The League

Doug Farrar

Doug Farrar

A staff writer

It Starts at the Top


I find it hard to blame Marvin Lewis for what ails the Bengals. Paul Brown, the NFL's Leonardo Da Vinci, and the father of current team president Mike, would have a hard time winning with such incompetence in the front office. The Bengals' rosters have read like a cast party for America's Most Wanted; their scouting staffs have been the league's most undermanned for decades. The two issues are not unrelated. Scouting isn't just about watching tape; it's also about visiting schools and getting a sense of the players you're drafting. The Bengals go more on physical attributes, which is how they can strike gold with the occasional great player and still get so much wrong.

When receiver Chris Henry was brought back to the roster after a release based on run-in after run-in with the law, Lewis' press conference after the move was kind of a revelation. He appeared to be far less than happy about the whole thing, and that makes sense -- when you give that many chances to one player who doesn't get it, you lose the rest of your team. Who will take your discipline seriously? When Chad Ocho Cinco was deactivated for last night's game against the Steelers, reportedly for walking out of a meeting, who took that seriously? Why should anyone on that team believe that the franchise is being run by anyone with half a clue? Lewis has been thrown under the bus -- this is how coaches lose teams.

Team stability starts at the top, and that's why the Bengals have been on the bottom for so long with just the occasional break in mediocrity.

By Doug Farrar  |  November 21, 2008; 12:23 PM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: November 21st Winner: VIEW FROM THE COUCH | Next: Brown's "Bungals"

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