Bengals Need A Voice Like Mike Tomlin’s

Mike Tomlin is under fire for “regrettable” language during his postgame speech. But, his raw fire and edge may be what the Bengals need.

Well, here we go. At the risk of sounding like a Bengals sellout, the truth has to be explored in print. If you haven’t seen or heard the latest, Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin is under fire. Seems like Antonio Brown was doing a little social media posting and Tomlin was caught using some, er, choice words. In the background, the Steelers coach can be heard giving a “lively” post-game pep talk. A little foul language? Geez, the Bengals could use that type of fire and brimstone.

Before we get too caught up in the moment, let me share some credentials. Yes, I’m a homer for the Bengals. If you prick my finger for a blood sugar test (that’s enough pain), I bleed orange and black. Please, don’t judge and call me a bandwagon believer. My roots with the Bengals go back to 1975. The Stripes were founded in 1968 and seven years later yours truly was a raving maniac. There. End of story.

There’s still the need for honesty and openness. Unfortunately, that’s something most true fans are afraid to do. Yes, Tomlin said some nasty little words to his team. He ruffled some feathers with those who aren’t used to hearing that type of language. It’s about to get real folks. Cover your eyes if you don’t want to read the rest. 

Football has always been a profanity-laced field of cockeyed dreams. If anyone has ever watched Hard Knocks, the language is not G-Rated. Coaches are essentially in charge of kids in the bodies of grown men. Well, not all of them. The situation differs among franchises. But, the bottom line doesn’t change. Coaches have to find what motivates their players.

Time To Say It

Here it is (takes deep breaths and wrings hands). The Bengals need a coach like Tomlin. Marvin Lewis has become a passive leader and so have some of his players. This is not a cry for Lewis to go ham and become a tyrant. But, Tomlin has the admiration of his players. He walks the walk and says what’s on his mind.

Honestly, what coach likes to lose? But, Tomlin looks like he wants to personally bodyslam his team–one player at a time–after any loss. Now, compare his post game interviews with those of Lewis. Marvelous Marv gives you tons of giggling, soft almost incoherent excuses, and the word “football” almost every five words. Well, maybe he doesn’t say it that much. But, you get the idea.

Tomlin did nothing wrong. You’re probably asking, “Excuse me, have you lost your mind?” No, but some players respond to a stern leadership figure. Without getting into the Freudian aspect of things, it’s all about fear and respect. When Lewis arrived on the shores of the great Ohio River, he showed more fire. Over time, the passion seems to have died. His eye for talent is his saving grace.

Former Bengals wide receiver Tim McGee said it best via Paul Daugherty of The Cincinnati Enquirer.

“Look at Marvin and look at Mike. Marvin has more of a passive personality.  The Bengals play more passively, let’s face it. With Mike, when you go into battle, he’s there with you. Look at the way he dresses. He looks like a player who’s on injured reserve.’’

Lewis just kinda…stands there in disbelief. You know, like that deer caught in the high beams. Then he just shakes his head and walks away. I’m all for the long thought process if it has a terrific ending.

Gimme That Old Time Religion

To set the record straight, this doesn’t mean I’ll be cheering for the Black and Gold ( or is Wiz Khalifa right?). But, it does mean the Bengals need a hard edged voice like that of Tomlin. Marvin has promised no talk and all action this year.

As usual, fans have heard that before. If he dons some shades, calls out players and becomes a badass, things could get interesting. Until then, the giggles and playoff losses will be Cincinnati’s reward. 

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