Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Read It But I Couldn't Believe It

Sometimes you read things beyond belief. I had one of those moments Saturday and maybe you did too, if you read the comments of one Terrell Owens, otherwise known as TO, otherwise known at “Batman”. Otherwise known as reason for therapy for people like Wade Phillips, Tony Romo, Donovan McNabb, Andy Reid and Jeff Garcia, just to name a few.

Speaking on the NFL Network, TO spotted some daylight under the Greyhound. So he sprang into action as only a Batman can.

He said…quote….I think if you look at the talent we had in that locker room this year and we mustered four wins, that should let you know something is not right,” Owens said. “Throughout the year, I saw some things that really wasn’t right.

Well, OK, so far so good. No problems yet. The Bengals were classic under achievers and “Batman” was certainly a part of that. But TO was only warming up.

Obviously if you have your franchise quarterback who is supposed to be that guy for your team (and) trying to get out of there, that’s kind of telling the organization something, and that’s telling a lot of people out there something as well.

OK. But the problem begins with his TO-ness trying to bring it home.

Another quote: I’ve made a comment about if you’re trying to win some championships, it starts from the top down…..I think even before I got there, they said the owner was a little different. Obviously, I saw that. You start with the head coach, and then you start with the staff on both sides of the ball. … Offensively, we really didn’t have the coaching that we really needed to muster what we had on the offensive side of the ball.”

All that, before lunch. You’ll notice, TO didn’t mention whatever it was that he did or didn’t do, like cutting off routes early, not fighting for the ball to prevent interceptions and leaving the field early to get some sort of fluid injected into him. You notice, he didn’t mention his running buddy in any of his comments. That’d be “Robin”, who chose to dance with the stars all last spring while the rest of his teammates were actually trying to get a head start on the 2010 season.

Mike Brown is as culpable as anyone for the disaster that is the Bengals. Marvin Lewis is a co-conspirator. You got the titles, you take the heat. But in one brief interview, we got a glimpse of why TO has bounced around the NFL like a flu bug; and a glimpse of why the Bengals way of doing business breeds this kind of stuff.

He arrived here only because what passes for a front office and a now dismissed medical team signed off on a one legged Antonio Bryant. Owens arrived here because a quarterback, who now wants out, became the primary Bengal official scouting the artist soon to be known as “Batman”.
What Owens said Saturday on the NFL Network was an insult to Brown, Lewis, you and me. We should be insulted, but not surprised. They snickered in Philly and Dallas when TO landed here. Now we know why. I guess, now it’s our turn.

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Monday, February 07, 2011

Jay Gruden On The Job

I hope by now we’re by the ‘who’s he’, and ‘why now’ and how come not John parts of the Jay Gruden hire. Honestly, I think this is a smart move the Bengals pulled off this week.

Look, I know, you and I lived through the “Dave, not Don Shula” era. If you’re a Reds fans with a long memory, you’ll remember, we once had a Guerrero playing here, Wilton, not his brother Vladimir. But in Jay Gruden, the Bengals have at the very least gone outside the family tree, starved for sap as that is right now.

Jay Gruden’s dad was a very good coach, a position coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, surviving the acerbic wit of John McKay for a lot of years, as well as enduring a lot of losing seasons. We know what Jon Gruden has done. And if any of what his father and brother have accomplished has managed to rub off on Jay Gruden, offensively the Bengals are in a lot better shape today than they were a week ago.

Jay Gruden said this week that he wants to pound the ball between the tackles. Good, it’s what they should have been doing all of last season. If talk is cheap, it may get Cedric Benson back here for a lot less money than what the Bengals might’ve had to have spent if they maintained the status quo.

He says the Bengals won’t throw the ball down field 60-times a game. That’s also good news. Look up any box score from the last ten years in the NFL. If you see 40-or more passing attempts next to a quarterback’s name, you’ll probably see an ‘L” next to how his team did that day.

Gruden says he’s going to tone down the no huddle and the shotgun formation. Good and good. This isn’t 2005 and that entire offensive line, except for Bobbie Williams doesn’t live here anymore.

This sounds like a breath of fresh air, which is something the mildew-infested Bengals need. But Jay Gruden is no savior. And that isn’t a white horse he’s riding into town on tomorrow.

The bad news here, is that Gruden inherits an entire set of assistant coaches. This, of course, is called ‘business as usual’ in Bengal-dom. At Paul Brown Stadium they treat assistant coaches like family jewels. Here’s a lovely piece from the Wyche Dynasty I’m sure you’ll love wearing. It’s not that these guys are bad coaches, or bad guys. It’s just that they’ve been around awhile. They’re not ‘dead wood’. But they haven’t exactly floated the good ship Bengals like the Queen Mary either. Gruden will have to work around that.
And one other thing we got to get straight here now that he’s gone: Bob Bratkowski wasn’t the boogey man. He was just a good coach whose offense had grown stale. The Bengals lost their way last season. And Bratkowski had a huge hand in it. But his wasn’t the final word on any game preparation, on any game day or any play call.

But if you’re long for change, change that matters, hiring Jay Gruden is at least a start. There a lot more that needs to be done. And if all the change the Bengals make between now and their next game is bouncing Brat and hiring Chuckie Junior, there won’t be a lot more than four wins again next season.

This is a team that needs serious upgrades at left guard and right tackle. It needs to find a running back. It needs more and better playmakers on defense. Bengal fan, stop lying to yourself and look into the mirror. There is not a player on that Bengals roster that is a difference maker the likes of James Harrison, Troy Polamalu, Tramon Williams or Clay Matthews. Carson Palmer can be a good quarterback again. But he has a long way to go before he’ll be mentioned in the same sentence as Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger.

The NFL is the easiest of the four major professional sports leagues to engineer a turnaround. It can be done overnight. In Peyton Manning’s rookie season, the Colts were 3-13. The following year, the Colts finished 13-3. The 2000 Patriots were 5-11. In 2001, they went 2001 and won the Super Bowl. It can happen, even here. It will take more than Jay Gruden arrival and Bob Bratkowski’s departure. It will take a lot more to get Palmer back here, and more than that for Mike Brown to convince his skeptical and tortured fan base he really means business this time.

But it’s a start. Help us Obi Jay Gruden. You’re our only hope.

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Thursday, February 03, 2011

My latest Broo View Podcast is all about Carson Palmer's trade value. Mike Florio, from profootballtalk.com joins me. You can find it on the front page of kenbroo.com or here's a link to the show.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


Just posted ot my web site kenbroo.com is my latest Broo View Podcast. Today's topic, the 13 Golden Rules of Tweeting. My guest expert on the subject is CNBC's sports guru, Darren Rovell. Here's a direct link to the audio. And you can always subscribe free to my Broo View Daily Podcast through Itunes.