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Mike Brown hopes Hard Knocks will help Bengals shed “almost villainous” image

MikeBrown AP

As the Bengals prepare for their second stint on Hard Knocks in four years, owner Mike Brown has explained the franchise’s reasoning for doing it.

“What we found when we did that show was people saw us differently,” Brown tells Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com.  “They saw us more positively.  They saw us as just people.”

Actually, former receiver Chad Johnson/Ochocinco/Johnson was seen as a caricature.  In hindsight, his “child please” overexposure during 2009 training camp was the point at which the whole thing started to come off the rails for him.  While he had 1,047 receiving yards that year, getting shut down by Darrelle Revis in consecutive weeks to close the campaign greased the skids toward the collapse of his career.

“We sometimes are portrayed as almost villainous,” Brown added.  “The players are sometimes thought to be selfish or even criminal. I’m going to the far end of the spectrum there, but we get some very difficult criticism.”

Um, Mike?  The players are sometimes thought to be criminal because (wait for it) some of them are criminals.  Or at least they were criminals, back when the Bengals didn’t have much of a scouting staff and so in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft, the Bengals gravitated toward talented players who slid down the board because of off-field issues, like arrests.

The change coincided with a decision to beef up the scouting department, along with a belief that, when coach Marvin Lewis opted to stay with the team after his contract expired in early 2011, he insisted on a different strategy for loading up the locker room.

Now, the Bengals aren’t viewed as “almost villainous.”  They’re considered, at least by us, to be almost elite.  And they could end the season as almost NFL champions.  Or even better.

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41 Responses to “Mike Brown hopes Hard Knocks will help Bengals shed “almost villainous” image”
  1. skinswillsurprise says: Jul 23, 2013 10:23 AM

    In case you need it.

    Villainous
    1.Relating to, constituting, or guilty of wicked or criminal behavior.
    2. Extremely bad or unpleasant.

    Your welcome.

  2. GenXJay says: Jul 23, 2013 10:24 AM

    Headline: “….most laughable team”

  3. The Prophet says: Jul 23, 2013 10:25 AM

    “Villainous?” I think “insignificant” would be a better word to describe my opinion of the Bengals franchise.

  4. kane337 says: Jul 23, 2013 10:29 AM

    I hope the Bengals have a great season. I’m not even a fan of their team.

  5. doctormantistoboggan says: Jul 23, 2013 10:30 AM

    I just hope there is no footage of a braless Andre Smith running the 40 . . .

  6. southpaw2k says: Jul 23, 2013 10:32 AM

    Considering they made the playoffs each of the last two years but failed to win a game at all, I have a hard time thinking the Bengals are close to being called an elite team, even in the fairly mediocre AFC.

    Plus, during Andy Dalton’s career to date the Bengals have beaten only two quality teams, both of which came last season: the Giants and the Steelers. He needs to beat the likes of Tom Brady and/or Peyton Manning if the Bengals are going to take the next step.

  7. thereep says: Jul 23, 2013 10:35 AM

    “That’s the way we think of ourselves. We don’t think we’re a football organization. We think of ourselves as just people.”

    Well Mike, the rest of the league thinks of you as just people too and they’re happy to see you on their schedule.

  8. rdrs68 says: Jul 23, 2013 10:36 AM

    I can think of a lot more things they are called but villainous isn’t one of them. Dream on Mike you just wish you were “bad” enough to be thought of in those terms. You want villainous then look at the John Madden era Raiders and we all know that the Bungals ain’t even close.

  9. floratiotime says: Jul 23, 2013 10:37 AM

    They could always stop getting arrested …. … … naw !

  10. bengalguy says: Jul 23, 2013 10:37 AM

    C’mon Haters…….in 3…..2…..1……….

  11. twilson962 says: Jul 23, 2013 10:47 AM

    I’m no Bengal fan. I have no strong opinion about the Bengals either way… But, I don’t think he’s villainous. I think he’s cheap. At least that’s been the perception for a long time. However with their recent success, and future potential, he’s beginning to look more shrewd.

    Hanging on to Carson Palmer, when he clearly wanted out… only to wisely bilk Al Davis into giving up entirely too many draft picks.

    When many teams would’ve probably bounced Marvin Lewis, he’s hung on to him.

  12. mjzaky says: Jul 23, 2013 11:09 AM

    I think they’ve shed that image honestly. Bringing in quality guys like A.J. Green and Dalton while jettisoning Chad Johnson and Carson Palmer marked a pretty clear transition from the old Bengals to a new team with new players contending for a title each season.

  13. uniquelyunbiased says: Jul 23, 2013 11:11 AM

    The most “villainous” team in the NBA won the championship the last two years. You shouldn’t be trying to shed that.

  14. dhragonn says: Jul 23, 2013 11:15 AM

    Elite is a major stretch for the Bengals.

  15. jobotjones says: Jul 23, 2013 11:15 AM

    Almost?…

  16. GenoAtkinswillnotbestopped says: Jul 23, 2013 11:15 AM

    skinswillsurprise says: Jul 23, 2013 10:23 AM

    In case you need it.

    Villainous
    1.Relating to, constituting, or guilty of wicked or criminal behavior.
    2. Extremely bad or unpleasant.

    Your welcome.

    ——

    *You’re*

  17. 1newprodigy says: Jul 23, 2013 11:22 AM

    The sad reality is a year from now everyone will forget about all the patriots and broncos woes of this off season and continue to criticize the bengals because of their 2007 season.in the last 5 years there are over a dozen teams who have had more arrests, some of which alot worse than anything a bengal has ever done but ppl just like to pick on the small kid on the block. The bengals WILL win a super bowl in the next few years and then they will have the last laugh. Keep on hating trolls and continue to be ignorant to facts and keep on following cause thats all you will ever be in life is a follower.

  18. zeke2517 says: Jul 23, 2013 11:23 AM

    It’s not that they’re looked at as villains, it’s that seven people in the entire world give a crap about Ohio. Maybe eight. Whatever.

    They were already on Hard Knocks… And still no one cares.

    “C’mon Haters…….in 3…..2…..1……….”

    Not hate. We honestly just don’t care.

  19. kcchiefs19 says: Jul 23, 2013 11:30 AM

    It is hard to have an image when most people don’t really think about you or your image.

  20. bengalsucker says: Jul 23, 2013 11:32 AM

    no Mike Brown. people saw you as the most ignorant owner/gm in all of sports after your classroom style meeting to your coaches giving them your suggestions of player position changes. we saw the looks on their faces and it wasn’t pretty. you personally made this franchise look even worse. I truely hope you keep your ugly mug off camera this time around. it’d be best for you and the org.

  21. jwil007 says: Jul 23, 2013 11:37 AM

    thereep says:
    Jul 23, 2013 10:35 AM
    “That’s the way we think of ourselves. We don’t think we’re a football organization. We think of ourselves as just people.”

    Well Mike, the rest of the league thinks of you as just people too and they’re happy to see you on their schedule.”

    So who is happy to see us on their schedule??? Redskins, Giants, Eagles??? Beat Bmore and Pitt last year swept the div in 09 with Palmer and 3 playoffs appearances in 4 years… Come on NFL Fans don’t let your personal feelings cover up YOUR knowledge of NFL Teams… Study the team such as how Whitworth paid for a kids funeral who died at football practice….99% of this team is busting their butts in the community while SOME media and many fans focus on the past teams and the 1 or 2 players we do have an issue with…I hope every team my team plays this year is looking forward to playing the Bengals on the schedule this year…LOL. Finally, just look at the past 4 or 5 drafts and how the players have responded from those drafts…progress takes time and they are definitely making positive progress.

  22. toybkshr says: Jul 23, 2013 11:38 AM

    All he has to do is: everytime some player on a rookie deal not a Bengal get’s busted, is to stick to his story, “we took him off our draft board” LOL!

  23. cincyfan1987 says: Jul 23, 2013 11:50 AM

    “Zeke:
    It’s not that they’re looked at as villains, it’s that seven people in the entire world give a crap about Ohio. Maybe eight. Whatever.

    They were already on Hard Knocks… And still no one cares.

    “C’mon Haters…….in 3…..2…..1……….”

    Not hate. We honestly just don’t care.”

    You are typing quite a lot on this post to not care.

    “kcchiefs19
    Jul 23, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT
    It is hard to have an image when most people don’t really think about you or your image.”

    Says a chiefs fan…move along little one.

  24. mikebrownistheworstownerinprosports says: Jul 23, 2013 11:52 AM

    @zeke2517: You cared enough to comment, duh.

  25. 6thsense79 says: Jul 23, 2013 11:53 AM

    twilson962 says:
    Jul 23, 2013 10:47 AM
    I’m no Bengal fan. I have no strong opinion about the Bengals either way… But, I don’t think he’s villainous. I think he’s cheap. At least that’s been the perception for a long time. However with their recent success, and future potential, he’s beginning to look more shrewd.

    Hanging on to Carson Palmer, when he clearly wanted out… only to wisely bilk Al Davis into giving up entirely too many draft picks.
    ——
    All Davis traded for Carson Palmer? That’s impressive considering All was dead when the trade went down.
    When many teams would’ve probably bounced Marvin Lewis, he’s hung on to him.

  26. winkeroni says: Jul 23, 2013 12:04 PM

    I think the Patriots have done their part in helping the Bengals shed the villainous tag.

  27. vikingsrulez69 says: Jul 23, 2013 12:04 PM

    I’m still trying to process why the bengals are “almost elite” yet my Vikes are middle of the pack…

  28. southpaw2k says: Jul 23, 2013 12:17 PM

    jwil007 says:
    Jul 23, 2013 11:37 AM
    thereep says:
    Jul 23, 2013 10:35 AM
    “That’s the way we think of ourselves. We don’t think we’re a football organization. We think of ourselves as just people.”

    Well Mike, the rest of the league thinks of you as just people too and they’re happy to see you on their schedule.”

    So who is happy to see us on their schedule??? Redskins, Giants, Eagles??? Beat Bmore and Pitt last year swept the div in 09 with Palmer and 3 playoffs appearances in 4 years… Come on NFL Fans don’t let your personal feelings cover up YOUR knowledge of NFL Teams… Study the team such as how Whitworth paid for a kids funeral who died at football practice….99% of this team is busting their butts in the community while SOME media and many fans focus on the past teams and the 1 or 2 players we do have an issue with…I hope every team my team plays this year is looking forward to playing the Bengals on the schedule this year…LOL. Finally, just look at the past 4 or 5 drafts and how the players have responded from those drafts…progress takes time and they are definitely making positive progress.

    ———————————————-

    I don’t think the Bengals are a pushover team like they were for so long. However, I don’t know they’re poised to be considered one of the elite teams in the conference or the entire league yet. Andy Dalton hasn’t yet beaten any of the elite teams in the league (yes, the Bengals beat the Ravens in Week 17, but the Ravens had rested most of their starters for the playoffs during that game), so it’s hard for me to consider them one of the top 5 teams in the AFC. You’ve got some excellent pieces for a competitive team, starting with AJ Green and Geno Atkins, but win a playoff game or two before promoting yourselves as one of the best teams in the league.

  29. granadafan says: Jul 23, 2013 12:22 PM

    Mike Brown was so cheap he just used Mel Kiper’s big draft board instead of scouts. I’m surprised he actually paid for the Insider account on ESPN.

  30. rajbais says: Jul 23, 2013 12:25 PM

    Even though Mike Brown is making too big of a deal about the image issue it still needs to win a playoff game.

    Since 1983 every champion had a QB and/or head coach that won at least one playoff game in a prior season before the Super Bowl victory and both Super Bowl contestants have had one, the other, or both since 2008.

    This team is publicly resurrected, but it’s far from elite.

    The top 10 rank is disrespectful towards others more worthy of it.

  31. hitdog042 says: Jul 23, 2013 12:30 PM

    People who don’t see how good this team can be and how the image has changed simply don’t follow the NFL. They are either lazy, stupid or both.

  32. rajbais says: Jul 23, 2013 12:33 PM

    @dhragonn

    Agreed.

    They’re just anointed that way because people fear that if they count out Cincy they’ll look bad.

    Just make them 9-7 at best and then one and out like the last two years.

  33. jdphx says: Jul 23, 2013 12:38 PM

    Villainous??

    Everybody wants to be the 70′s-80′s Raiders.

  34. bobzilla1001 says: Jul 23, 2013 1:12 PM

    Keeping a head coach who, after 15 seasons, has yet to reach .500 isn’t “villainous.” But it is mysterious.
    Don’t write off Carson Palmer until he’s coached by an actual successful NFL coach. Of course, that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
    The NFL is a coaches league. A team can’t win consistently without one.

  35. darngoodreason says: Jul 23, 2013 1:18 PM

    Want to she’d the villainous tag, lay off the steroids. Last years game with the skins looked like the wwf. Terrible embarrassment for the league and another not to let your family tune in.

  36. colv says: Jul 23, 2013 1:38 PM

    Only recently seeing Hard Knocks reruns and by far Cincy was the worst along with Dallas. Mike Brown came off very negative. Enjoyed the Jets and Ravens.

  37. jwil007 says: Jul 23, 2013 1:44 PM

    I don’t think the Bengals are a pushover team like they were for so long. However, I don’t know they’re poised to be considered one of the elite teams in the conference or the entire league yet. Andy Dalton hasn’t yet beaten any of the elite teams in the league (yes, the Bengals beat the Ravens in Week 17, but the Ravens had rested most of their starters for the playoffs during that game), so it’s hard for me to consider them one of the top 5 teams in the AFC. You’ve got some excellent pieces for a competitive team, starting with AJ Green and Geno Atkins, but win a playoff game or two before promoting yourselves as one of the best teams in the league.

    LOL…must have sparked a nerve but not understanding as my posts doesn’t say “we are elite” or “we will win a sb” does it??? I said we are progressing. We are not pushovers anymore and all of our players are not getting arrested….Get it???? I don’t over predict the team I support my team on its upward progress….

  38. glazerh8er says: Jul 23, 2013 1:47 PM

    I certainly didn’t look at Mike Brown more favorably, it justified his running as “worst owner in NFL” candidate as far as I’m concerned.

  39. xxkingbmorexx says: Jul 23, 2013 2:45 PM

    Hard Knocks won’t change the peoples preception of your team, Mr. Brown. Keeping your players out of the police blotter does.

    It’s not rocket science.

  40. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jul 23, 2013 9:41 PM

    Bengals tied with Vikings for most arrest since the year 2000. That’s why they wear orange. After playing Sunday they can pick up trash on Monday. Oh but media likes to focus on the Cowboys. Whatever.

  41. joetoronto says: Jul 24, 2013 6:37 AM

    There is nothing to “hate” about the Bungals, just like there’s nothing to “hate” about the Seahawks and other teams of the sort.

    To be “hated”, you have to have rings and you losers don’t have any.

    Mike Brown, LOL!

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