals of 1990’s and those fans that do remember, want to forget.  I felt the need to summarize some facts for my own sanity and maybe this summary will help some understand the cycle of pain as a Bengal fan.  

I could teach a college course for a semester on 10 ways on how to fail as a sport organization “without really trying” and use Mike Brown as case and point.  If the last 30 years or so of the Bengals archives were placed in a time capsule, Sport Historians could use it to explore correlates to the slow erosion of a loyal fanbase, increases to alcohol & drug use, angry outbursts, and clinical depression within a vibrant community.  

Where to begin? During the Christmas season of 1991, Sam Wyche “resigned” after a meeting with Mike Brown.  Problem is, depending on whom you ask, Sam did not resign, he was fired.  But Sam would be owed nearly 1 million dollars if he were fired, so the Front Office simply stated that Sam resigned (Sam was owed nothing).  This was a big deal because Sam’s firing ushered in the Dave Shula era that caused many fans alive and even dead to have gnashing of teeth.  It was the beginning of the NFL dark ages for Bengal fans; the “lost decade.”  12 years may not sound long but living in the moral equivalent of Dante’s Inferno was like, well, living in hell.  The hiring of Shula caused a fragmented if not fractured locker room with former Bengal greats like Boomer Esiason who was traded to the Jets.  Sound familiar?  

Bengals have one of the smallest scouting departments in the league and have used a “coaching-centric” philosophy to evaluate NFL talent.  The lack of scouting has caused problems in evaluating talent, especially later talent in the draft.  Problems are compounded when the coaching staff is inept in evaluating NFL talent.  During the 1990’s headscratchers during the NFL draft were the norm, not the exception.  

Driving the fanbase crazy is one thing, but driving others in the Front Office, including your own flesh and blood was another.  There were many low points in the 1990s but by some accounts, the lowest of lows came in 1999 when the Saints offered Mike Brown their entire draft (12th overall, 3rd round, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 1st & 3rd in 2000 for the 4th overall pick).  Instead, Mike Brown selected Akili Smith.  True story.  

Bengal lore has it that after the 1999 draft, Katie Blackburn and others wanted Mike Brown to hire a Director of Football Operations (Player Personnel) as Brown’s draft were uninspiring to say the least.  And in 1999, the son of Bill Tobin and nephew of Vince Tobin, Duke was hired to fill this role.   However, Tobin did not fill this role as de facto GM until 2002.  

Then came Marvin Lewis era and Bengals rejoined the NFL with competitive teams.   But even Lewis could not take the Bengals to the promise land under the heavy-handed influence of Mike Brown who insisted to use the team as a half-way house for troubled but talented players.  Injuries to Palmer during the playoffs to the groaning of many fans still burns in the psyche of many.  The Burrow injury brought back flashbacks of someone or something purposely crushing the cusp of hope.  Lewis stated after his hiring something to the effect that places, or teams are not cursed; they are just an organization of people.  Some fans would disagree.  After the Burrow injury, the curse is back or maybe it never really left.  

Tobin has had some good drafts, given, the Bengals still have the smallest scouting department and continue to use the “coaching-centric” philosophy to evaluate talent.  Bengals have attempted to improve the OL but missed with several of their players.  The Front Office, either Brown, Tobin, or others did not resign big Whit, big Z and instead drafted Ced, Fisher, and others that were subpar. 
   
The Taylor era is eerily similar to the Shula era in some ways in terms of lack of coaching experience and horrific win-lost record.  In fact, Taylor’s record is projected to be worse.  Worse than Shula. But Taylor has had some talent to work with and was given carte blanche to bring in coordinators/assistants like Turner and Sweet Lou.  I blame in part Taylor for the injury to Burrow because Taylor publicly stated that the problems of the OL were “overblown” and Taylor “blamed” the rookie QB for taking too many sacks and hits.  Tobin has had success with Lewis, so I think Taylor, Lou, Turner need to go.  Tobin has accomplished enough to hang around for another coaching change.    

Mike Brown is 85 years of age.  Next August, he will be 86.  I don’t know if anything changes when Brown leaves the team. But it is the only possibility at this point giving me hope as a Bengal fan.  

If you want to add to this, please do so.
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-Paul Brown
“When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less.”

My album "Dragon"
https://www.humbert-lardinois.com/


[Image: 4CV0TeR.png]
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#2
(11-27-2020, 07:37 AM)psychdoctor Wrote: Sled’s thread regarding Taylor and Tobin inspired me to write this, so blame Sled.  Lol.  This is long winded and to many, nothing new.  

Many fans are too young to remember the Bengals of 1990’s and those fans that do remember, want to forget.  I felt the need to summarize some facts for my own sanity and maybe this summary will help some understand the cycle of pain as a Bengal fan.  

I could teach a college course for a semester on 10 ways on how to fail as a sport organization “without really trying” and use Mike Brown as case and point.  If the last 30 years or so of the Bengals archives were placed in a time capsule, Sport Historians could use it to explore correlates to the slow erosion of a loyal fanbase, increases to alcohol & drug use, angry outbursts, and clinical depression within a vibrant community.  

Where to begin? During the Christmas season of 1991, Sam Wyche “resigned” after a meeting with Mike Brown.  Problem is, depending on whom you ask, Sam did not resign, he was fired.  But Sam would be owed nearly 1 million dollars if he were fired, so the Front Office simply stated that Sam resigned (Sam was owed nothing).  This was a big deal because Sam’s firing ushered in the Dave Shula era that caused many fans alive and even dead to have gnashing of teeth.  It was the beginning of the NFL dark ages for Bengal fans; the “lost decade.”  12 years may not sound long but living in the moral equivalent of Dante’s Inferno was like, well, living in hell.  The hiring of Shula caused a fragmented if not fractured locker room with former Bengal greats like Boomer Esiason who was traded to the Jets.  Sound familiar?  

Bengals have one of the smallest scouting departments in the league and have used a “coaching-centric” philosophy to evaluate NFL talent.  The lack of scouting has caused problems in evaluating talent, especially later talent in the draft.  Problems are compounded when the coaching staff is inept in evaluating NFL talent.  During the 1990’s headscratchers during the NFL draft were the norm, not the exception.  

Driving the fanbase crazy is one thing, but driving others in the Front Office, including your own flesh and blood was another.  There were many low points in the 1990s but by some accounts, the lowest of lows came in 1999 when the Saints offered Mike Brown their entire draft (12th overall, 3rd round, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 1st & 3rd in 2000 for the 4th overall pick).  Instead, Mike Brown selected Akili Smith.  True story.  

Bengal lore has it that after the 1999 draft, Katie Blackburn and others wanted Mike Brown to hire a Director of Football Operations (Player Personnel) as Brown’s draft were uninspiring to say the least.  And in 1999, the son of Bill Tobin and nephew of Vince Tobin, Duke was hired to fill this role.   However, Tobin did not fill this role as de facto GM until 2002.  

Then came Marvin Lewis era and Bengals rejoined the NFL with competitive teams.   But even Lewis could not take the Bengals to the promise land under the heavy-handed influence of Mike Brown who insisted to use the team as a half-way house for troubled but talented players.  Injuries to Palmer during the playoffs to the groaning of many fans still burns in the psyche of many.  The Burrow injury brought back flashbacks of someone or something purposely crushing the cusp of hope.  Lewis stated after his hiring something to the effect that places, or teams are not cursed; they are just an organization of people.  Some fans would disagree.  After the Burrow injury, the curse is back or maybe it never really left.  

Tobin has had some good drafts, given, the Bengals still have the smallest scouting department and continue to use the “coaching-centric” philosophy to evaluate talent.  Bengals have attempted to improve the OL but missed with several of their players.  The Front Office, either Brown, Tobin, or others did not resign big Whit, big Z and instead drafted Ced, Fisher, and others that were subpar. 
   
The Taylor era is eerily similar to the Shula era in some ways in terms of lack of coaching experience and horrific win-lost record.  In fact, Taylor’s record is projected to be worse.  Worse than Shula. But Taylor has had some talent to work with and was given carte blanche to bring in coordinators/assistants like Turner and Sweet Lou.  I blame in part Taylor for the injury to Burrow because Taylor publicly stated that the problems of the OL were “overblown” and Taylor “blamed” the rookie QB for taking too many sacks and hits.  Tobin has had success with Lewis, so I think Taylor, Lou, Turner need to go.  Tobin has accomplished enough to hang around for another coaching change.    

Mike Brown is 85 years of age.  Next August, he will be 86.  I don’t know if anything changes when Brown leaves the team. But it is the only possibility at this point giving me hope as a Bengal fan.  

If you want to add to this, please do so.

MB will always have his thumbprint somewhere on this organization.  Even when he passes on, his daughter and son in law seem to run their side of things is a similar fashion as MB did.  SO I dont have a ton of hope that things will drastically improve once he is decidedly out of the picture.  

It is hard to believe that there is coach whose career projects him to be worse than Shula.  Thats a scary thought.  
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#3
As crazy as it sounds, I think it may get even worse under Katie/Troy having full control.

There were a number of articles that came out, I think, right around 2016 that said that Katie and Mrs. Troy Brown-Blackburn had assumed more control, and that Mike had taken a step back. I'll see if I can find some, but I distinctly remember reading about how he passed the torch, even though he still had a say.

If you look at the comments made by Troy regarding Whitworth and Bobby Hart, it's clear that him and his Kevin Bacon looking wife had a huge role in both decisions. Then when you consider that Katie and Duke supposedly were the ones that brought in Taylor, it appears that those articles in 2016 proved to be true.

Well, what's happened since 2016? We've been trending down ever since. The OL has gone to total shit, the team has gone to total shit, and we built out what is argubly the worst coaching staff in all of football (not joking, find me a team with worse HC, OC, DC, OL, etc coaches than us)

There's an old business saying or logic that the 3rd generation almost always destroys the business. (I don't know it exactly, maybe someone here does). Well, guess who's 3rd generation? That's right, Mrs. Katie Blackburn.

At least Mike Brown played D1 football, even if it was in the 1600's, and at least he spent a lifetime around the old man. Katie and Troy? A lawyer who grew up with a silver spoon in her mouth, and another lawyer who married into this. They're complete nobodies when it comes to the game.

Our only hope is that these two realize how unqualified they are to be making any decision that involves the game, and they hire someone else to run the show. But until that happens, they'll be worse than Mike Brown.

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#4
I see no evidence that he has stepped away from the day to day operations.  His choice of head coach I think reflects that.  ZT and his staff's salaries are  likely very team friendly.  The team's off-season approach to the OL reflects this as well.  Had they really tried to do all they could to protect Burrow would have made a huge difference in how many of us feel about the team right now.  I just didn't feel that way then and even less now.

So, it seems MB's management style still lives on and I would think this will likely continue for some time yet.  Who knows what his kids can do?  MB has always blurred the lines of FO accountability.  

Mike Brown has access to the best health care that money can buy. He has already outlived his father could easily last another 15 years.
I have given up hope that he will ever step away on his own.  
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#5
Using a nepotism business model usually doesn't equal having the best/most qualified people running your team, so I wouldn't hold my breath.
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#6
This last offseason was unlike any in Bengal history when it came to spending on free agents.

Two of the biggest signings were lost to injury (Waynes, Reader) and the $18 million spent on Green looks like a waste. But I remember that for years people here claimed they would feel better if the Bengals AT LEAST TRIED to find good players in free agency.

Guess that was just a bunch of bullshit.
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#7
(11-27-2020, 12:55 PM)Wes Mantooth Wrote: As crazy as it sounds, I think it may get even worse under Katie/Troy having full control.

There were a number of articles that came out, I think, right around 2016 that said that Katie  and Mrs. Troy Brown-Blackburn had assumed more control, and that Mike had taken a step back.  I'll see if I can find some, but I distinctly remember reading about how he passed the torch, even though he still had a say.

If you look at the comments made by Troy regarding Whitworth and Bobby Hart, it's clear that him and his Kevin Bacon looking wife had a huge role in both decisions.  Then when you consider that Katie and Duke supposedly were the ones that brought in Taylor, it appears that those articles in 2016 proved to be true.

Well, what's happened since 2016?  We've been trending down ever since.  The OL has gone to total shit, the team has gone to total shit, and we built out what is argubly the worst coaching staff in all of football (not joking, find me a team with worse HC, OC, DC, OL, etc coaches than us)

There's an old business saying or logic that the 3rd generation almost always destroys the business. (I don't know it exactly, maybe someone here does).  Well, guess who's 3rd generation?  That's right, Mrs. Katie Blackburn.

At least Mike Brown played D1 football, even if it was in the 1600's, and at least he spent a lifetime around the old man.  Katie and Troy?  A lawyer who grew up with a silver spoon in her mouth, and another lawyer who married into this.  They're complete nobodies when it comes to the game.

Our only hope is that these two realize how unqualified they are to be making any decision that involves the game, and they hire someone else to run the show.  But until that happens, they'll be worse than Mike Brown.
Gosh, I hope you are wrong!
[Image: maXCb2f.jpg]
-Paul Brown
“When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less.”

My album "Dragon"
https://www.humbert-lardinois.com/


[Image: 4CV0TeR.png]
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#8
(11-27-2020, 12:58 PM)2MinutesHate Wrote: I see no evidence that he has stepped away from the day to day operations.  His choice of head coach I think reflects that.  ZT and his staff's salaries are  likely very team friendly.  The team's off-season approach to the OL reflects this as well.  Had they really tried to do all they could to protect Burrow would have made a huge difference in how many of us feel about the team right now.  I just didn't feel that way then and even less now.

So, it seems MB's management style still lives on and I would think this will likely continue for some time yet.  Who knows what his kids can do?  MB has always blurred the lines of FO accountability.  

Mike Brown has access to the best health care that money can buy. He has already outlived his father could easily last another 15 years.
I have given up hope that he will ever step away on his own.  

To the bolded - Zac Taylor was actually not Mike Brown's choice. It was Katie and Troy Blackburn's decision.
https://sportsnaut.com/rumors-out-of-cincinnati-suggest-bengals-will-hire-zac-taylor/

Based on what we've seen so far, it looks like Katie Blackburn might actually be a worse decision-maker than her father.
Zac Taylor - 20.3% (6-25-1)

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#9
(11-27-2020, 01:55 PM)fredtoast Wrote: This last offseason was unlike any in Bengal history when it came to spending on free agents.

Two of the biggest signings were lost to injury (Waynes, Reader) and the $18 million spent on Green looks like a waste.  But I remember that for years people here claimed they would feel better if the Bengals AT LEAST TRIED to find good players in free agency.  

Guess that was just a bunch of bullshit.
Was the impetus for the free agency spending Mike Brown?  Probably not.  Was it Duke Tobin?  Katie? Taylor?  Maybe all but Mike Brown?  Probably.  

If I remember correctly and I'm not certain that I recall Paul Brown always emphasized the trenches.  He brought in a studly oline coach, jim mcnally, who worked magic.  What infuriates some is that the Bengals front office either cannot evaluate offensive line players or they tend to stay with players with a modicum of NFL talent and insist that the Oline is not a problem. 

The signing of Hart is a concern and epitomizes how poorly those in charge evaluate talent.  I understand that the defense was horrible and they needed to do something.  But maybe the money could have been better spent fixing the Oline.
[Image: maXCb2f.jpg]
-Paul Brown
“When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less.”

My album "Dragon"
https://www.humbert-lardinois.com/


[Image: 4CV0TeR.png]
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#10
(11-27-2020, 01:55 PM)fredtoast Wrote: This last offseason was unlike any in Bengal history when it came to spending on free agents.

Two of the biggest signings were lost to injury (Waynes, Reader) and the $18 million spent on Green looks like a waste.  But I remember that for years people here claimed they would feel better if the Bengals AT LEAST TRIED to find good players in free agency.  

Guess that was just a bunch of bullshit.

The FA signings were big. While I personally wouldn't have paid big money to a NT in FA, I think it's rather clear that their FA acquisitions were intended to help the run game especially. Reader and Waynes especially are (or were) good run stoppers. But they can't do it all themselves.

I believe the intent to franchise AJ was for two reasons:
1) Let's see if he has anything in the tank to warrant a long-term extension (although I'd argue $18 mill is way too much for a WR who you aren't sure of)
2) We'll have insurance in case a WR we draft isn't a major contributor his rookie year.

What I feel has been learned this season:
1) AJ isn't worth a long-term deal.
2) Higgins is already performing like a good WR2.

There's no need to go out and spend big money on WR this offseason now that we've seen what Higgins can do. The Bengals need a better WR3 since Tate really isn't contributing like we expected/hoped, but a WR3 does not need to cost $8+ mill a year. They could either draft another WR early, draft a good pass-catching TE early, or sign a cheaper veteran for about $4-6 mill a year.
Zac Taylor - 20.3% (6-25-1)

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#11
We were pretty sure the MB era ended after the 2018 season. 2 rotten seasons later and we are hoping Katie and Troy are throwing brilliant ideas at MB and he is tyrannical in shutting them down.
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#12
I doubt it, it sure seems Katie and Co. are gonna be chips off the old block.

I guess we can hold on to the hope that once Mike is fully out of the picture Katie will come to her senses and hire a real GM.

But I'm not holding my breath.
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#13
(11-27-2020, 03:09 PM)psychdoctor Wrote: Was the impetus for the free agency spending Mike Brown?  Probably not.  Was it Duke Tobin?  Katie? Taylor?  Maybe all but Mike Brown?  Probably.  

If I remember correctly and I'm not certain that I recall Paul Brown always emphasized the trenches.  He brought in a studly oline coach, jim mcnally, who worked magic.  What infuriates some is that the Bengals front office either cannot evaluate offensive line players or they tend to stay with players with a modicum of NFL talent and insist that the Oline is not a problem. 

The signing of Hart is a concern and epitomizes how poorly those in charge evaluate talent.  I understand that the defense was horrible and they needed to do something.  But maybe the money could have been better spent fixing the Oline.

If Paul was focused on the trenches, it makes you wonder why Son of Paul isn't. 

I don't remember where I read it, but isn't Mikey boy not a fan of paying interior offensive linemen?
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#14
The Mike Brown era was doomed when he wanted to replace Boomer Esiason.
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#15
This is all like watching “Groundhog Day” for the past 30 years with SOP (son of Paul) running the team. SOP’s tenure as the sole decision maker started out with a horrible coach with a horrible line. 30 years later the same story. All I hope is Mike Brown isn’t like Rasputin and eventually goes away.


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#16
You would think after all his failed seasons MB would come to his senses and say:

Ok, I'm not giving up my GM salary and I want some of the glory if it goes good so I'm not giving anyone the GM title. However my way isn't working and I don't want my legacy to be inept failure.

So I'm gonna hire an experienced HC and give him the reins. He's gonna be the HMFIC. Do all the hiring, firing, trades, draft, who plays, pick his own staff, everything.

But his ego won't let him.
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#17
(11-27-2020, 12:55 PM)Wes Mantooth Wrote: As crazy as it sounds, I think it may get even worse under Katie/Troy having full control.

There were a number of articles that came out, I think, right around 2016 that said that Katie  and Mrs. Troy Brown-Blackburn had assumed more control, and that Mike had taken a step back.  I'll see if I can find some, but I distinctly remember reading about how he passed the torch, even though he still had a say.

If you look at the comments made by Troy regarding Whitworth and Bobby Hart, it's clear that him and his Kevin Bacon looking wife had a huge role in both decisions.  Then when you consider that Katie and Duke supposedly were the ones that brought in Taylor, it appears that those articles in 2016 proved to be true.

Well, what's happened since 2016?  We've been trending down ever since.  The OL has gone to total shit, the team has gone to total shit, and we built out what is argubly the worst coaching staff in all of football (not joking, find me a team with worse HC, OC, DC, OL, etc coaches than us)

There's an old business saying or logic that the 3rd generation almost always destroys the business. (I don't know it exactly, maybe someone here does).  Well, guess who's 3rd generation?  That's right, Mrs. Katie Blackburn.

At least Mike Brown played D1 football, even if it was in the 1600's, and at least he spent a lifetime around the old man.  Katie and Troy?  A lawyer who grew up with a silver spoon in her mouth, and another lawyer who married into this.  They're complete nobodies when it comes to the game.

Our only hope is that these two realize how unqualified they are to be making any decision that involves the game, and they hire someone else to run the show.  But until that happens, they'll be worse than Mike Brown.

'Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in 3 generations'

Lot's of articles about it on the interwebz.
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#18
"The 90s" we always reference lasted 12 seasons (91 to 02). We're headed towards our 5th losing season, so in 20 years, our kids might be referencing the 2015-25 era in the same manner. Mellow

I don't have any faith in Mike's kids. Until they provide a real reason to believe they'll be different. Will Katie hire a GM? Doubtful. Expand the scouting department? Build a practice facility? Trim out some inept family members?

Or will she sit back and reap the benefits of being an NFL owner while doing the bare minimum like her pops did and Paul likely would've done in modern times?

I think we all know what's more likely.
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