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whodey?

BENGALS FANATIC
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whodey? last won the day on July 9

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195 The F'n Man!

About whodey?

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  1. whodey?

    Kat Terrell

    It is a nice one.
  2. What part of the world would that be? Just curious.
  3. This is the article from the Athletic. So you don’t have to get their app to read it. Good read. CINCINNATI – The question asked by nearly everyone even remotely interested in Bengals football this offseason stems back to an original root question: How will Zac Taylor make the Bengals different? Answering the question ranges from difficult to impossible. He’s yet to go through a training camp, much less a game as an NFL head coach. Nobody really knows what he will be like or how this team will perform under his direction. As for where he’s taken this team and its players, only seven people can provide the most accurate view of the dynamics at play within the Bengals right now. They call themselves The Mobile 7. They are the seven holdover coaches from the last staff: quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt, quarterbacks/wide receivers assistant Dan Pitcher, special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons, special-teams assistant Brayden Coombs, secondary coach-safeties Robert Livingston, secondary coach-corners Daronte Jones and wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell. Those seven represented the Bengals at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, in January while the organization was in limbo awaiting Taylor’s arrival and the establishment of the rest of his staff. They all still had one year on their contracts and nobody knew exactly what was coming next — only that they would be here for it. They stood with their feet squarely on the ground as the Bengals organization underwent arguably the most dramatic transformation in club history, a process that swept through like a tornado. The Mobile 7 were then joined by 16 others, led by Taylor, and began the rebuilding process together. I talked to each about how the process played out and what they’ve witnessed from the moment Marvin Lewis was let go through the final practice of minicamp Thursday. The conversations filtered into five main buckets: Effect of the unique fallout, Taylor’s traits and impact, a focus on situational football, tangible impact on players and an interesting view of the future. This is an oral history of six months of dramatic change from those at ground zero. The Mobile 7 formed on the trip to the Senior Bowl the week of Jan. 21. Taylor was hired Feb. 4. Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo was hired on Feb. 21. The entire staff didn’t meet together for the first time until the NFL Scouting Combine a week later. That’s a lot of moving parts. Coaches hanging in limbo happens across the NFL every January. So, as distinctive as the Bengals’ situation was this year, it was also an understood — if dreaded — part of the gig. Van Pelt pointed out that his high school-age daughter wrote a paper about how challenging January can be on coaches and their families. They get it. Van Pelt: It’s never a comfortable situation when you aren’t quite sure what is going to happen. There’s about a four-week period of hell for coaches and coaches’ families where you are not quite sure what is going on. That was typical. Lot of emotions and just uncertainty. Pitcher: We joke about it. It felt like we were in limbo for a really long time. Fortunately, I’m grateful I had a chance to stay. I know the guys that are here feel the same way. It was an uneasy period of time, and it’s hard when you develop close relationships with guys you respect a lot. Assistant special-teams coordinator Brayden Coombs. (Isaiah J. Downing / USA Today) Coombs: That’s hard because those guys are friends and a lot of them are good coaches. It’s part of this business and happens every year with my friends across the league, but it had never happened here for us. So it was the first time going through that. It wasn’t, “You still have a job.” It was, “You are still here until the new coach gets here.” It’s nice to be kept, but a lot of us were getting interviews from other teams. I know of at least three guys that had slips in for them. That part was frustrating. We don’t even have a boss right now and you are not promising me a job, but stopping me from going to this job. That’s part of the business. We signed a contract. You want that contract. But guys were frustrated. It’s hard. It was my first time going through that. Jones (laughing): There’s only two types of coaches in this world, right? Eventually, you are going to be in that position. In Mobile, Jon Gruden was coaching the East team, and during a press conference, he mentioned his quarterbacks coach was joining the Bengals as an offensive coordinator. It was the first staff leak as the Mobile 7 still hadn’t officially been told Taylor was the head coach. Coombs: Mike (Brown) did everything by the book. He would not tell us so we didn’t know. … We had seen (the leaks) and kind of knew, but that’s when we were like, this is where it’s going. When we were all down in Mobile. Livingston: That trip was a weird trip, and the next few weeks were weird with (preparing for) the draft and free agency. … Granted, once everything got set, there were some long days and you felt like you were behind a little bit. But I think everybody did a great job of knowing this is what is going to have to be done. Was it normal? No. Was it something I will probably always remember? Yeah. One theme remained consistent as the seven assessed what unfolded during the offseason program that concluded Thursday. A clear emphasis on situational football emerged. Taylor stressed the need to plant the seed for any type of situation that could present itself during the season. The NFL has never been more situational than it is today, and that’s a key component of the coach’s offseason strategy. This goes from a simple situational time-and-score to odd special-teams scenarios to how to throw the ball away to waste the final five seconds of game clock. Specifically, Taylor added responsibility for Pitcher to be in charge of teaching and working through situations in the offseason and during the year. His specific role on game day hasn’t been nailed down yet, but all signs point to focusing on situation management in the booth. Pitcher: It’s something I was excited about when Zac asked me. It’s been a good opportunity for me to study some different things and make sure I know this is an area we need to be prepared for and be able to relay that to the team and have a platform to do that has been pretty cool. Livingston: Those guys are really thorough in how they think about it. They have done a great job in the meeting, showing things. This is 2019, people got to see it. Here is a play from 2015, Raiders versus Chiefs, this is what we are talking about when you do get in that situation. In 2015, the Toro Toro field goal we had at the end of the Seattle game. Coombs: Do it now, so we have done it and it’s on tape. He’ll be able to refer back all of August saying, “We are going to do this and here’s when we did it before.” Now once they have done it and seen it on tape, next time it should be that much sharper. Refer back to the tape. Boom. Clicks. You can’t do that stuff in Week 1. Taylor speaks often about communicators and organization, offering buzzwords not often uttered around Paul Brown Stadium in the past. The average age of the staff dropped 10 years per person. That alone made this a new generation at the helm and that meant new ways to get the point across and expectations of ways to keep everyone in the loop. Coombs: We are way more advanced, technology-wise. We communicate like 30-year-olds communicate. Still, a positive tone and coaching style stand out above the rest. Van Pelt: I like the way Zac has really slowed down the teaching process. If there is a mistake made, it’s not the end of the world. It’s “Let’s coach through it and make sure everyone is on the same page.” That’s really been the thing that has stood out to me is the way he’s really in the teaching progression. He takes time, goes slow, not in a hurry. We are all going to get it at the same pace. Alex Van Pelt joined the Bengals’ staff in January 2018. (Bryan Woolston / AP) Livingston: The schedule is completely different. We are on the field later. It’s completely streamlined. We all went out there for that first practice and were like, “Whoa.” It was eye-opening. Coombs: “To me, the entire football operation, everything we are doing now, whether it’s on the field, meetings, practice, schedule, meals, everything we are doing is very intelligent. Everything is very planned out, prepared and there is logical reasoning. This is the specific reason why we are doing this. It’s easy for me. That’s how I’m wired. I don’t just do something because this is how we have always done it or this is the way we are doing it. Then he goes next level and in the meeting explains it to the players. This is what we are doing. This is why. For them, that makes things so easy. You eliminate them saying, “This is stupid, why are we doing this?” Bicknell: I would never compare. I just know Zac has a really clear understanding of what he wants to do and an unbelievable way of teaching it. Our players really were responding to his overall thought process. He’s a special coach. Simmons: There’s a very clear and concise vision about what the expectations are. Not that there wasn’t before, but I think sometimes it becomes difficult when you are in the 15th or 16th year of something there is enough carryover from year to year you don’t want to bore the guys who have been here, but when you are talking about vision you are only talking to a select few people. It’s difficult to do when you have heard the same message. It’s all new. So it’s all fresh. So there is a heightened sense of awareness for all those things. All this minutia goes back to making impressions on the players. Their responses to the changes have been expectedly enthusiastic. There’s been noticeable new energy that you would expect, and a complete remodel of the entrance to the locker room made the feel of the place different from the moment they walked in the building. Meanwhile, competition at practice and in meetings brought about the Mobile 7 unanimously mentioning the energy in the building. In their minds, there are multiple reasons for it. Some obvious, others not so much. Livingston: I walked out of the cafeteria two weeks ago and it’s like, whoa, four new TV screens here. Where the players walk in, it catches their attention. It’s not bland. Zac and the Browns have done a great job of putting money into right here. Simmons: You don’t always know what’s coming next. Sometimes that’s OK. That’s a good thing. It’s invigorating that way. I think the players have done that also. Because they don’t always know what’s coming next, either. It’s like starting over, square one. A lot of history they developed with the old coaching staff, the skins on the wall with the old coaches, they don’t have those anymore. So it’s out now and they are trying to prove themselves once again. Whether it’s Carlos Dunlap or A.J. Green or Dre Kirkpatrick or whoever it may be. Or a college free agent. They are all trying to come out and work their tail off to impress a new set of eyes. This will be Darrin Simmons’ 17th season with the Bengals. (Kareem Elgazzar / USA Today) Jones: The holdover coaches are much in the same position as the veteran players. It’s new and it’s unknown and then once you get comfortable and get a feel for what is established, here we are all on board. Technically, none of (the veteran corners) went through a coaching change in college, either. Alabama (Dre Kirkpatrick) with Saban. Michigan State, (Darqueze Dennard). Those guys didn’t really go through a coaching change. So, for a lot of those guys, even though you are an eight-year vet, it’s your first experience from college and the pros in terms of a coaching change. So it’s all new to them. Coombs: High energy. The relaxing on some things that were uptight about before that aren’t necessarily important but just old-school mentalities of things like tuck your shirt in. Taking that stuff off their plate. Now, what you do get from him is laser-focused on football. That’s what you want. Simmons: He’s been super positive with the players. It’s been very clear the expectations of exactly what’s expected and what’s not expected. That was the same thing when Marvin first came here, too. That’s what sparked this place when Marvin came. I would expect the same thing is going to happen right now. It’s clear, it’s concise, and he’s very positive. That’s something that’s new, refreshing and would stimulate anybody to go out and perform their best. It does the same for me. Nobody knows how this will turn out. We can break down the new and the old ways of preparing a team for the season, but if Taylor and this staff can’t find a way to win games, nobody will care. And understandably so. These coaches feel optimistic about the direction of this team. The opinion was unanimous and is likely universal across the league in June. There’s a new sense of excitement over the future circulating, but all were clear to pay due respect to Marvin Lewis. Different is new. Different brings a certain set of issues to deal with, positive and negative. Still, the unknown carries a definitive feeling of possibility while the coaches figure this thing out on the fly. Simmons: You need to learn what his mindset is. What he’s thinking, how he sees things going forward. What is his anticipation of how he wants it to be. It puts a lot of thought through my head because when you have done it the same way for 16 years it’s cool to see a different way, a new way. Bicknell: There are talented people that are coaching here and the leadership is a very, very positive, energetic environment here right now. So it’s a lot of fun to be around. It’s year to year, you have to stay healthy and all those things have to happen. The talent we have on this team, we stay healthy and do the right things we will have a chance. Bob Bicknell scurries out of the way of wide receiver Josh Malone during training camp in 2018. (Kareem Elgazzar / USA Today) Livingston: I will love Marvin for the rest of my life. Paul Guenther, all those guys. They gave me a chance and the Browns have been unbelievably loyal to me. Duke Tobin. They gave me a chance to do what I want to do. Talk about being invested, this is all I have known. You go back to the highs here have been euphoric. I will never forget 2015 when we were rolling. The lows, obviously, were really, really dark. But it keeps you where you can still see the sun. I know what it’s supposed to look like. I have been there when it’s been really good. I know what it would be to get back. Mr. Brown deserves this more than anything and the city. You think back to that playoff game in 2015 and I know it’s like a cuss word now, you aren’t allowed to say it. But this place was rocking. I’ve never heard anything in this place like that playoff game. That’s our challenge, to get back to that and get everybody in and pulling the same direction. This can be a special place. This can be a special building. Obviously, special ownership. Now it’s our job to do that for them.
  4. The team went 10 - 6. They didn’t play just the AFC north.
  5. To me, the 09 team was fun to watch. I like that run the football smash mouth style though.
  6. I hope the guy has a great season and helps us win at least a playoff game. But, I’ve seen this movie before. I just hope he stays healthy and retires while he can still walk under his own power.
  7. Wtf. The guy can show up on game day wearing a fuckin tutu if he wants. As long as we’re winning who care.
  8. whodey?

    Vinney Ray gone?

    Wikipedia says he’s a free agent. Looks like his contract was up in March.
  9. Wasn’t Stanley Wilson the running back that missed the super bowl because he was up all night doing blow and hookers or something?
  10. For years we all heard Marv and company talk about emphasizing the run game and then go completely away from it. I believe we just witnessed the new regime actually staff up for it.
  11. Whe are a jaded bunch aren’t we? I read this and thought back to all the past several off seasons and how “everything has changed” and such. I guess we’ll wait and see. How was it Marvelous Marvin put it? “I hear better with my eyes”?

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