Tag Archives: Marvin Lewis

Week 9 NFL Power Rankings: Eagles take flight

Photo courtesy of blog.pennlive.com. LeSean McCoy (pictured above) has been simply sensational this year for Philadelphia. If this team finds a way into the postseason, much of it will be due to the featured running back.

By Wesley Kaminsky

It took seven games, a fourth quarter collapse against the 49ers, but the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles have finally arrived. In their 34-7 domination of the Cowboys on Sunday Night, every thing was clicking, and the self-proclaimed “Dream Team” looks as though they are finally figuring it all out. That wasn’t all that happened this weekend, though.

The Ravens needed an 18-3 second half effort to beat the Cardinals, 30-27, while the Saints got shocked in St. Louis 31-21. The wild season that is taking place this season just continues to get more unpredictable. Who had the Chiefs winning four straight games after their miserable 0-3 start? Seriously, did anybody have the 49ers, Bills, and Bengals with a combined 17-5 record at this point in the season?

I didn’t think so. Continue reading

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Five NFL Coaches on the Hot Seat in 2011

Photo courtesy of franklinstripfanatics.com. According to our very own Wesley Kaminsky, Marvin Lewis (pictured above) is one of five coaches on the hot seat as we get ready for the NFL season.

By Wesley Kaminsky

It’s almost that time of the year again, and yes I’m talking about the NFL season. With the lockout nearly over, it is time to start thinking about the 2011 NFL season, and forget about all the nonsense that went on this off-season.

Every year, at some point, there are head coaches fired during the season. It simply is something that always happens every season, and this season I expect nothing less.

There will be teams that exceed expectations, and teams that disappoint. If a team is struggling badly, the scrutiny is put right to the head coach. Here we go. Continue reading

“Food for Thought 1-5-2011”

Marvin Lewis (pictured above) will remain the Head Coach of the Cincinnati Bengals after a woeful 4 and 12 season that began with very high hopes in Cincinnati. Was this a good decision to bring Lewis back?

I apologize for my recent hiatus from the blogging world.  Over the past week and a half I had the pleasure of serving on the Orange Bowl Junior Host Committee.  In this position, I had the opportunity to stay with the Stanford Football Team at the luxurious Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami and enjoy a week full of festivities and hard work with the team, their families, the coaches, and illustrious alumni.  It was truly a phenomenal experience and something that I will not soon forget.

Boy has the sporting world been busy over these past couple of days though.  Here are my thoughts on some of the major headlines taking the sporting world by storm.

It was fun while it lasted Rich..

-Okay that is a false statement.  It was not fun while it lasted.  Rich Rodriguez had one of the most tumultuous and lackluster tenures ever in the history of the storied program out of Ann Arbor.  Coach Rodriguez, after a highly successful stay in Morgantown brought his talents to Michigan 3 years ago.  Boy did things go downhill from there.  Rich went a combined 15 and 22 during his time on the Wolverine sidelines, sporting a record of 6 and 18 in Big Ten play.  The most eye-popping statistic of all is that he went just 11 and 11 at home, in the “Big House.”  How is this possible to go just 500 playing in a stadium that seats over 112,000 people?  In my eyes, there is no excuse to go just 500 leading arguably College Football’s most storied program in front of over 112,000 screaming fans on Saturdays.  So who will be the next man to take over this once coveted position?  Could it be Jim Harbaugh?  Could it be Les Miles?  Who knows.  All I do know is that whomver the next coach is better win more games than they lose at the Big House.  Or they will be leaving the House in a hurry.

Buckeye Troublemakers escape in NOLA

-Generally Bourbon Street is not the best place to go when you have a team that is full of guys that have broken the rules and have an uneasy future.  Surprisingly though, for Ohio State, Bourbon Street provided just the medicine that their “Bad Boys” were looking for.  All 5 of the “troublemakers” contributed significantly to Ohio State’s first ever win versus an SEC opponent in a Bowl Game.  Now I know many of you out there are thinking that none of the 5 guys who broke the rules should have been suited up for this one.  And I fully agree with you.  But I will state that the 5 game suspension for next year is unreasonable and should most definitely be reduced.  I understand that these guys broke the rules, but I feel that what they did in no way garners a 5 game suspension.  Believe me, Arkansas was happy that the 5 Ohio State stars were not suspended for this Sugar Bowl duel.  They wanted to take on a Ohio State team at full strength. Mallett and the Razorbacks nearly pulled off an improbable comeback too.  The main storyline from this game in my eyes other than the Buckeyes saving face for the Big Ten, in what has been a horrific Bowl Season, should be Jim Tressel’s conservativeness.  The man with the sweater vest is the most conservative coach I have ever watched.  And I understand that he is a football genius and has won a lot of ballgames while on the sidelines in Buckeye Nation.  But his lack of imagination and “play not to lose” mentality is sickening.  I in a way wish Arkansas would have completed the comeback in this game.  It would have demonstrated how ridiculous Tressel’s boring and risk free play truly is.  The first step in loosening up Coach Tressel could be altering his wardrobe.  It would be a start.

Wild Wild West?

-Mark Cuban is making headlines again.  This time though, it is not for jawing at the refs or working to bring a playoff system to College Football.  On this occasion, it pertains to a war of words with current Los Angeles Laker’s Head Coach Phil Jackson.  The Dallas Mavericks just took a heavy blow to their roster in losing Caron Butler for an extended period of time due to a knee injury.  Butler is the Maverick’s third leading scoring at 15 points a game, and a real spark plug for Dallas on both ends of the floor.  Phil Jackson when asked about the subject said that the loss of Butler could be a devastating loss for the Mavericks.  Cuban responded calling Jackson Jeanie Buss’ “Boy Toy.”  Who doesn’t love a war of words between two of the biggest names that are not players the League has to offer?  So it is a bit childish.  Either way it makes for some entertainment.  Could this lead to a heated rivalry between Dallas and LA?  We will have to wait and see.  In the meantime, Jackson has work to do with his LA squad.  Though they are in first place sitting at 24 and 11, they recently suffered a 3 game losing streak at the end of December, and then began the new year with an embarrassing loss to Memphis.  I smell playoff drama come April/May.

Why Marvin?

-The Bengals decided to rehire their head coach of the past 8 years, Marvin Lewis.  I will state that I feel this is a poor decision not only for the Bengals, but for Coach Lewis as well.  This team has never developed a consistency level or gotten over the hump.  0 playoff wins in 8 years means no job in my eyes.  Now sure, Marvin has taken the woeful Who Deys to 2 AFC North Titles in 8 years, which is highly impressive for a franchise that had not participated in postseason ball in 15 years.  But the NFL is a what have you done for me lately League.  And what he has done lately has not been impressive.  A 4 and 12 mark with a team that featured the talent and depth that Cincy had this year is unacceptable.  I also realize that not all the blame should be pinned on Coach Lewis.  But in the NFL, regardless of if it is the Coach’s fault or not, they are normally the first guy to exit when a team is not winning.  When I look at things from Marvin’s perspective.  I do not understand why he would return.  Maybe he saw no other jobs out there that were of interest to him (though there are plenty of jobs on the market)?  Mike Brown will never let him have the control that he, and any other coach in the NFL desires.  Until Mike Brown goes, no Coach will ever see sustained success in Cincinnati.  So I guess as a Bengal’s fan, whether Marvin is on the sideline or not does not make a major difference.

There are my thoughts on some of the major topics going on in the sporting world today.  I am also game to talk about Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven being voted into the Hall of Fame and the Jim Harbaugh sweepstakes.  Shoot me an email with your thoughts and questions at contact@thesportskraze.com or post a comment below.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Food for Thought on 12-8-10”

Kansas Junior, Marcus Morris (pictured above), has turned into one of the most talented forwards in the country. Could he lead Kansas to a Big 12 Championship and a run to the Final Four?

Due to popular demand, I am going to bring back the “Food for Thought” concept and make this more of a weekly type of ordeal.  People want to hear my thoughts on the various topics going on in the always busy, wide world of sports, and this is a way for me to do that on a weekly basis.

So here are some of the main topics making headlines and my incite on them:

-The “Old School” Texas basketball squads are not looking so old.

Is anybody else amazed by the red-hot starts of both the San Antonio Spurs and the Dallas Mavericks?  Both of these teams that many called “too old” at the beginning of the season sport the League’s two best records.  The Spurs  are a formidable squad that has 5 players averaging 11 or more points a game.  This team is full of experience, deep, and led by one of the best coaches in the NBA.  And then you have the Mark Cuban squad out of Dallas.  The Mavs have now won 10 straight games and are just blowing away the competition.  Dallas also plays a great brand of team basketball and is being led by arguably the game’s greatest shooting 7 footer ever, in Dirk Nowitzki.  Nobody talked about either of these team’s as contenders in the Western Conference.  It appears the Wild Wild West will have to go through Texas come playoff time.

-“Pistol” Pete Sampras has lost his bling.

Pete Sampras was possibly the most consistent player ever to play on the men’s professional tennis tour and arguably the greatest of all time.  He was an amazing champion who sported the greatest 2nd serve of all time and had the innate ability to stay cool during even the most pressure filled situations.  Well this situation is something he is not accustomed too.  Between moving houses, he stored many of his tennis trophies and memorabilia at a Los Angeles Public Storage Facility.  Pete always was good at taking care of business on his own during his phenomenal career.  He was not only a great player on the court, but he was a great person off of it.  This incident demonstrates to Pete why he played an individual sport where he only needed to depend on himself.  It is hard to trust in others for anybody, but I am sure Sampras will have a very hard time after this unfortunate occurrence to trust anybody.  I really hope his trophies and various memorabilia are found in the near future.

-Dave Wannstedt bids adieu to Panther Nation.

Can anybody really say that they did not see this coming?  The man with maybe the best mustache in College Football spent 6 years in Panther Nation.  And nearly every year started with high expectations and ended with some sort of downer.  This was supposed to be the year for Pittsburgh.  The Big East was way down.  Their rival Cincinnati was going through a major coaching transition.  And  the Panthers were extremely talented with the likes of Dion Lewis, Jon Baldwin, and Greg Romeus.  Instead, Pitt opened up the year with a very disappointing loss to Utah. And never really got it all together, finishing at 7 and 5. Plus they failed to nab the Big East’s automatic BCS Bowl bid.  So although Pitt finally won a share of the Big East Championship this year, it was not good enough to get into the BCS Bowl.  Wannstedt seems like a good guy.  But boy does he struggle to win big games.  And in the highly competitive and intense atmosphere that is College Football, the difference between a good coach and a great coach is the ability to win big games.  Some guys have it.  Some guys do not.  Here is a final though on this topic.  Could anybody see Bengal’s current coach Marvin Lewis on the Pitt sidelines next September?  Weirder things have happened.

-It is Rock Chalk Time as the beat goes on in Lawrence.

And the beat goes on for the Jayhawks.  Sure this team started out the year ranked in the Top 10.  But last year was “the year” in Lawrence.  And with the departures of Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich, and Xavier Henry, nobody was expecting this team to be a Final Four Contender.   This team looks to have the potential to be the real deal.  Sure they have only played one real quality opponent.  Sure they struggled to victories over UCLA and Arizona.  But the Jayhawks are now 8 and 0, with a great opportunity to start conference play undefeated.  Plus they dominated a solid Memphis team on national television last evening.  This team plays phenomenally disciplined on the offensive end of the court.  They lead the country in assists per game and field goal percentage.  You know Bill Self has to be happy at the high percentage his team shoots from the floor and the way that they share the ball.  Marcus Morris has developed into one of the best forwards in the country and is extremely versatile.  The Morris twins remind me of the Lopez twins out of Stanford.  Could this team make some noise come March?  That is yet to be determined, but you better believe that these guys will contend with Kansas State for the Big 12 Title.

So there you have my “Food for Thought” on this Wednesday afternoon.  There is so much going on and I was only able to touch on a few things here.  If you want to hear my thoughts on anything else going on in the sporting world, please comment below and I will be sure to reply.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Cardiac Cats?”

After last night's heartbreaking loss to the rival Steelers, many are calling for an end to the Marvin Lewis/Carson Palmer era. And I cannot say that I disagree at this point.

Initial Outlook
Last year the Bengals were known nationally as the “Cardiac Cats.”  A team that continuously won close games.  In Weeks 3 through 5 last season, the Bengals gave most Cincinnatians heart attacks in winning three straight games by 3 points.  Each of these games were capped off by a Carson Palmer version of the 2 minute drill.  The Bengals were a team that played old school smash mouth football and won ugly.  This was supposed to be the year where they continued to win, but also regained the 2005 swagger offensively.  With the arrival of TO and the drafting of Jermaine Gresham, this offense was supposed to provide fireworks every week.

Things have not panned out that way.

This year’s team has lost 4 times by a TD or less.  They cannot win a close game.  Tonight, they gave the Steelers a free 10 point spot due to special teams blunders.  That has been the story of the year for this group.  Mistake after mistake.  A lack of discipline in all facets.  The MNF Crew stated it best.  The Bengals are a team with a boat load of “potential.”  The Steelers are a team that “produces.”  What would you prefer?

Recap of Tonight’s Blunder

Tonight the team showed some life in the 4th and almost put on a performance reminiscent of last season’s “Cardiac Cats,” but with style.  It didn’t happen.  Chad Ochocinco whimpered and wilted under the pressure.  Our most sure handed receiver, Jordan Shipley dropped a pass in the numbers on the last play.  Cedric Benson only accounted for 54 yards on the ground.  Leon Hall, one of the top cornerbacks not only on the team, but arguably in the entire League, fell asleep at the wheel on a 39 yard TD pass to Mike “Flash” Wallace at the start of the 4th Quarter.  And I could go on.

The sad thing is they really pushed the Steelers to the limit tonight.  The Who Deys were down 20 points in the 4th Quarter to arguably the best team in the AFC and had a chance to win down the stretch.  The aerial attack started clicking.  The defense played lock down football for the majority of the 4th quarter.  But it just wasn’t in the cards tonight.  The ending of this game was a prime demonstration of why the Steelers are 6 and 2 and the Bengals are 2 and 6.  These are two teams heading in very different directions.

A Makeover is Needed

This team has provided some flash and glamour the past couple of weeks.  It has not amounted to wins.  The Bengals are currently on a 5 game losing streak and are inhabiting the cellar of the AFC North. Better yet, this team has lost 10 of their last 13 games dating back to last season. Should Marvin be on the hot seat? 

You better believe it.  This is by far the most talented and deep team of the Marvin Lewis era.  Yet they are in last place.  As Wade Phillips learned yesterday in Dallas, if you have a talented squad and you don’t produce W’s, the Coach is the first guy to go.  Marvin may be a good guy, but his time has come.  The  Lewis/Palmer era needs to come to a close.

Both Marvin and Carson are great guys.  But they have not been able to get over the hump.  Lewis is running an extremely undisciplined ship which continually gets ripped on by every NFL analyst across America (rightfully so).  And watching Carson can just be super frustrating at times in that all of Cincinnati knows what he is capable of.  Sadly for the city, he never reached that potential, which seems to be a common theme for this squad, and really this franchise.

Lastly, Bob Bratkowski, the Bengal’s Offensive Coordinator must go.  He runs the most bland and vanilla offense I have ever watched.  Even with a team that features the likes of Owens, Ochocinco, Shipley, and Gresham.  Now I know many of you are thinking that his play calling in the 4th was okay last night.  And it was.  But the only time Bratkowski lets Carson utilize his weapons is when the team is down by 14 or more in the 4th Quarter.  Give me a break.  Why can’t the offensive playbook be open from the 1st Quarter on.  What does this team has to lose at this point?

This Bengal’s team is tough to watch.  There were high expectations coming into the season even before the Who Deys picked up one of the all time great receivers in Terrell Owens.  The arrival of the TO Show instantly made the Cincy boys a contender.  Well that has not been the case.

Overall Thoughts

-Though Carson showed glimpses tonight, he is not a shell of what he was in 2005. 

-This team is horrible all around on special teams even including the sure footed Mike Nugent tonight. Quan Cosby may be the worst punt returner in the entire NFL.  Why would you have a guy returning punts that is 0 threat to ever take one back?  

-The O-line cannot protect.  Carson seemed to be rushed on every play the entire 2nd half even when the comeback was being amounted. 

-Chad Ochocinco is not Chad Johnson.  His head is “Dancing With the Stars.” 

-Cedric Benson has shown big play ability on the ground, but he does not get much opportunity since this team is always fighting for dear life to come back late in games. 

-And Marvin Lewis’s squad is extremely undisciplined all around.  This team is highly penalized and makes a plethora of mental mistakes every game.  What was going through Leon Hall’s head on the deep ball to Mike Wallace at the beginning of the 4th Quarter tonight? 

-I mean this team has the 3rd ranked defense in the NFL in regards to yards given up a game.  Yet they are 2 and 6?

Final Thoughts

I am still a huge Bengal’s fan.  I am still pulling for this team to save face this year.  But this is definitely not the “Cardiac Cats” from a year ago.  People can still refer to this Bengal’s team as the “Cardiac Cats,” but not for the same reasons they were called this nickname in 2009. This team really needs a makeover in the offseason.  It will all start with getting a new head coach and a new quarterback sadly.

What are your thoughts?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Weekly Nickel”

The saying goes, "Perception is a reality." Well Bengal's Head Coach, Marvin Lewis (pictured above), is in desperate need of a big time Monday Night Football win against the rival Steelers.

The 3rd edition of the Weekly Nickel is here.  And boy do we have another exciting week ahead of us in the sporting stratosphere.  All the major sports are overlapping at this point, and you got to love it.  Next week at this time, the baseball season will be in the books.

5.  The NBA is already a few games in.  The Heat could possibly be forreal after giving an execution to the Magic this weekend.  But my best matchup of the week takes place tonight.  My two sleeper teams match up in what should be a great game between two of the League’s top young teams.  Portland heads to the windy city to take on a very talented Chicago Bulls team.  Who you got?

4.  The NFL flys into Week 9.  Hard to believe this season is already halfway finished.  The Chiefs continue to shock the entire league as they remain in first place in the AFC West.  Also do not forget about Dallas and San Francisco dwindling in the cellars of their divisions.  The NFL is the most parity filled professional sport we have.

3.  The 10th week of NCAA Football.  The BCS picture is starting to become a bit clearer (if that is possible).  And there are some major matchups this weekend.  Two top five opponents, TCU and Utah are set to rumble.  A major SEC duel between Alabama and LSU, possibly the two best 1 loss teams in the country.  Plus there are a couple of other matchups between ranked foes.  Saturday will be a Gameday to remember.

2.  Could San Francisco be bringing home a World Series?  This franchise has not won a world title since 1954.  And that was a Willie Mays led Giant’s team that played in New York.  Could history be made this week in the bay area?

1.  Fine I am a homer.  But the biggest sporting event coming up this week is the Bengals Monday Night Football Showdown with the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.  For most of America, this is just your typical Monday Night matchup, but for Cincinnati, this is a game that could make or break the season.  Sure the Who Deys have been highly disappointing and sit at just 2 and 5, but a win against the Steelers in front of a huge national audience could help save the season in a way.  It could also help save the job of Head Coach, Marvin Lewis.

So there you have the 3rd edition of the Weekly Nickel.  Let me hear your thoughts.  Do you agree with my top 5?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Who Dey Disaster?”

Terrell Owens (pictured above), a star receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals was on the receiving end of over 220 yards today and a Touchdown. But it was not enough to lead his team to victory over their interstate rival, the Cleveland Browns.

If you are a Cincinnati Bengal’s fan, you are probably not having the best of Sunday’s.  Any loss for the home town team hurts.  But a lost to the abysmal Brownies, who were 0 and 3 coming into the 1st edition of this year’s “Battle of Ohio” Throwdown?  Things just went from bad, to real bad.

The Bengals today once again demonstrated why they appear to not quite be ready to join the League’s upper tier.  Now, I am by no means saying this team will not make the playoffs.  I would be crazy to say that with the talent this squad possesses.  But at 2 and 2, things have not looked good for a team surrounded by much hype.

Lets take a quick look at what transpired today in Cleveland.

The Bengals took on a less than flattering Brown’s team led by long time backup, Seneca Wallace.  In this game, the Who Deys had over 115 more total yards than our opponent.  Cincinnati was also more efficient than their opponent both rushing and passing. Cincy’s big time receiver, TO, had over 220 yards receiving on 10 catches. Yet the Bengals took an L, and had their faces smashed in by former Arkansas Razorback, 3rd string RB, Peyton Hillis.  This guy, who defines what it means to be a bruiser, really hurt the Who Deys late in the game, really solidifying the Browns first win of the season.  The difference in this one though, a blocked field goal.  And it was not Cincinnati’s “quarter season MVP,” Mike Nugent’s fault.  A Brown’s defender came in untouched to block Nugent’s field goal attempt.

So are the Bengals in big trouble standing at 2 and 2?  Currently, we are ranked 15th in the League in overall offense and passing offense.  We are only 18th in the League in rushing.  Last year, we were 24th in the League in overall offense, 26th in the passing game, and 9th overall rushing.  So though I would like to see Cedric and the gang get it going more on the ground, there is no reason to panic offensively.  Defensively, we currently rank 9th overall in the League,  with the 11th ranked defense against the pass, and 13th against the run.  Last year, the AFC North Champion Bengals ranked 4th in the NFL in overall defense.  With a passing defense that was ranked 6th, and a ground stopping attack that ranked 7th.  So the defense has fallen a little, but not much.

So sure the Bengals took a very bad loss today.  But there is no reason to give up on this team yet.  Their numbers are not really any worse than last year’s playoff team.  People just have to accept that Marvin’s team plays down to the level of their competition every week and win in somewhat of an ugly fashion.  Either way a win is a win.  But I will state that this year’s schedule is much tougher than last years.

So what are your thoughts?  Maybe Carson is the problem?  Or maybe it is the play calling from Bob Bratkowski? Can this team bounce back and compete for the AFC North Title or are we on the way to a Who Dey Disaster?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze