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Mike Brown ‘We have lost some of our hold on our fan base", opposes 18-game schedule

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Not every owner in the NFL is behind the push for an increase of the regular season to 18 games.

Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown said Tuesday that he is not in favor of increasing the amount of regular season games and believes the players deal with enough beating as it is.

These seasons are long and they take a toll on you mentally, they take a toll on players physically,” Brown said at the team’s annual media luncheon, via Joe Kay of the Associated Press. “Maybe we should just step back and accept the 16 number and go with it.”

Additionally, the idea of increasing the amount of games to 18 while limiting the players to just 16 games apiece doesn’t do it for Brown either.

“Well, that’s absurd,” Brown said. “I don’t want that.”

“Everyone knows the discussion on this. It isn’t the way football has been played. Baseball is played that way, different pitchers and all. In our game, you get the best team out there, and I think that’s the way it ought to be.”

The chance to make even more money than the league currently rakes in is the obvious reason for some within the league to float the idea of cutting two preseason games and adding to the regular season slate. The idea of an 18-game regular season schedule has been lingering around for several years despite constant push back from the NFL Players Association.

 

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/07/24/bengals-owner-mike-brown-opposes-18-game-schedule/

 

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Something Old, Something New Jolts Bengals Into Training Camp

 

Hobson_Geoff

Geoff Hobson

SENIOR WRITER

 
 

Mike Brown, owner of the Cincinnati Bengals NFL football team, speaks while being interviewed at Paul Brown Stadium during the team's media luncheon, Tuesday, July 23, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

John Minchillo/Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Mike Brown meets the media Tuesday.

Mike Brown, who steered the Bengals to Cincinnati when he diverted Paul Brown’s gaze from Seattle and then 30 years later kept them on the river when other cities tried to divert them to their stadiums, isn’t one to dwell on legacies.

That’s a pretty good one, but during the Bengals president’s methodical march to age 84 next month on the day of the pre-season opener in Kansas City, his attention has always been on the next practice, the next game, the next roster move.

What he’s looking for more than anything is another Super Bowl run and on Tuesday he showed up with his new 36-year-old head coach, a fresh-faced tag-team partner named Zac Taylor that has him looking at things just a little bit differently these days.

 “No matter how old you get -- and I'm pretty old -- you always are exposed to new things. The new staff does have different ways,” said Brown during the annual training camp media luncheon, his 52nd of these things. “They meet differently, they practice differently, they emphasize different things. They have a totally new and different way to call plays. It is stunning to me how different all this is, and maybe that's a good thing for us to have this jolt. It'll energize the people in the building from me down to whoever hands out the socks and jocks. We're all asked to do it a little bit differently.”

Mike Brown hasn’t handed out socks and jocks since he was a pre-teen at Paul Brown’s Bowling Green training camp for the Cleveland Browns in the late 1940s. Now at the dawn of the 2020s, Brown and Taylor are crafting a laundry list they hope gets the decade roaring. It starts, of course, with offense. Paul and Mike Brown have always been offense guys. Just look at the coaching roster. The only time there have been defensive head coaches for the Bengals have been in the 19 previous seasons of the 21st century.

“What I like about it most is we are going to have a head coach who calls the signals. I find that a good thing,” Brown said. “I am anxious to see what it means for us.”

 

Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor smiles as he meets with reporters at Paul Brown Stadium during the team's media luncheon.

Zac Taylor: Brown likes the idea of his head coach calling the plays.

Brown thinks Taylor has already lit a fire. Asked what he sees that makes him more comfortable about the February hire, Brown ticked them off for the gaggle of scribes huddled around a table.

“A lot of things. He's very composed, he's a very bright young man, he loves what he does,” Brown said. “He works hard. He loves ideas. He can present them in a way that works. People accept what he says. He's confident. I think he's a good package and that it will have a good result.”

Special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons, the last man standing from Marvin Lewis’ staff in 2003 that also energized the fan base, has sensed a familiar vibe.  

 

“I feel very similar to 2003,” Simmons said. “I felt like this place really needed an injection of stimulation. That’s the way I feel downstairs now. That’s how I feel the players are excited stimulated and I think that’s a natural thing with change.”

 

Bengals Special Teams Coordinator Darrin Simmons answers questions from media members as he is interviewed at Paul Brown Stadium during the team's media luncheon.

Darrin Simmons is the only assistant left from Marvin Lewis' turn-the-thing-around season of 2003.

Like Brown said, a lot is different. He should know. He let Taylor hire the biggest coaching staff in Bengals history and Simmons has watched Taylor take it to a different place.

“It spreads things out. Gives it more detail,” Simmons said of the extended staff. “We’ve done more situational football in the offseason than we did before the regular season. I think that’s important. Our guys are going to be very in tune situationally with what to do.”

Brown has an idea that Taylor is bringing back the kind of training camp he likes, the kind his father had and the kind that has evolved over the last decade. Not a lot of hitting or standing around. Keep them fresh. T.J. Houshmandzadeh was born 15 years early. Run the plays fast and get off the field in under two hours. Brown is certainly right about the hitting.

 

“There's no Oklahoma Drill. There's no half-line drill. There's no bull in the ring. Those are things that are no longer existent,” Taylor said. “I've done half-line drills since I've been in the league. Not recently to be honest with you. And some teams still do it, so it affects a couple teams. But it's not something that directly affects our plans.”

That’s a no-hitter compared to some of those early Marvin camps and all of Forrest Gregg’s 20 years before that.

“The schedule is different,” Simmons said. “They’re going to have more down time than they’re used to. I wouldn’t say we’re going to work smartly, but we’re going to work efficiently.”

And it’s just not the daily schedules that are different. So are the West Coast travel itineraries, which is notable since the Bengals open in Seattle Sept. 6. They also go to Oakland for a Nov. 17 game. But after coaching with the Rams for two years in Los Angeles, Taylor has the Bengals leaving the day before the game instead of two.

“Even though the kickoff there is at 1 o'clock, it feels like 4 o'clock to us, which really isn't that significant,” Taylor said. “It's really the other way around when they travel the other way that it feels like an early morning game and it's important to get out there two days in advance. I saw plenty of teams come east to west and the Eagles beat us two years in a row on a one-day schedule. I've seen plenty of teams come out two days early and be really sluggish because it breaks their routine.”

 

More changes? The one Brown really wants to see? The Bengals last Super Bowl coach, Sam Wyche, called a lot of his own plays. He preferred to call it “an eruption of ideas,” from his staff and while he doesn’t want to take all the credit for the calls yet to be made, Taylor believes it’s important to take ownership.

“I know what I want this thing to look like,” Taylor said. “And (offensive coordinator) Brian Callahan and I are lockstep. We are on the same page along with all the other coaches on this offense. It’s a little bit easier to show the way initially.”

 It turns out Taylor is learning from Brown, too. They meet every day, usually with other members of management. But the two constants are Taylor and Brown.

“To have Mike, someone who’s been around as long as anybody, teach you that information has really been a cool experience for me,” Taylor said of his crash course in NFL history.

 

Director of player personnel Duke Tobin is looking outward and inward to solve the back-up tackle puzzle.

Director of player personnel Duke Tobin is looking outward and inward to solve the back-up tackle puzzle.
 

“I hear Mike talking often about the taxi squad, meaning the practice squad,” Taylor said. “To learn that it really came from the Browns in the ‘40s when (Arthur "Mickey" McBride) was the owner, and he actually had a taxi squad. The players that had gotten cut were actually taxi cab drivers. And when Paul Brown had an injury and he wanted a player to come, he’d go over to the taxi station and grab one of his players. It truly was the taxi squad. Throughout my career in Miami and L.A. you hear about the taxi squad and you think it’s kind of a term that’s over used. But to actually know the history of it is kind of cool.”

Mike Brown says he’s getting old. He wants to keep the schedule at 16 games and laughs at the ludicrous suggestion of expanding it to 18 games while every player has a cap at 16.

"I just don’t think we want to play Boston unless (Tom) Brady isn’t playing," said Brown, unable to keep a straight face. "Everyone knows the discussion on this. It isn’t the way football has been played."

But the jolt of a new coach and the whiff of another training camp can make any football guy young again.

“Different people see that differently. It’s probably multi-faceted,” Brown said of the legacy question. “I wish we had won more games. That will forever be something that disappoints me, but I have to accept it is where it is. I hope that I will have enough time to see a spurt here that will be enough to energize our fan base. Get them excited. We know we have to reach out to them to get them to buy in and get them back with us. We disappointed them. You can’t do that as often as we have done. We are paying a price for that. We have to turn it around. If that happens, I’ll leave the stage feeling fulfilled.”

 

 

 

https://www.bengals.com/news/something-old-something-new-jolts-bengals-into-training-camp

 

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A lot to unpack here. Suffice to say, 18 games is absurd-especially with the way the NFL does things. 

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The only way to make 18 games remotely feasible is to add bye weeks and eliminate Thursday games. Do we really want the Super Bowl in March?

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33 minutes ago, Jason said:

The only way to make 18 games remotely feasible is to add bye weeks and eliminate Thursday games. Do we really want the Super Bowl in March?

and roster expansion

 

and no...March is for basketball and NFL free agency

 

I am actually with old Mikey on this one too. 16 games are enough misery for a year 

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To take it a step further: the NFL will still want to have the 4-game preseason schedule. The Players Union would probably favor roster expansion, but the league will want to keep the same roster sizes (duh?). Unworkable. 

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I agree with the old man about the 18 game schedule. Part of what makes the NFL so great is it's novelty. You have 16 games, each one is so meaningful in the grand scheme of a season. It isn't like baseball or basketball where you lose two, three in a row at the beginning of the season and it feels like nothing. In football, it means a hell of a lot. Thu Night football is already ruining the novelty aspect of it enough, lets not water it down even more.

 

Another thing that I tend to think of is just the historical nature of the game. I understand that there have been changes throughout history (like, goal posts in the front of the end zone). I just feel like some aspects of football should be kept same so that its...you know...still recognizable football. All the talk about removing Kick offs, PATs, increasing the number of games...idk man just leave that stuff alone.

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2 hours ago, Le Tigre said:

To take it a step further: the NFL will still want to have the 4-game preseason schedule. The Players Union would probably favor roster expansion, but the league will want to keep the same roster sizes (duh?). Unworkable. 

Of course they would.  The goal is to add 2 more weeks of football on TV.  As much as pre season games kinda suck, they do generate revenue for the networks and I am guilty of watching them most of the time. Pro football addiction is real.  Same roster sizes?  LOL.  You are right, unworkable.  There is no doubt it would bring in more revenue though.  

 

Oh and the crazy "players can only play 16 games??"  LOL, that is nuts.   Its bad enough when the entire Warriors roster takes a day off and you bought tickets in Indy to see them but they play 82 games not counting playoffs.   "Sorry, its Tom Brady's game off" wouldn't fly.  

 

Brown tends to be proven right after the fact when it comes to this stuff. 

 

BTW, the Thursday Night Football is easy to solve, only teams coming off a bye plays in them.  It would be like having 2 mini bye weeks. 11 days then 10 days between games if the next game was on Sunday.

 

 

 

 

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Without looking at ratings...I am not sure TNF even draws half of what they get Sundays on average. Just keep piling it up on the platter (shattered, shattered..uh huh). 

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“To have Mike, someone who’s been around as long as anybody, teach you that information has really been a cool experience for me,” Taylor said of his crash course in NFL history.

 

FD56ZM3I3H4US8F.LARGE.gif

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1 hour ago, Le Tigre said:

Without looking at ratings...I am not sure TNF even draws half of what they get Sundays on average. Just keep piling it up on the platter (shattered, shattered..uh huh). 

They actually do pretty well depending on the game.  NO v DAL had huge ratings, OAK V SF not so much.

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I agree with Mike on the 18 game season. Way too long with this sport, however, they should expand the roster to at least 60 players. Why 53? that seems like someone just threw a dart at board full of numbers.

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2 hours ago, T-Dub said:

“To have Mike, someone who’s been around as long as anybody, teach you that information has really been a cool experience for me,” Taylor said of his crash course in NFL history.

 

FD56ZM3I3H4US8F.LARGE.gif

"Mr. Brown, tell me again how you used to draft players without scouts or computers? This is fascinating!"

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1 hour ago, I_C_Deadpeople said:

"Mr. Brown, tell me again how you used to draft players without scouts or computers? This is fascinating!"

I was a Boy Scout once until I got caught eating a Brownie.  The fact that all of this is new to him is a bit annoying.  

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1 hour ago, SF2 said:

The fact that all of this is new to him is a bit annoying.  

 

Yeah I decided against looking for a transcript, "we have lost some of our hold on our fan base" was enough for me.   Same as firing Marvin, it's all because of the fans.  Changes had to be made, not because his family business is a joke that only exists through subsidies or any of the 100 other compelling reasons to try not to totally suck.   It's just the fickle fans making them do all this stuff even though he gets paid either way.  You can tell he's salty about it, too.

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