The game yesterday showed what the Bengals problem is exactly. First I will let you in on what are not the Bengals problems:
1. Carson Palmer is not the Bengals problem. It is easy to remember the mistakes of the highest profile person on the field. However, Carson and his 1 interception is not the reason the Bengals lost or are losing.
2. Chad Ochocinco is not the problem. Sure Chad has been quiet, but he has been contributing to an offense that has had some success in the passing game. Chad’s job this season, as thankless as it is, is to pull double coverage to get Owens, Shipley and Gresham open.
3. The offensive line (including Andre Smith) is not the problem. Carson has time to throw and there is success running the ball. It may not be the best unit in the NFL but the line is doing a good job.
4. Marvin Lewis is not the problem. Clock management is still a dark science to this guy, but just because there could be another time out or a few more seconds on the clock doesn’t mean the Bengals could be 5 and 2 if Marvin had better time management skills. If anything, keeping a team with this many divas quiet after this horrible start should show Marvin still has the respect of his players. (not sure for how long though)
So what is the problem? Bob Bratkowski.
Enough is enough, after 10 seasons of proving this guy does not have what it takes to run a successful offense he needs to be fired. Here is why I say it all stems from the idiot Bratkowski:
1. So you think Carson is a shell of himself and makes mistakes that cause the Bengals to lose. I say look at what he has to deal with. The defense knows what is coming. Think back to the last time Chad was thrown a ball that was not an out to the sideline. Think about the last time receivers were stacked, or had some sort of misdirection or screen to keep the defense on its toes. Carson has to run the plays the idiot in the booth calls. If you want a glimpse into Bob Bratkowski’s playbook, take yourself to the closest high school this Friday night and watch what those offenses do. There is zero creativity in the plays Bob calls and defenses that watch film have no problem solving them.
Once solved, Bratkowski has proven for 10 seasons now he does not know how to adjust. If the offense is flat in the beginning of the game, there is no hope for improvement after the half. Bob still sticks to the game plan he devised.
2. Chad is double covered so he is not part of the game right? That is the dumbest shit ever. Do you think the Bengals had two players on Brandon Marshall for most of the game yesterday? Damn right they did, and he still managed to make plays for his team. How? Motion before the snap, screen passes, quick outs and a reverse. Does Bob run any of those to get the ball to one of the Bengals top playmakers? Nope. What can you expect from a guy who fails to call plays that get him 7 yds on 3rd and 7. Shipley has been great on third down for the Bengals. 12 catches and 10 went for the first down. What you don’t know is that 7 of those where caught behind the down marker and athletic play by Shipley is what moved the chains, not the route.
3. When a team has trouble in a season or in a game even with protection or blocking, a good offensive coordinator uses that to his advantage. Is a team getting a good push on your line and crashing the edges? Run a screen to the RB out of the backfield or have the tight end quick release and catch the ball after his guy goes for the QB. Bratkowski continues to call drop back passes and the pocket continues to collapse. Trouble run blocking? Try some sweeps or misdirection to get the momentum in your favor and force the D to over pursue. Does Bob do this? Nope, he pounds the ball between the tackles hoping Cedric breaks one.
4. So why doesn’t Marvin fire him? He can’t. Bob Bratkowski is not Marvin’s guy. He was he before him and probably will be here after him. There is a good chance that Bratkowski will be the next head coach of the Bengals. “But they got along so well on hard knocks” you say. Yeah, and I am sure there are people you work with who you “get along” with too but secretly hope they are not there every time you go to work.
If the Bengals made a move at the offensive coordinator and brought in an innovative coach (like Zimmer on the defensive side of the ball) they have the weapons to have a great offense. It won’t be this year. Even if Bob is fired today (fingers crossed) there wouldn’t be enough time to change the offense drastically. Something needs to be done though. I think there were 6 three and outs in a row yesterday and that forces your already banged up defense to be on the field too long.
Bob Bratkowski is the cancer on this team (outside of the owner, which is the reason the Bob is still here). Getting rid of him will be the next step the Bengals need to take to improve the team.