June 26, 2017

The Cincinnati Projects

Cincinnati's frequent gambles on players with character issues have left the organization unstable.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

The Bengals gambled on someone with character issues, either in the draft or in free agency. Said player was a model citizen for a while. They were productive. And then they relapsed, doing something to somehow hurt the team.

It’s happened too many times with Cincinnati, most recently with The Artist Formerly Known as Pacman Jones. According to various reports, Jones was arrested early Sunday morning after an altercation at an area bar. Jones is disputing some of the facts and downplaying some of the actions that led to his arrest.

Who knows what the real story is or what will ultimately come of it. Regardless, it’s another headache for a team that doesn’t need any more. And furthermore, it’s another example of how Mike Brown’s Mother Teresa complex (or perhaps his reduced price, flea market mentality) is killing his team.

We could all name myriad examples of people who came to Cincinnati with character problems and ultimately failed at varying degrees.

Terrell Owens. Odell Thurman. Andre Smith. Chad Ochocinco. The list goes on and on.

Certainly, some of those players have had good moments. But in the end, the only thing that matters is zero, the number of playoff wins during Mike Brown’s tenure. Clearly, his personnel philosophy needs a fundamental shift.

You simply can not win consistently when players you count on can not be counted on. New England and Pittsburgh don’t gamble on players quite like the Bengals do. And that’s one of the reasons they win.

If you stack your roster too full of players with troubled pasts, your team ends up looking like them at times.