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Reuben Frank: Bengals Unable To Improve Defense

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The Bengals have tried year after year to rebuild their defense through the draft, but it keeps getting worse. They've gone defense in the first round of the draft in each of the past three years and used nine of their last 13 Day 1 draft selections on defensive players.

What's it gotten them? A bottom-five defense three years in a row. This one is the worst of the bunch.

The Bengals, at the midpoint of the season, have allowed 244 points, halfway to 488. Only two teams in NFL history have allowed more -- the 1981 Colts (533) and 1966 Giants (501). The Bengals have also allowed 3,177 yards, halfway to 6,354. Only four teams in NFL history have allowed more. They've allowed 20 passing touchdowns, halfway to 40, which would tie the NFL record set by the 1963 Broncos.

Since beating the Ravens on opening day, the Bengals have lost six of seven games, allowed 234 points, and established themselves as one of the NFL's worst teams this year, with one of the worst defenses in NFL history. Since opening last year 8-5, the Bengals are 2-9 overall and 0-6 on the road.

Veteran starting defensive ends Bryan Robinson and Justin Smith have one combined sack. Robinson has five sacks over the past 5 ½ seasons.

Chinedum Ndukwe leads the team in sacks. With two. He's a safety. The entire defensive line combined has five sacks in eight games, or about one sack every 1 ½ games.

This all adds up to open season for opposing quarterbacks, who are completing an insane 67 percent of their passes and have a 101.2 passer rating -- better numbers than Peyton Manning.

The Bengals haven't drafted a defensive player who went to the Pro Bowl as a Bengal in more than two decades

The member of the Bengals' front seven who went to Hawaii? Would you believe defensive tackle Tim Krumrie, from the 1988 Super Bowl team?

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The Bengals have tried year after year to rebuild their defense through the draft, but it keeps getting worse. They've gone defense in the first round of the draft in each of the past three years and used nine of their last 13 Day 1 draft selections on defensive players.

What's it gotten them? A bottom-five defense three years in a row. This one is the worst of the bunch.

The Bengals, at the midpoint of the season, have allowed 244 points, halfway to 488. Only two teams in NFL history have allowed more -- the 1981 Colts (533) and 1966 Giants (501). The Bengals have also allowed 3,177 yards, halfway to 6,354. Only four teams in NFL history have allowed more. They've allowed 20 passing touchdowns, halfway to 40, which would tie the NFL record set by the 1963 Broncos.

Since beating the Ravens on opening day, the Bengals have lost six of seven games, allowed 234 points, and established themselves as one of the NFL's worst teams this year, with one of the worst defenses in NFL history. Since opening last year 8-5, the Bengals are 2-9 overall and 0-6 on the road.

Veteran starting defensive ends Bryan Robinson and Justin Smith have one combined sack. Robinson has five sacks over the past 5 ½ seasons.

Chinedum Ndukwe leads the team in sacks. With two. He's a safety. The entire defensive line combined has five sacks in eight games, or about one sack every 1 ½ games.

This all adds up to open season for opposing quarterbacks, who are completing an insane 67 percent of their passes and have a 101.2 passer rating -- better numbers than Peyton Manning.

The Bengals haven't drafted a defensive player who went to the Pro Bowl as a Bengal in more than two decades

The member of the Bengals' front seven who went to Hawaii? Would you believe defensive tackle Tim Krumrie, from the 1988 Super Bowl team?

Who do I find at fault for this? Check out my sig. B) Especially the doofus on the left. You know how to tell how cheap he is? Check out his Salvation Army special suit and tie.

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Let's see... I have no issue with the Hall or Joseph picks and they are young and developing. With how little (see none) veteran "talent" there is, it makes it harder for the youngsters coming up. Bresnahan doesn't help either, as he is obviously a F*cking Idiot !!! Pollack breaks his neck and Thurman is overly punished by all accounts known at this point. Based on those defensive draft picks, I'm not unhappy with the performance, as much as I am with the unfortunate injury and stupidity. Hard to see where you can blame that on bad drafting...

WHODEY !!!

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I have two complaints with their selections since Marvin has been here. The first is with the Chris Perry pick a few years ago. That was completely unnecessary.

And the second is that in general they do not believe that interior defensive linemen or even ends are worth first or second round money. I don't care who your corners are, they will be crap if there is no pass rush. Geathers was a mid round pick. They took Chris Perry over Vince Wilfork in 2004 and Pollack over Marcus Spears in 2005. I think our line would be a whole lot better with those guys. Maybe they were snakebit with Big Daddy and the under-achievements of Justin Smith. I don't know.

But unfortunately guys like Pollack, Odell, Weathersby, Ratliff, Askew and Brooks should be the core of the defense right now but have been unable to play or aren't even on the team for various reasons.

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I have two complaints with their selections since Marvin has been here. The first is with the Chris Perry pick a few years ago. That was completely unnecessary.

And the second is that in general they do not believe that interior defensive linemen or even ends are worth first or second round money. I don't care who your corners are, they will be crap if there is no pass rush. Geathers was a mid round pick. They took Chris Perry over Vince Wilfork in 2004 and Pollack over Marcus Spears in 2005. I think our line would be a whole lot better with those guys. Maybe they were snakebit with Big Daddy and the under-achievements of Justin Smith. I don't know.

But unfortunately guys like Pollack, Odell, Weathersby, Ratliff, Askew and Brooks should be the core of the defense right now but have been unable to play or aren't even on the team for various reasons.

Totally disagree that the Perry pick was not necessary. The difference he made to our offense is unbelievable. If we don't draft Perry, we need someone just like him.

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Totally disagree that the Perry pick was not necessary. The difference he made to our offense is unbelievable. If we don't draft Perry, we need someone just like him.

That's just the point, you can get someone just like him by signing a Kenny Watson, a lower-tier free agent who has proven to be a better runner than Perry, OR by using a mid-round draft choice on 3rd down pass catching back.

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Totally disagree that the Perry pick was not necessary. The difference he made to our offense is unbelievable. If we don't draft Perry, we need someone just like him.

Well, here it's my turn to totally disagree. It was a luxury pick at the time and the injury problems made it a luxury pick that can't even provide any value at all. He's a 3rd down and pass catching RB. I'm having a hard time thinking of any reason to draft for that "need" in the first round. The league is full of guys ably filling that role that were not first round picks and I can't remember a first round pick at RB (by anybody) that was supposed to be so limited. Unless he was supposed to replace Rudi -- there was no legitimate reason to reach that high. And if he was supposed to replace Rudi, they should've picked Steven Jackson.

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That's just the point, you can get someone just like him by signing a Kenny Watson, a lower-tier free agent who has proven to be a better runner than Perry, OR by using a mid-round draft choice on 3rd down pass catching back.

That was my initial reaction. Great pick, 2 rounds too high.

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The Bengals have tried year after year to rebuild their defense through the draft, but it keeps getting worse. They've gone defense in the first round of the draft in each of the past three years and used nine of their last 13 Day 1 draft selections on defensive players.

What's it gotten them? A bottom-five defense three years in a row. This one is the worst of the bunch.

The Bengals, at the midpoint of the season, have allowed 244 points, halfway to 488. Only two teams in NFL history have allowed more -- the 1981 Colts (533) and 1966 Giants (501). The Bengals have also allowed 3,177 yards, halfway to 6,354. Only four teams in NFL history have allowed more. They've allowed 20 passing touchdowns, halfway to 40, which would tie the NFL record set by the 1963 Broncos.

Since beating the Ravens on opening day, the Bengals have lost six of seven games, allowed 234 points, and established themselves as one of the NFL's worst teams this year, with one of the worst defenses in NFL history. Since opening last year 8-5, the Bengals are 2-9 overall and 0-6 on the road.

Veteran starting defensive ends Bryan Robinson and Justin Smith have one combined sack. Robinson has five sacks over the past 5 ½ seasons.

Chinedum Ndukwe leads the team in sacks. With two. He's a safety. The entire defensive line combined has five sacks in eight games, or about one sack every 1 ½ games.

This all adds up to open season for opposing quarterbacks, who are completing an insane 67 percent of their passes and have a 101.2 passer rating -- better numbers than Peyton Manning.

The Bengals haven't drafted a defensive player who went to the Pro Bowl as a Bengal in more than two decades

The member of the Bengals' front seven who went to Hawaii? Would you believe defensive tackle Tim Krumrie, from the 1988 Super Bowl team?

Who do I find at fault for this? Check out my sig. B) Especially the doofus on the left. You know how to tell how cheap he is? Check out his Salvation Army special suit and tie.

Salvation Army coat and tie! What a hoot! That gives me reason to smile during this dark year

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TDB, not quite sure I understand... Are you saying there is fault to be placed upon someone for the lack of production from a player that was injured ?? Referring to Pollack of course. Thurman on the otherhand was STUPID and should have been looked at harder. That being said, I'm sure he was one of the risk vs. reward type things that have been discussed. Obviously the risk outweighed the reward. Hindsight is always 20/20... Not trying to bust balls here, just asking all friendly like...

WHODEY !!!

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David Pollack and Odell Thurman are totally Marvin's and Mikey's fault. :rolleyes:

Pollack? No.

Thurman? Not so fast. Mikey's claim in his recent "GM" interview that no one could have foreseen Odell's problem is clearly bogus. Other teams did, in fact, see the potential for trouble, and avoided him like the plague, That's why he was still there in the second despite arguably first-round talent.

If you want you can argue, as Hair has, that the risk was worth the potential reward. But you can't deny Marvin and/or Mikey took a risk...and got burned.

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There's no question, Army and Hoosier, that Thurman was a risky draft choice. Even so, two full seasons of suspension is so outlandish that even a few red flags on draft day can't make such an end a realistic worry.

It's akin to playing with matches with the result being a nuclear explosion.

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It's not anyone's fault that Pollack has fallen victim to injuries, but I think the pick was a bit questionable. It's silly to try to be cute like that, they should just take a linebacker to play linebacker instead of taking a project for Marvin & Co. to screw around with. We have just been downright pathetic, abysmal, awful, dismal, etc. at drafting. Seriously everyone can talk all they want to about the coaches, schemes, and players' attitudes as reasons for the lackluster results, but there's no need to look any further than our pitiful drafting. Why is everyone surprised the defense sucks after only drafting DB's and Odell Thurman before the 3rd round in the last 4 or 5 years? We traded out of the 17th pick in 2004, which if we had stayed would have allowed us to get DJ Williams or Vince Wilfork, move to 24th (where we could've selected Steven Jackson, I know he's not a typical 3rd down back, but seriously why not draft him if we're planning on getting a running back), and then trade down to select Chris Perry. Don't let anyone fool you, the reason the Patriots, Chargers, and Colts are so successful is because they draft so well (especially the Chargers and Patriots). And until we get a hint on draft day, I'm not holding my breath for success.

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It's not anyone's fault that Pollack has fallen victim to injuries, but I think the pick was a bit questionable. It's silly to try to be cute like that, they should just take a linebacker to play linebacker instead of taking a project for Marvin & Co. to screw around with. We have just been downright pathetic, abysmal, awful, dismal, etc. at drafting. Seriously everyone can talk all they want to about the coaches, schemes, and players' attitudes as reasons for the lackluster results, but there's no need to look any further than our pitiful drafting. Why is everyone surprised the defense sucks after only drafting DB's and Odell Thurman before the 3rd round in the last 4 or 5 years? We traded out of the 17th pick in 2004, which if we had stayed would have allowed us to get DJ Williams or Vince Wilfork, move to 24th (where we could've selected Steven Jackson, I know he's not a typical 3rd down back, but seriously why not draft him if we're planning on getting a running back), and then trade down to select Chris Perry. Don't let anyone fool you, the reason the Patriots, Chargers, and Colts are so successful is because they draft so well (especially the Chargers and Patriots). And until we get a hint on draft day, I'm not holding my breath for success.

And thus the point of my posting this article - he summarizes well enough that the draft problems for the Bengals' have been a constant here for over 15 years, ecspecially on defense - where the Bengals' are notoriously cheap as well.

The simple fact that the Bengals' haven't had a defensive player they drafted go to the Pro Bowl in two decades is astounding - ecspecially considering all of the high first round picks they've had in that time.

So I say to you, those who don't think scouting or drafting or the front office is the problem - what can you tell us to convince us otherwise? Don't give me small sample sizes of this season or the last draft or two and some "bad luck" - I am talking about 20 years of futility on defense that hasn't changed despite numerous coaching changes and defensive systems, and now 5 years into Marvin Lewis' tenure.

It reeks of an institutional problem that starts at the top and the way things are done here from the top down.

Nothing will change here until major operational changes are made to the Bengals' front office - it's futile.

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Shula, I agree with you on your summary of things.

But I gotta say that it is funny how people used to define things in terms of pre-Marvin and current-Marvin. "He hasn't had a losing season"...."but he has only made the playoff once"... But this year things have changed to where we are back to defining things based off of Mike Brown's tenure as GM.

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It's not anyone's fault that Pollack has fallen victim to injuries, but I think the pick was a bit questionable. It's silly to try to be cute like that, they should just take a linebacker to play linebacker instead of taking a project for Marvin & Co. to screw around with.

Please. Switching a college DE to a pass rushing OLB role is so commonplace in todays NFL you can find examples of DE/OLB hybrids on most rosters. In fact, it's the very lack of impact pass rushing DE's that has made those types of hybrids amongst the most coveted in every draft.

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It reeks of an institutional problem that starts at the top and the way things are done here from the top down.

If there's a problem, and I agree that there is, it rests with the Bengals franchises core identity as a team built around throwing the football....something few Bengal fans want to see changed. In fact, each draft brings demands for more offensive weapons, more blockers, and top talent at each skill position....including part-time roles.

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Please. Switching a college DE to a pass rushing OLB role is so commonplace in todays NFL you can find examples of DE/OLB hybrids on most rosters. In fact, it's the very lack of impact pass rushing DE's that has made those types of hybrids amongst the most coveted in every draft.

HUGE difference between a 3-4 OLB and a 4-3 OLB. They're 2 completely different positions. Us taking David Pollack to play OLB isn't anything like the Chargers taking Shawne Merriman or the Cowboys taking DeMarcus Ware to play OLB for their 3-4's. It is simply a bad comparison, and I think the fact remains that it wasn't a worthwhile pick to select Pollack to play linebacker.

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HUGE difference between a 3-4 OLB and a 4-3 OLB. They're 2 completely different positions. Us taking David Pollack to play OLB isn't anything like the Chargers taking Shawne Merriman or the Cowboys taking DeMarcus Ware to play OLB for their 3-4's. It is simply a bad comparison, and I think the fact remains that it wasn't a worthwhile pick to select Pollack to play linebacker.

I think it's rather convenient to forget that Pollack finished his rookie season very strong, and was filling the Bengals pass rushing Joker role almost perfectly before breaking his neck on the 2nd snap of the following season.

As for whether the idea of moving a college 4-3 DE into that role was questionable or "too cute"....both of the players the Bengals wanted to replace Pollack fit the same DE/OLB hybrid profile. Sadly, LaMarr Woodley was selected just prior to the Bengals 2nd round spot, leaving the role to Eric Henderson, who was injured during preseason.

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I have two complaints with their selections since Marvin has been here. The first is with the Chris Perry pick a few years ago. That was completely unnecessary.

And the second is that in general they do not believe that interior defensive linemen or even ends are worth first or second round money. I don't care who your corners are, they will be crap if there is no pass rush. Geathers was a mid round pick. They took Chris Perry over Vince Wilfork in 2004 and Pollack over Marcus Spears in 2005. I think our line would be a whole lot better with those guys. Maybe they were snakebit with Big Daddy and the under-achievements of Justin Smith. I don't know.

But unfortunately guys like Pollack, Odell, Weathersby, Ratliff, Askew and Brooks should be the core of the defense right now but have been unable to play or aren't even on the team for various reasons.

Totally disagree that the Perry pick was not necessary. The difference he made to our offense is unbelievable. If we don't draft Perry, we need someone just like him.

In terms of where this team was entering the 2004 draft I do say it was an unnecessary pick and here is why. The year before (2003) they chose not to re-sign Takeo Spikes or granted him his wish to leave depending on who's story you believe. With that money they brought in John Thornton, Tory James and Kevin Hardy which gave them one experienced vet at each of the defensive groups. While these guys were upgrades compared to the remaining guys on defense they were not long term solutions. In the 2003 draft they took offense with their four of the first five picks also. They let Dillon go after 2003 because they believed that Rudi could be the featured back and I believe they resigned him at some point in 2004. But I certainly hope they didn't take Perry just to motivate Rudi because Jackson would have been a better selection if that was the case.

In the 2004 draft they did take 6 straight defensive players after they took Perry but out of the group I think only L.Johnson (3b) and Geathers (4b) have amounted to anything with the jury still out on Madieu (2b). But there were immediate questions and doubts about the selections of C. Miller (3a) (too small) and Ratliff (2a) (not good enough). On the surface these guys were mainly considered to be backups or special teamers that may develop into something later but not guys that could step right in.

I just think that a front line defensive player like Wilfork instead of icing on the cake like Chris Perry would have served this team much better. Minimal investment in the d-line in the draft has become obvious when fill-in's like Sam Adams, Brian Robinson and Mike Myers don't pan out.

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