Every day there are three things, here are those three things.
This dopey little feature took a brief break last week and yesterday because I've been busy. I'm sure you were concerned.
(Photo: Getty Images)
1) You're up, Andy. The first scapegoat has been sacrificed, and now with Bill Lazor repalcing Ken Zampese as Bengals offensive coordinator, the onus is now squarely on Andy Dalton.
Meaning that his job shouldn't be as safe as it might be.
And that's coming from me, someone who's been among Andy's bigger defenders the past few seasons.
I don't believe that AJ McCarron is necessarily "better" Andy Dalton. Nor do the Bengals. Nor, for that matter, does the rest of the NFL.
That said....the Bengals swapped out one coordinator for another so early in the season as a means of saving 2017. It's worth noting how unprecedented a move this was for them to illustrate how desperate they are - at least off the field - to turn this season around. Once you've kicked into desperation mode, you don't just end there.
Which means that Andy Dalton's leash should be relatively short.
That, of course, doesn't mean that it will be, but if you're stepping out of your organizational comfort zone and making in-season coaching changes before its too late, are you really riding and dying with Dalton until the ship either starts to sail or completely sinks? Does turning to McCarron when their fate has already been decided do anything other than raise McCarron's relatively low NFL stock?
The answers are, of course, no. This doesn't mean that Andy should get pulled the second he makes a mistake against the Packers. It does mean that a head coach that's never changed quarterbacks from one week to the next or benched one in favor of another mid-game should be willing to pull the plug on Andy - even if temporarily - if the offense remains punchless.
They acted quickly in changing offensive coordinators. They should be equally swift in changing quarterbacks if the offense looks the same and remains as unproductive.
2) Fine, I'll take the Colin Kaepernick bait. Pro Football Talk came out with this report that indicated that some Bengals players want the team to bring in Colin Kaepernick. Of course, freezing cold water has been thrown on that story by respected local journalists who actually cover the team, so you don't have to get worked into a froth quite yet.
However, since yesterday morning, I've gotten a half dozen emails from people that I ordinarily don't hear from regarding the Bengals signing Kaepernick. One emailer is in favor of it. The other five are essentially threatening to swear off the Bengals for good if they put Kaepernick in orange and black.
I'll type my opinions on Colin Kaepernick here, probably for the last time, and I'll copy and paste the following words if this topic comes up again.
Ready? Here goes. For the first and final time....
You cannot convince me that Colin Kaepernick isn't one of the 50-60 most qualified people on the planet to hold the job title of "NFL quarterback."
The Bengals, right now, do not need a quarterback. If they did, I would have absolutely no problem with them signing one of the 50-60 most qualified people on the planet to play quarterback to play quarterback for them.
People who offend - and I wasn't offended by Kaepernick's anthem protest because I've seen people ignore the anthem for years - don't bother me. People who hurt others do. We've long since reconciled ourselves with the Bengals signing and retaining people who actually hurt others. Therefore, I don't understand why anyone would take issue with them obtaining a player merely guilty of offending. The Bengals have players guilty of actions. Kaepernick is guilty - and that's really not the right word - of a gesture. Gestures are usually harmless.
I believe the blowback that any team would get for signing Kaepernick would be loud at the beginning and die down very quickly.
I don't think that bringing in a quarterback midseason to fix a team is the right answer. If the Bengals are going to improve, it's going to be because the players currently on their roster - namely the ones that play offense - start performing better.
That's all I've got. You're welcome to disagree. It's allowed.
3) This represents progress, no?
OK, so not every start has been a gem, and you'd like to see more length from Homer and fewer walks from Bob, but for the most part, you're looking at three logs of encouraging - and sometimes, excellent - starts.
Remember the whole "we need to find out who will or can be in next year's rotation" thing? I think we've gotten some answers.
Radio Show: Lots to get to today, mainly Bengals. Paul Dehner Jr. is at 4:05. Andy Benoit, who did this on what the Bengals do next with their new offensive coordinator, at a time TBD. The fun starts at 3:05 on ESPN1530.
Recommended Link Of The Day: ESPN's Bill Barnwell does as good a job as anyone of diving into the NFL's quality of play issue. I'm not sure I agree with all of his points, but it's thorough, and well-done, and you can skip past the Kaepernick part if you choose.