Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 3/16/12
The past two periods of free agency have not been friendly to the “Who Dey Nation". Cincinnati has lost a great deal of fans due to the disappointing signings and non-signings. How can the Bengals change the pouty outlook of the fans these next few days? That's the real question.

With Andy Dalton needing a consistent running back taking the load of carries, and stud receiver A.J. Green along with future star Jermaine Gresham at the tight end position; they will need a complementary player taking the pressure off both of their incredible abilities. Gresham has established himself as a decent run blocker in his rookie and sophomore seasons with Cincy. With the ability to run block, Cincinnati should have the run game sealed after this free agent period and 2012 NFL Draft. In order for that to become true, the Bengals would have to go after a young player still in his prime to maintain balance this upcoming season.  That only leads in one direction.

With the free agent period still in duration, signing running back Michael Bush from the Oakland Raiders would solve all the problems that the Bengals had these past two seasons balancing the run vs. pass. Bush made a statement racking up 977 rushing yards, averaging nearly four yards per carry with seven touchdowns with Oakland last season as a starter. Bush became the front-runner once Darren McFadden went down with an injury, despite the fact that his starting QB Jason Campbell would eventually break his collarbone, allowing Carson Palmer to continue the show. Not only did Bush excel when stepping up to the plate, but he proved to the nation that he has a lot to offer when it’s his time to break away with yards.

With Cedric Benson being a free agent, there is no promised land for him, being with the young and talented offense in Cincinnati. His benefits are obvious: three consecutive seasons rushing over 1,000 yards while having a total of 19 touchdowns. Last season Benson struggled to stay consistent but managed to score six times while piling up 1,067 rushing yards. If the Bengals want a new face to bring firepower to the offense, they will need a football player that can take care of those punishing front sevens in the AFC North. Bush could be this centerpiece that the Bengals will need to win their first playoff game in 21 years.

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