Mike Brown Believes Bengals Are A Different Team Than One That Earned Bad Rep
The Bengals are preparing for their second appearance on HBO's "Hard Knocks" this season, and the "biggest reason" team Owner Mike Brown is receptive to doing the show again "is to show the Bengals are a different team on and off the field," according to Joe Reedy of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. Brown said, "Over the years we dug ourselves into a hole, and I’m probably the one who did it. We would bring in guys and work with them. Sometimes they came around, sometimes they didn’t." Reedy notes the team is "still a frequent punch line whenever a troubled player is on the market." But now being a "solid person counts just as much as what a player can do on the field." Brown: "The thing I do regret is how it came to make us, or put on us an image that I don’t think was ever anything but a very small part of what we were and sometimes not a part at all. In recent years I’ve tried to go the other way. I’ve just thought it’s too heavy a price to pay and we were going to go back to square one and bring in here guys that were sound people. We’d brought in sound people before, it’s just that on occasions we made exceptions. Now we’re not making exceptions." Brown said of the team's current roster, "These are good people, people that they should be proud to have represent them, to be the team from their city. That’s what we have and I want the public to know it" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 7/24).
CHANGE EXTENDS BEYOND ROSTER: While the Bengals' roster has had a makeover in recent years, ESPN's Michael Wilbon wondered whether the Bengals' business dynamic between the front office and the coaching staff was different than it had been in the past. SI's Peter King said, "The way that they're different is that I'm convinced that (coach) Marvin Lewis … and some of the guys on his coaching staff can walk into Mike Brown's office -- I'm not saying get whatever they want, but if they make a good argument for something, Mike Brown is going to give it to them. That's different from the old days when Paul and Mike Brown basically were running it their way and they weren't sort of in the modern NFL." King said Brown "has gotten to the point where he trusts Marvin Lewis and will listen to him about personnel and all decisions" ("PTI," ESPN, 7/23).