Okay, so while here at the Gab we’re all still rejoicing about the long-overdue dispatching of one Bob Bratkowski, apparently some circles of Bengaldom have already moved on to a more familiar emotion: Cynicism. Reedy wrote:
Getting rid of Bratkowski on Super Bowl week puts the Bengals at a disadvantage. Almost all of the other coordinator jobs throughout the league have been filled and the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis will begin on Feb. 23. When Bresnahan was fired, it took 13 days to hire Mike Zimmer.
Now it’s no longer good enough that Brat is gone. Now we must chew over the timing. Why do it now? Why wait until the “cream of the crop” candidates were swallowed up? Why screw Bratkowski out of other job opportunities? Why make him go to the Senior Bowl? Why not fire him the Monday after the season finale? We’ve gone from “Hip-Hip-Hooray” to “Why? Why? Why?”
Sheesh. My usual admiration notwithstanding, I’m a bit perplexed by the questioning coming from the likes of Paul Daugherty and Joe Reedy, who usually seem to have a common-sense approach to Bengal moves (good and bad). In the interests of said common sense, here are a few answers to those “Why’s?”:
Why wouldMarvin Lewis and Mike Brown fire Bratkowski right after the season? That makes no sense. When the season ended Lewis’ status was still up in the air, let alone that of his assistants. Once his status was secured, then and only then could he begin the process of evaluating his team and coaches.
There was no secret that Lewis wanted to coach the Senior Bowl to get a jump on scouting for the draft. He likewise would know that a staff in flux would hurt the team’s chances at getting the invite, so canning Bratkowski before then made no sense. Besides, he would certainly not have the position filled before the game, nor would the new OC have enough time to learn Bratkowski’s offense, let alone install his own with the players and his new assistants in a week’s time.
Seems simple to me.
Meanwhile, the week of practices in Mobile allowed Lewis to peruse the available talent looking for jobs, interview candidates and analyze resumes.
Regarding the fact that they lost out on some potential OC candidates like Charlie Weiss or Josh McDaniels: Do you really think they were on Lewis’ list? And there’s still plenty of coaching talent to choose from. The Bengals never make rash decisions, and this is no exception.
As for the faux concern for Bratkowski’s career, all I can do is chuckle. Gimme a break. Everybody wants to care about the guy now that he’s no longer their problem and that’s plain laughable. But for the record, Bratkowski will still be paid by the Bengals for 2011, which he was under contract for. He’ll basically collect a paycheck this year and be able to explore future opportunities if he chooses to do so for the next several months. Bottom line: Don’t weep for poor Bob.
So to sum up, I don’t see anything unusual or out of place in the handling of this situation when the preceding events are considered. I suspect Marvin Lewis had a pretty good idea of the two or three guys he’s considering before he let Brat go, and in point of fact the Bengals might be finalizing the deal with the choice as we speak.
So to my fellow Bengal followers: Relax. I realize the team has bungled the offseason so far, but stop with the constant fretting and complaining and for at least 24 hours, enjoy the good news.
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