Originally written on WhoDeyFans  |  Last updated 10/20/14
The Red Rifle is the definition of professional. We’ve got approximately 48 hours until training camp starts for our beloved Bengals. I don’t know how you all feel, but this has been the longest off season I can ever remember. Not only has this been an incredibly exhausting time off for all us fans, but I’m sure Roger Goodell is ready to get this season started. There have been 31 different arrests since the Giants won the Super Bowl. We’ve seen big names like Marshawn Lynch, Dez Bryant and even Adrian Peterson mentioned with legal issues these past few weeks. Those 31 arrests have come from 21 different teams, but who is the one team without a single off season issue that somehow gets mentioned in every other story? The Cincinnati Bengals. There is no reason for me to bring up names and crimes from our own players, yet this doesn’t stop the media from comparing every incident to some moment in this teams ever-so bright history. We still have some of those players on this roster but has this team changed? Has this team grown? Are they finally professionals? [If you have yet to see this post game speech by Marvin Lewis following a loss to the St. Louis Rams, please watch, but be warned there is a use of some...colorful language.]- Marvin Lewis Speech
“Reach down inside and be a f—ing pro!”
It’s hard to say that statement ever reached that team. 2009 was a great year for the Bengals, but the issues were just swept under the rug only to re-emerge in 2010. Marvin Lewis never had that professional team for most of his time here because most of his time here was never about the team. It was about a handful of players that are no longer here. My question is this, what do you, as a fan, expect of this team for 2012? Not as far as wins or losses but as far as how they grow and mature into the veterans who will grasp that illustrious Lombardi Trophy. There is a perceived change of ways around the organization with not only bringing in “professional” players but more competence in the running of the front office and coaching. There is a higher regard to a players character (although there are still instances of possible issues) but the team is also focusing on players who play as a team to win and not as a player looking for a TD just to showboat. There are a million reasons to be excited for this upcoming season, but the one aspect I can’t wait to see is how this team handles the success of last year mixed with the pressure of topping that previous success this upcoming season. Will they be the professionals Marvin has longed for or will they take their ball home? Last year was the opening introduction into what can be a long and exciting story for this new professional team of Bengals. As the plot begins to rise we can only hope they thrive as a unified team and take the necessary steps forward. I can’t help but recall one of my favorite quotes from Lost, “If we don’t live together, we’ll die alone.” Which one will it be? Win as a team or lose as an individual?
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Royals take Game 2 to even series with Giants

Report: Roger Goodell will have to testify in Ray Rice case

Blake Griffin accused of slapping man in Las Vegas club

Ronda Rousey to face Cat Zingano at UFC 182

Report: Zach Mettenberger to start for Titans over Locker

LaMarr Woodley likely done for season with biceps injury

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Some Seahawks think Wilson isn’t 'black enough'

Darrelle Revis sent home for being late, misses practice

Report: Texas to pay scholarship athletes $10K per year

Report: Widespread academic fraud occurred at North Carolina

NHL postpones Senators/Leafs game after Ottawa shootings

Lions send player home from London after cutting him

WATCH: Giants pitcher yells at Salvador Perez after HR

Will Muschamp's head coaching job posted on Craigslist

Miss California USA would like to date Eric Hosmer

WATCH: Eric Bledsoe sends Clipper flying with sick move

Kiffin's mom fears for son's safety in return to Tennessee

WATCH: Penguins perform 'O Canada' following tragedy

WATCH: Cutest grandma challenges Dwyane Wade to game of one-on-one

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups A – D

Report: Expect Florida to make a run at Bob Stoops

Porn star: No one parties harder than Sebastian Janikowski

Outrageous college football predictions: Week 9

World Series Game 2 Preview: Giants vs. Royals

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Kiffin's mom worried for son's safety

Report: Goodell will have to testify

Penguins do 'O Canada' following tragedy

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups A – D

Porn star: No one parties like Janikowski

Report: Expect Florida to make a run at Bob Stoops

The San Francisco Giants are zombies

10 bold predictions for NFL Week 8

Pitcher's wife leaves generous tip

Nicklaus defends Jameis Winston

NFL players who could be traded by the deadline

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.