There was one member of the Bengals franchise who received some good news yesterday. While the 9-7 Bengals prepared to take on the Houston Texans this Saturday night in the Wild Card round, Profootballtalk.com announced today that Bengals owner Mike Brown had received their Executive of the Year honor.
Over the years, Mike Brown usually is on the other end of that measuring stick so for him to win this honor, even if it is from a “blog”, is still pretty remarkable in itself. Just as this team kicked off training camp this past July, it marked 20 years in which he has been owner of the Bengals. Yes we know his poor track record over those 20 years, but lets just for this moment forget it all happened (for the moment). Let’s take a look back at what Mike Brown has done in in 2011.
He didn’t budge to Carson Palmer’s trade demands and ultimately ended up being over compensated by the Oakland Raiders for the trade he executed in October 2011 netting him the Raiders 1st round pick in 2012 and potentially the Raiders first round pick in 2013 if they manage to make the divisional round of the postseason next year. 2 draft picks for Palmer. Not just any draft picks either, HIGH picks. Have you seen him play lately? He’s not even worth a 4th rounder at this point. Well done Mike Brown.
He drafted bookend players Andy Dalton and AJ Green. Two players that will be with this team for the long haul. Had it not been for Cam Newton, one of these two would be winning Rookie of the Year awards.
He re-signed Marvin Lewis to a two year contract extension. Was this luck? Or did Mike Brown really have the foresight with the upcoming lockout to extend Lewis to provide continuity in the locker room? Would the 2011 season have been different had a new coach been hired? Would it have been better? Likely worse? Well done again Mike Brown.
He fired Bob Bratkowski. This was long overdue.
He hired Jay Gruden for which the book is still out on. This offense seemed to get stagnant late in the year. I’m intrigued to see what Mr. Gruden has in store for Green and Dalton in year two.
Lowered Season Ticket Prices for 2012. Mike Brown is no dummy. He saw a stadium that was a 1/3 empty each and every home game. The BOGO for the season finale against Baltimore was genius, and it cost the Bengals 250 large out of their own pocket to put on.
Wish List for 2012:
1. With the retirement of Scouting Director, Jim Lippincott, please do yourself a favor and hire a GM. “But I just won Exec of the Year?” yes I get it. Stay on as GM, but hire some more people to help surround you with knowledge. Expand the scouting staff, help the coaches so they can focus on improving other areas of the team like, game planing, film study, playbooks etc.
2. Ring of Honor. There are so many great Bengals, you should be honoring them. Anthony Munoz, Ken Anderson, Isaac Curtis, Ken Riley, Tim Krumrie, Boomer Esisason, Sam Wyche, Forest Gregg to name a few. Let’s start honoring our past!
3. Bengalsfest. “But we have training camp in Georgetown.” Yeah that’s in July/August. What about March? What about having it in May when the Reds are normally out of the pennant race?
That’s all I’ve got for now. I know what you’re all saying, “typical Bengals fan always wanting more!” But on a serious note, Mr. Brown you had a tremendous 2011, here’s to hoping 2012 is even better. WHODEY!