With the season coming upon us, excitement runs high. Fans all over the NFL are excited to see if their team changes pay off. Speaking of the changes, the Bengals actually made some changes.
Let’s look at the top 10 moves the Bengals made this off-season:
10: Letting Paul Alexander walk and hiring Frank Pollack
It’s no secret that former offensive line coach Paul Alexander was bad at his job. And to make matters worst, he’s arrogant as fuck. Remember how we were a bunch of dumbasses in 2015, and had the great idea of drafting Ogbuehi and Fisher? Well, Alexander is ultimately the one who tricked the Bengals into drafting those 2. Alexander has never been good when it comes to finding talent. Sure there was times where he got lucky, like finding Whitworth and Zeitler. But untimely, he does not have a good track record when it comes to finding talent for the line. His arrogance made it worse though. Because Ced and Fisher were “his boys.” He kept playing them, even though there was a better 5 out there. We couldn’t see the best line until week 16. Ced of course wasn’t in the mix. He wasn’t in because he got hurt. I don’t care if you have players you really like Alexander, your job was to put the best 5 in. You didn’t even put the best line out there, the best line was it there because of injuries. Smh. Just horrible. Fuck you, you arrogant piece of shit. Yeah I’m pissed at him still.
Paul Alexander endorses Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher on his way out of town: https://t.co/WBgAoVLEWw
— James Rapien (@JamesRapien) January 17, 2018
Anyways, letting go of Alexander was the 1st step. He had been around for 20 years. The fact we let him walk was impressive. Now honestly, there were a lot of coaches we could of brought it that would be an upgrade. But we decided to get one if the best offensive line coaches out there. That itself showed that the Bengals were getting some change.
Good look at Billy Price doing drills AND…
— Jeremy Rauch (@FOX19Jeremy) May 12, 2018
9: Releasing Iloka
Take this move as you want, but this move was good for a couple of reasons. Iloka lost his starting spot, and he was a $5 million player that would of been sitting on the bench. Bengals didn’t want that, so they cut him and saved the money.
— Bleacher Report NFL (@BR_NFL) August 19, 2018
This also shows that Marvin Lewis is finally putting faith in rookies. He could of had a rotation at free safety with Iloka and Bates, and people would probably just be happy that there’s a rotation there. But the Bengals are going with the higher risk/higher reward move here with Bates. Bates could struggle early on, but has potential to be really good, and the Bengals are putting faith in the rookie. Also the fact that Marvin Lewis is trusting a rookie is insane. I wonder if someone killed Marvin and this is a clone.
8: Not signing Eric Reid and drafting Jessie Bates
Oh lord, I can already feel the controversy build up. But actually, the reason that this was a good move has nothing to do with politics(rare these days). I think we got so caught up in the big name and politics that we were all forgetting something: Eric Reid is not a free safety. Bengals needed a big upgrade at free safety, and while Reid has shown that he can play free safety in the past, that’s not his natural position. While for Jessie Bates, free safety is his main position. While Reid would of easily been a upgrade over Iloka, his ceiling as a free safety is limited. Bates has potential to be a star safety. And I’m not gonna lie, Reid would be the better free safety this year, but the drop off wouldn’t be enough to hurt the Bengals. Teryl Austin emphasizes turnovers, and Bates(based off what scouts have said and his college tape) seems more likely to get an interception then Eric Reid. That is the one thing Bates has over Reid. The last advantage in this, is money. If the Bengals did sign Reid, we would of given him a big contract. But Bates is much cheaper. The only reason I bring this up, is the Bengals had more money to re-sign Geno and Dunlap. Maybe Mike Brown bungling this was a blessing.
7: Tyler Eifert Incentive deal
Here’s the thing; Eifert is really really good. He’s also really really injury prone. So they gave him an incentive deal, meaning the Bengals will pay him if he plays, but if he’s hurt they don’t have to pay him. Simple and smart.
Tyler Eifert's 1-year, $5.5M Bengals contract is a "prove-it" deal. Only guarantee is a $3M signing bonus. He has a $1M salary and can earn up to $1M in per-game roster bonuses ($62.5k each time active on game day). $500K roster bonus, possible $3M in incentives.
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) March 19, 2018
6: Signing Preston Brown
Our linebackers were bad last year. For the past 5 years or whatever, the Bengals have attempted and failed to sign a productive linebacker in free agency. Now with Brown, we can fix this small flunk. Brown is a proven middle linebacker. He tied with with leading tackles last year. He is a really big upgrade to our Linebacking core. Now, Brown is not like an elite linebacker. He’s a solid middle linebacker, and the Bengals needed that badly.
Cincinnati Bengals' Marvin Lewis: Linebacker Preston Brown 'exceeding expectations' https://t.co/IIX1W3fzhh
— Amy Shelton (@livingthelife51) August 28, 2018
5: Releasing LaFell
Look, the Bengals offense weren’t gonna take that next step if LaFell was starting. He just doesn’t have the explosiveness this offense needs. Marvin finally got his head out of his ass, and realized that Ross can be used in this offense. Releasing LaFell is going to let Ross play more, and we’ll even see more of Josh Malone. Can’t believe it took Marvin so damn long to realize that Ross will be good for us, but better than never I guess. Also, releasing LaFell saved cap, that helped us re-sign Geno and Dunlap.
4: Hiring Teryl Austin
Austin in Cincinnati is a great match. Now of course, before we get to why Austin was a great hiring, let’s talk about Paul Guenther. I’m going to honest, I think Guenther was overrated. A big part of the Bengals coaching issues in the past were arrogance. Paul Guenther is no exception. Guenther basically tried to run Zimmers defense, but did quite a bad job of hiding the flaws. Zimmer was great at hiding the flaws. But his arrogance just killed me. Let’s say you call a play, and it doesn’t work. You should change what you call, right? Not for Guenther. Guenther had this genius idea of calling the same play because for whatever reason, he thinks if he keeps calling it, it’ll eventually work. He couldn’t admit he had bad play calling. Fuck outta here with that Paul. Also, he tried to force players into his defense, instead of going with their strengths. I get it’s a professional league, and you should have to adjust, but that goes for you too Paul. You adjust your defense to the player’s strength. That’s how you make your defense perform the best. And that’s why Austin is a great pickup. He plays around the player’s strength. He also specializes is turnovers. Bengals need turnovers to win. We got a defensive line who will make the QB make bad throws, and a secondary with playmakers. And now we got a defensive coordinator who specializes in turnovers. This was a great hiring for the Bengals, and could possibly be the head coach one day.
3: Drafting Billy Price, and letting go of Russell Bodine
Oh thank God. Finally, after 4 long years of Bengal fans being tortured to watch Russell Bodine attempt to block someone, he’s finally gone. Thank the lord. I don’t think anybody could of handled another year of his shitty blocking(Alexander loved him too. Does Alexander just have man crushes on lineman who suck ass?). Anyways, Marvin Lewis gave us a good scare at the NFL combine when he said this:
“I think Russell would like to continue in Cincinnati and it’s just a matter of it hopefully both sides can come to an agreement and fit in the middle. We’re going to have to run in parallel paths at some point as well. That’s the important part….. He’s done a very good job for us for four years.”
Not funny Marvin. I’m sure as hell that the Bengals attempted to re-sign him. However, we got great friends in the Bills. They luckily signed him. God I love those Bills.
Anyways, losing Bodine meant we have will get the long awaited upgrade at center. We had no choice but to draft one. And we did that exactly, by taking Billy Price with the 21st overall pick.
1 – C – Billy Price
2 – FS – Jessie Bates
3 – DE – Sam Hubbard
3 – LB – Malik Jefferson
4 – RB – Mark Walton
5 – DB – Davontae Harris
5 – DT – Andrew Brown
5 – CB – Darius Phillips
7 – QB – Logan Woodside
7 – OL – Rod Taylor
7 – WR – Auden Tate
Grade the Bengals #NFLDraft 👍👎
— Elite Andy Dalton (@EvilAndyDalton) April 29, 2018
Some argued this pick was a reach. But you know what? Shut up. When the Cowboys took Travis Frederick(praying for you Frederick) with the 31st overall pick in the 2013 draft, everybody said it was a reach. Well Frederick is the best center today, and nobody says it’s a reach anymore. You know the coach who developed him? Frank Pollack. So if Pollack thinks he can develop Price into a great center, I’m not going to argue.
2: Trading for Cordy Glenn
Cedric Ogbuehi could not start again at Left Tackle, and Marvin knew that very much. So he called up our best friends in the Bills, and they gave us Cordy Glenn while we swapped 1st round picks.
Trade compensation update on Cordy Glenn deal, as @PSchrags said.
Bengals get OT Cordy Glenn and Bills first-round pick (No. 21).
Bills get Bengals’ No. 12 overall selection.
Bengals also get Bills’ fifth-round pick and Bills get Bengals’ sixth-round pick.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2018
Some people didn’t like this trade because we traded down from pick 12 to 21, but why not like the trade? Sure it sucks to trade down in the draft, but look at the details. If the Bengals didn’t make that trade, we still have pick 12, obviously. However, if you recall, there were no viable offensive line options to draft at 12. But with the Glenn trade, not only do we get a left tackle, but in trading back, we ALSO got to draft a center. So we basically got 2 new and better offensive linemen with that trade.
With the 12th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals get LT Cordy Glenn (signed for 3 years), C Billy Price (4 years with 5th year option), and move from 6th round to 5th (climbing 29 spots) pic.twitter.com/3EVLyQ2A6O
— Dan Hoard (@Dan_Hoard) April 27, 2018
Overall a great trade for us
1: Extending Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) August 28, 2018
This had to happen. If we lost Geno Atkins, our line would not be elite. His presence in the middle of the line is amazing. It just wouldn’t be the same without him. In us keeping Atkins, we’re keeping one of the best interior defensive lineman in the NFL. And with Dunlap, he’s a really good defensive lineman. He comes with the package. If we want to maintain this great defensive line, we need to keep Dunlap. He can do it all. We keep our 2 best defensive players in extending Geno and Dunlap!
This article was published raw and unedited. Any concerns or corrections should be pointed to Braeden directly.