Tag:Bob Bratkowski
Posted on: January 20, 2011 10:06 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2011 11:30 pm
 

What will become of the Bengals offense?

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATE (11:28 p.m.):
Well, maybe Bratkowski isn't as safe as Lewis led us to believe. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy, Marvin Lewis and former Vikings coach Brad Childress were spotted having dinner together tonight.

An interesting twist, eh?

----------

We mentioned it earlier in Hot Routes, but I wanted to bring up once again the assumption that Bengals coach Marvin Lewis will NOT terminate offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski – who’s been in the position for more than a decade, longer than Lewis has been head coach.

C. Benson might not return to Cincinnati next season if offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski is back. (Quick aside about Bratkowski: aside from game day and from events that demand you cover your legs, you never see the guy in pants. He ALWAYS wears shorts. Twenty degrees outside at practice? Bratkowski wears shorts. Figure skating at Fountain Square in the snow? Bratkowski wears shorts. An expedition to the North Pole? Shorts.)

The Bengals fans seem fed up with Bratkowski, who put together some wonderful offenses in the middle of this decade (Carson Palmer, Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Rudi Johnson, etc.) but lately has not had the winning formula. That’s with the exception of last season when Cincinnati became a run-based offense that, perhaps not coincidentally, won the AFC North.

And this season was brutal. Palmer has completely regressed. Benson was overlooked at times. Ochocinco had the worst season of his career. So, why does it appear that Lewis will keep Bratkowski when it seems like the offensive coordinator’s tenure has grown rather stale?

Um, it’s kind of hard to tell. Read this quote and see if you can figure it out.

“(Fans) are clamoring for heads and I understand that. Right now at this point I’m not ready to give them heads yet and we’ll see what happens,” Lewis said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I understand the frustration. If we lop some heads maybe we’ll get better but maybe we wouldn’t but that’s what I’m looking at. Minimal might make things better and more productive. Making major changes rather than an overhaul of the system. A new system is harder than an overhaul and looking how we do it.”

Maybe part of the reason Lewis won’t fire Bratkowski is because owner Mike Brown won’t allow it. Other than that, it’s hard to figure why Lewis would keep his OC (Bratkowski being a nice guy and an extremely quotable coach probably don’t count as reasons).

ESPECIALLY, when you consider that RB Cedric Benson might not want to re-sign with the team if Bratkowski stays (Benson was irked that the team shifted away from that successful run-heavy offense and became more of a passing attack this season).

Said Lewis: “Ced’s passion and energy will make us a great football team again and I don’t want to curtail that and you have to take the bad with the good. I opened up the season talking that it was going to be difficult for Ced with all the attention going to the receivers and that he was going to have to hang through this.”

But one reason Benson might reconsider. Lewis plans to use fullbacks more often this season – Chris Pressley and Fui Vakapuna likely will compete for the starting spot that Jeremi Johnson used to hold.

And what about Chad Ochocinco? Well, if Lewis keeps firing so-called shots at his temperamental WR like this – “No one was talking about him. He couldn’t stand that,” Lewis said regarding some of Ochocinco’s latest Twitter offerings. “You want them to talk about you,
go win football games.” – he shouldn’t expect Ochocinco to want to return.

Of course, maybe that would be best for all anyway.

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Posted on: January 20, 2011 5:35 pm
 

Hot Routes 1.20.10: Favre's next stop



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • It appears at this point that Bengals coach Marvin Lewis won’t make many – if any – changes to his coaching staff. Cincinnati fans have fallen out of love with offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski, but it sounds like Lewis will bring him back anyway.
  • Former Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has taken that same job on Pete Carroll’s staff in Seattle. Well, since it doesn’t look like Brad Childress will return to coaching this year, I guess Brett Favre will just have to play next season with the Seahawks.
  • The Ravens gave up 40 sacks this season, and thus, Baltimore fired OL coach John Matsko and replaced him with assistant OL coach Andy Moeller – who faces seven charges, including DUI, from an arrest in September.
  • Packers fans probably aren’t happy to see the announcement that referee Terry McAulay’s crew will be working Sunday’s NFC title game. That’s because the last time McAulay had a Packers game, the crew penalized Green Bay 19 times (18 were accepted for 152 yards). For his part, Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy doesn’t sound too concerned.
  • Apparently, Bears LB Brian Urlacher and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers get along famously on the field. They have inside jokes, and they try to throw off the other one by calling out dummy audibles. Somebody needs to mic up those guys.
  • Once again, Bears S Chris Harris sat out practice today. He says he’s going to pla y Sunday, but you’d have to assume he’s going to have to get on the practice field at SOME point.
  • An interesting story in the NY Post on some of Darrelle Revis’ exploits in high school in a small Pennsylvania town.

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Posted on: January 6, 2011 8:53 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2011 9:23 pm
 

Hot Routes 1.6.11: Get your chapstick ready



Posted by Josh Katzowitz and Will Brinson 

  • Hey, you. Yeah, you. Not impressed with the job Tom Coughlin did this season? Think he should have been fired despite the Giants 10-6 record? Yeah? Well, you can kiss his ass, then. You all can line up and kiss his ass.
  • John Elway has joined Twitter. Hopefully, he won't be as psychedelic and, well, weird as Jim Irsay).
  • Mike Mularkey has decided not to interview for the Broncos head coaching job at this point, though he still will interview with the Browns. He wants to keep focused apparently on the Falcons playoff run.

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Posted on: December 3, 2010 10:02 am
 

Hot Routes 12.03.10: Is DeSean wary?



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

- Perhaps, DeSean Jackson would like to call the plays for the Eagles, as well. That’s a bit of a stretch but perhaps not too far out of the question. According to ESPN’s Sal Palantonio, via Pro Football Talk, Jackson and his representatives would like him to run less shallow crossing routes. Apparently, he’s concerned about concussions and how that would hurt his marketability for his next contract (because, then, he’d be liable to take a big hit from a linebacker or a safety). The NFL Network asked Jackson about this after the Thursday night game, and Jackson didn’t really give much credence to the report.

- So, Ben Roethlisberger actually has a broken foot, not a sprained one like the Steelers had been saying. Doesn’t matter. He’s still going to play this weekend, and apparently, it shouldn’t affect anything he would normally do on the field. It probably won’t feel real good, though.

- Remember that $150,000 UFL transfer fee that prevented a number of players from signing with NFL teams? Yeah, now it’s a $25,000 fee. Much more palatable, I’m sure, to NFL GMs and owners.

- Bengals fans want offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski’s head on a platter (actually, this has been their wish for the past several years). Here’s how Bratkowski responded to their bloodlust.

- Panthers CB Chris Gamble talked to reporters about why he missed practice last week, causing him to miss a start. Apparently, he made some kind of “out of mind decision.”

Well, what do you know? The Chargers special teams have begun to play better (not that they could have played much worse). That’s one reason why San Diego is streaking.

Jets kicker Nick Folk knows he’s on shaky ground, especially after the club brought in Kris Brown for a tryout Tuesday. Not surprisingly, Folk had a good day of practice Thursday.

Dolphins WR Brian Hartline has drawn five pass interference penalties from opposing defenses this year. The rest of the Miami receiving corps combined? Zero.

The Broncos said their memories of Kenny McKinley won’t be clouded by the recent revelations of his gambling problems.

Three Minnesota counties
have been wooing the Vikings to build a new stadium so the organization can remain in-state.

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Posted on: June 15, 2010 5:55 pm
 

The return of Ochocinco

CINCINNATI – As expected, Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco made his offseason debut Tuesday, and though he declared he was in tremendous shape, he didn’t get in much work during the first two practices of mini-camp.

Though Andy took my money quote ( in case you missed it, here it is: “I just need everybody to trust in me like birth control. I’m going to be there for you 99.9 percent of the time.” As an aside to the original aside, Jets CB Darrelle Revis could tell you about the other 0.1 percent of the time) , Ochocinco talked about why his teammates should trust him.

The question comes because Ochocinco missed voluntary workouts yet again – this year, he spent his time on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and he’s currently filming a reality dating show for vh1.

“I could die and resurrect and handle my business,” Ochocinco told us after the morning practice. “In general, people need to trust when I’m not here. That should never, ever, ever, ever be a question. Ever. You already know how I am when I get here. You know what you’re getting. It’s the outside. My teammates know what time it is.

“I just want everybody to remember that nothing has changed. It seems there are always questions when I’m not here. But I’m still training and working out the same way. The same way I’ve done in the past years. I’m still hungry, and I have a love and passion for this game. Nothing’s changed.”

Except that he’s not in the same kind of shape he’d be in if he had attended OTAs with most of the rest of his teammates. That’s why he didn’t get much action in the practices today.

“We didn’t want to overdo it,” offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski said. “If he hasn’t been doing a lot of football stuff, you have to ease him back into it. You can tell he hasn’t done a lot of football. I think he’s in pretty good shape, but there’s a big difference in football where you’re running routes and sticking your foot in the ground and putting pressure on your joints. You can tell he hasn’t been doing a lot of route running.”

Once minicamp ends Thursday, Ochocinco said he’ll fly to Las Vegas and train in the boxing gym with Floyd Mayweather Jr. to further his preparation for the season.

“It’s the quickness, the hand-eye coordination,” Ochocinco said. “My feet aren’t going anywhere. The cardio that boxing gives me, especially working out with him, will shot me up there. I’ll come back in stupid shape.”

Maybe in good enough shape to run through an entire practice.

--Josh Katzowitz

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