Head Coach Changes » Defensive Coordinator Changes »
The Cardinals officially elevated Mike Miller to offensive coordinator this offseason, but don’t expect much to change. Miller, who has served as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator during his five seasons in Arizona, was doing a larger share of the play calling as the 2010 season progressed. Ken Whisenhunt will still be involved, as will running game coordinator/assistant head coach/offensive line coach Russ Grimm, but you can expect the Cardinals to run essentially the same offense they’ve been running. The key, of course, will be having a quarterback who can execute the offense as opposed to a quarterback the fans want to execute.
While Marvin Lewis remains at the helm in Cincinnati, the offense is undergoing a complete overhaul. Gone is Bob Bratkowski, who ran the offense for the past decade; in his place is Jay Gruden, who’ll bring the West Coast offense back to where it really began some 40 years ago. Gruden has a rookie quarterback to work with, perhaps immediately if Carson Palmer follows through on his vow to never play for the Bengals again. Veteran receiver Terrell Owens is a free agent, and his likely to be joined on the open market by Chad Ochocinco. Workhorse back Cedric Benson is also a free agent, but the Bengals are expected to bring him back as a foundation for the offense to build upon.
If Benson does return, he’ll be one of the few remnants of the old Bengals’ attack; that doesn’t, however, mean the cupboard is bare. Rookie Andy Dalton is almost ideally suited to run Gruden’s WCO, and he’ll have the team’s last two first-round picks—rookie wideout A.J. Green and sophomore tight end Jermaine Gresham—to throw to. The key will be getting all of Cincy’s young talent—aside from Benson, every Bengals skill position contributor was drafted in 2008 or later—on the same page. Gruden has his work cut out for him, but he definitely has some pieces to work with.
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