Originally posted on WhoDeyFans  |  Last updated 7/25/12

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?

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Report: Police recommend criminal charges against LeSean McCoy, arrest warrant expected

Heat interested in Kings’ 3-point specialist Omri Casspi

Rick Pitino thinks Louisville should be fined $10 million for scandal

Browns LB Armonty Bryant indicted on felony drug charge

Report: Danny Ainge 'excited' at chance to add Al Horford

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Pat Haden collapsed on USC campus

Colts on Andrew Luck contract: ‘It’s going to be a shocking number’

GW basketball coach kicked out of daughter’s HS game

A-Rod is (inadvertently) hurting the Yankees

Report: CM Punk to have back surgery, UFC debut delayed

John Elway: 2015 Broncos could be best defense ever

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

Terrell Owens says Cris Carter 'begged his way' into HOF

QUIZ: Name every WWE Heavyweight Champion

Three NHL players who can cement their legacies like Peyton Manning

Top 11 story lines for the 2016 NFL offseason

Vince Carter: I’ll know when, but I’m not ready to retire

Bill Polian: Peyton Manning could 'immediately' be successful GM

Villanova Wildcats: The quietest No. 1 team ever

Craig Sager: From the brink of death to the NBA All-Star Game

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker