BengalsMan3203 Posted October 14, 2009 Report Share Posted October 14, 2009 There is talent, and there is trust. Don’t let the Cincinnati Bengals use one as currency to buy the other.Deep down, if you live outside Cincinnati, you are probably having a tough time reconciling your feelings about this team. They’ve been the league’s rust-bucket for so long, you got used to the reliable failure and predictable disappointment (waaaait for it … waaaait for it … aaaaaaand, yep, Odell Thurman(notes) blew another chance somewhere in the world). Now all of the sudden, the Bengals have the new packaging, and it’s hard to know how real it really is. Without that “Under New Management” sign, can you really trust where this franchise is going?Come to your own conclusions, but I’m not there. I still don’t trust that something ridiculous isn’t around the corner.Related VideoNFC West raceNFC West raceInconsistent TexansMore NFL VideosMore From Charles RobinsonMcDaniels offers refreshing show of enthusiasm Oct 11, 2009Raiders' Russell set up for failure Oct 8, 2009ADVERTISEMENT Henry’s 73-yard reception set up a FG in the win over Baltimore.(James Lang/US Presswire)Don’t get me wrong; I am impressed. A 4-1 record with wins over the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers tell me the talent is legitimate. I’ve even gone so far as to say that if you replayed that tipped ball to wideout Brandon Stokley(notes) in Week 1, Cincinnati beats the Denver Broncos 99 out of 100 times. But, hey, the Bengals have gotten their own share of breaks too. An errant pass by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco(notes) and a dropped touchdown by Pittsburgh wideout Limas Sweed(notes) flipped the script on a pair of potential losses. And really, who’s bragging about that 23-20 win over the Cleveland Browns in the deepest reaches of overtime?That said, I think the Bengals are good. The offense is solid and getting better, and quarterback Carson Palmer(notes) has been remarkably clutch late in games. And on defense, I think they’re extremely good. For my money, there isn’t a better young tandem of cornerbacks than Leon Hall(notes) and Johnathan Joseph(notes). And linebacker Keith Rivers(notes)? He’s going to rack up his share of Pro Bowls before he’s done.But five weeks in, I still don’t have faith that something disappointing isn’t around the corner – both on and off the field. On one hand, I want to see how this team handles success. One of the underrated downfalls of the Bengals under head coach Marvin Lewis is that they’ve never been all that mentally tough. Now that Cincinnati feels perception turning in its favor, this is when the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears come to town and pull the rug out. The Texans are a team Cincinnati should beat, and that’s an expectation that becomes a hurdle. When was the last time we expected the Bengals to beat anyone – OK, excluding the downtrodden Browns? And Chicago is, quite frankly, a better team than anyone realizes.Then there’s the Week 8 bye, which may actually be the toughest opponent of the season. For all the talk about wideout Chris Henry getting his head screwed on straight, and Tank Johnson(notes) turning over a new leaf, and the majority of the troublemakers getting swept off the team, the checkered histories are all still there. If you were like me, you watched running back Bernard Scott(notes) in the preseason, and thought, “What in the world was this guy doing at tiny Abilene Christian?” Then you dug a little deeper and found out that he was kicked off his high school team for a pretty violent fight, and dismissed from his first of three college stops for running into trouble with police and hitting a coach at Central Arkansas.And it’s nearly impossible to erase the story I heard about a linebacker-needy NFC team going around the war room before its pick and debating the pros and cons of Rey Maualuga(notes). Let’s just say the conversation ended on Rey’s reputation for enjoying the Southern California nightlife a little too much. So much so, that I later heard from a completely separate NFC team that its scouting dossier of Maualuga actually contained the phrase “party monster.” So, yeah, forgive me if I’m a little worried about the party monster and the coach puncher, not to mention the guy who famously wore his Bengals jersey as he simultaneously broke the law (Henry) and … well, you get the point.Remember that in 2005, this team started 4-1 and ended with a postseason berth. Along the way, Thurman and Henry were largely well-behaved, and suddenly it looked like the franchise had turned the corner. But in hindsight, the seeds of larger problems were being planted in that same season. So while the talent is there for something special and lasting in Cincinnati, the trust that it will actually be realized and sustained is not.Here are some of this week’s other inconvenient truths …You can find it here...Read MoreWait for it... Wait for it... Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.