Things keep happening in Cincinnati. Occasionally, some of them are good.
Coach Marvin Lewis made some changes to his coaching staff, adding James Urban as the Cincinnati Bengals wide receivers coach and giving additional duties to staff members Paul Guenther and David Lippincott. Urban replaces Mike Sheppard, who left to become quarterbacks coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
It’s hard not to believe the Bengals are in a major transition, although the hiring of Urban is clearly positive. He was promoted to assistant offensive coordinator by the Philadelphia Eagles recently after spending two seasons as the team’s quarterbacks coach, and Michael Vick’s improvement at quarterback can be partly attributed to Urban’s touch.
Meantime, the Bengals remain their dysfunctional selves. Quarterback Carson Palmer still wants out and has reportedly put his house on the market. Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco has been quiet for a while after verbally sparring with Lewis, and Terrell Owens … well, he’s being his usual T.O.
Owens isn’t expected to return to Cincinnati, so he’s still paving his way out the door with his “it starts from the top down” criticism of the organization. Appearing on NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access” show last Friday, here’s some of what he said:
“What a lot of people really don’t think and really don’t understand about this situation with Carson asking to be out of there (is) he’s saying something without really saying something.
“That’s what a lot of people should read (into it),” he added. “There is a line that needs to be read in there. He knows that there’s some things within that organization that just aren’t right. Obviously, Chad tried to get out of there a few years back, and obviously that didn’t work well for him. Obviously, if you have your franchise quarterback, who is supposed to be that guy for your team, trying to get out of there, that’s kind of telling the organization something, and that’s telling a lot of people out there something as well.”
Such as … ?
“I think if you look at the talent we had in that locker room this year and we mustered four wins, that should let you know something is not right,” he said. “Throughout the year, I saw some things that really wasn’t right.
“I’ve made a comment about if you’re trying to win some championships, it starts from the top down. (Warren Sapp) mentioned (owner) Mike Brown; I think even before I got there, they said the owner was a little different. Obviously, I saw that. You start with the head coach, and then you start with the staff on both sides of the ball. … Offensively, we really didn’t have the coaching that we really needed to muster what we had on the offensive side of the ball.”
You’ve got to give credit to Owens for speaking his mind. Also for making sure his playing days with the Bengals are over.
One thing we know for sure: He won’t be working with his new receivers coach next season.
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