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Outstanding article on Dalton, Green, Lewis, and Gruden


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If you can't get excited reading this, you aren't a Bengals fan.


CINCINNATI – They had become addicted to the old way around here. From Chad Johnson or Ochocinco or whoever he was each week to the reclamation of knuckleheads, the old way held the Cincinnati Bengals back, always teasing with false hope. The talent was just good enough to overlook the headaches and there forever lingered the promise of the big winning season that never came.

So when Carson Palmer(notes) said he’d rather retire than remain the team’s quarterback, the news hit hard. It would take time to see this really was a gift.

“At what point did Carson quit?” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis asks, repeating a similar question. “At some point last year he decided he didn’t want to be here. This didn’t happen at the end of the season. There was a point earlier on when he said, ‘This isn’t the place for me.’*”

Palmer had already given up on them. And if the quarterback who held all the personalities together no longer cared, what was the point in clinging to the old way? For Lewis there was no debate. “We’re not talking people into playing,” he says. And as soon as Palmer’s demand that the team trade or release him became public, the coach was done with everything that had been a part of the old: the drama, the shows, the demands of a few wanting the team to be about them.

As one team official says: “We got rid of all our [expletive].”

And as a result, they found something better.

“I was getting an opportunity a lot of coaches don’t get to … and that is a chance to start over at the same place,” Lewis says.

He is sitting at a conference table in his office. It is early evening in this season of rebirth and he leans back in a chair, crosses his arms over a long-sleeved Bengals T-shirt and talks about the lack of sleep he’s been getting these last few weeks as a good thing. He rushes to work earlier than ever before. From the ruins of Ochocinco and Palmer has risen a team of young players devoid of ego but desperate to be good. His onetime franchise quarterback, traded to the Oakland Raiders for two high draft picks on Oct. 18, might have fired the team but this brought Andy Dalton(notes), who has led the Bengals to a 4-2 record in his first NFL season. In addition, there’s a new offensive coordinator, Jay Gruden, and rookie wide receiver A.J. Green(notes), who unlike Ochocinco, says nearly nothing but might someday be even better.

Andy Dalton is not an excitable man. He sits at his locker with a calm but confident look. When Green first met him, the receiver thought to himself, “This guy is going to be great just by the way he goes about his business.” He is doing the same thing Cam Newton(notes) is doing in Carolina, which is starting as a rookie without the benefit of an offseason. But unlike Newton, who has filled highlight shows with his rocket throws, Dalton has drawn little attention despite the fact his team is winning. The coaches say the calm and decisiveness he brings is a big reason why the Bengals are succeeding.

If this were happening in New York, Chicago or Philadelphia, it would be the story of the year. But since this is Cincinnati and the new quarterback doesn’t have his own reality show, nobody is paying attention. And yet maybe this is what the Bengals needed. For too long they were the story for all the wrong reasons....


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Good read thanks for posting.

I loved the part where it says this team is desperate to win, something they need to be. Its great to see first year players being mature about the situtions, something the vets who used to be here never was.

Im not sure how much of a fan of Marvin i am, ill tell you i wanted him gone in the worst way, but maybe it was the other losers who really ruined this team. Marvin can finally coach his guys, and not worry about weather Chad is tweeting that he wants to fight Marvin in the ring. So now this is Marvins team, they are young, but he can now coach these guys to be his kind of players, and we should learn alot about Marvin now.

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I'm already excited, have been for awhile now.

Andy Dalton

Bruce Gradkowski

Brian Leonard

Chris Pressley

Bernard Scott

Andre Caldwell

A.J. Green

Jordan Shipley

Jerome Simpson

Ryan Whalen

Jermaine Gresham

Clint Boling

Anthony Collins

Geno Atkins

Carlos Dunlap

Michael Johnson

Pat Sims

Thomas Howard

Rey Maualuga

Nate Clements

Leon Hall

Taylor Mays

Reggie Nelson

Roddie Muckleroy

Keith Rivers

25 players, the vast majority young players drafted by us. These guys don't know those Bengals. They have no concept of it. At worse a few of them experienced two losing seasons in their careers. Alot of 'em not even that. Most of 'em not even that. Their stories aren't written in stone and they know it. Their Bengals, their legacies to craft.

In hindsight I can kinda see where the article is coming from and I agree with it. Chad, Palmer and several others were anchors on our ass in a way, Chad was a relic of the lost years and Palmer was brought here because we sucked worse than anyone else. That isn't the case anymore for most of our roster. Now they have a great leader who brings winning from College with them and so far IMO he's teaching this youth movement and new breed HOW to win. Hell yeah i'm excited.

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