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08-02-2019, 09:24 AM
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CINCINNATI (AP) — Bengals owner Mike Brown must decide whether to bring in another newcomer to coach his team Sione Takitaki Jersey , or return to his pattern of trusting someone he already knows well.Whoever gets the job will inherit a roster on the cusp of significant change.Brown parted ways with head coach Marvin Lewis on Monday after 16 seasons without a playoff win. Lewis’ stay in Cincinnati — the second-longest active tenure behind New England’s Bill Belichick — demonstrated how much the owner would rather stick with what’s comfortable than leave his comfort zone and try someone new.“It will be interesting to see,” linebacker Nick Vigil said. “We haven’t had change around here in 16 years.”The question is how much change Brown will tolerate.He has a history of accepting as little change and as much continuity as possible. He elevated Dave Shula from the staff to head coach in 1992, Bruce Coslet in 1996, and Dick LeBeau in 2000, all the while failing to get an elusive playoff berth.He went against his history by hiring Lewis in 2003, and he got a playoff appearance only two years later — a lesson in how major change can work. The two formed a close bond that was integral to Lewis’ 16-year tenure despite an 0-7 mark in the playoffs, the worst in NFL history.Brown has several options for his next coach that could fit his comfort zone.For instance, he’s familiar with Hue Jackson, who spent eight years on Lewis’ staff in a variety of roles — receivers coach Sheldrick Redwine Jersey , defensive backs coach, running backs coach, offensive coordinator and special assistant on defense. The Bengals quickly rehired Jackson when the Browns fired him after he won only three games in two-plus years.Cleveland had a resurgence when Jackson left, winning five of its last seven games, including both against Cincinnati. Hiring Jackson would send a message to fans that the franchise won’t change all that much.Brown also is familiar with Vance Joseph, who was fired Monday by the Broncos . Joseph was the defensive backs coach in Cincinnati from 2014-15. Brown also could consider someone off the current staff, although that again would reinforce the message that not much change is in the works.Perhaps Brown will try to bring in someone from a winning organization, as he did with Lewis, hoping that jump-starts ticket sales. The Bengals’ attendance has fallen each of the past three years and ranks second-to-last in the league.In any case Austin Seibert Jersey , change is coming.“It’s pretty weird to know you have a new (defensive) coordinator, a new head coach, everybody,” linebacker Preston Brown said. “You never know what could happen around here.”The roster turnover could intensify as well.Lewis had the youngest team in his 16 seasons. Veterans got hurt early, forcing players into roles before they were ready. Cincinnati was among the hardest-hit teams in the league, with 18 players on injured reserve by season’s end, including quarterback Andy Dalton and receiver A.J. Green.Dalton and Green are entering their ninth seasons. They led the Bengals to a club-record five straight playoff appearances from 2011-15, but they lost in the first round each time. Their chances for a playoff run are starting to run out.The defense has been led by linebacker Vontaze Burfict for the past seven years, but he may have reached the end of the line. He opened the season with yet another suspension from the league and played in only seven games because of concussions and a chronic hip problem. Burfict finished with only 33 tackles and no sacks.Cincinnati fell to the bottom of the AFC North for only the second time under Lewis Trysten Hill Jersey , and it’ll be a challenge to escape the basement in the near future.Baltimore won the division with the league’s top defense and rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson. Pittsburgh expects to contend for the title next year with one of the NFL’s top offenses built around Ben Roethlisberger. The Browns jumped ahead of the Bengals as Baker Mayfield set a record for touchdown passes by a rookie.In many ways, it’s like 2003 in Cincinnati again. And the owner is facing the same type of choice in his next head coach: Stay with the familiar, or go with something entirely new? The fantasy playoffs are finally here for most leagues. There are many factors you need to consider, starting with whether you qualified for a bye.A bye gives you some wiggle room to address any of your weaknesses, but the concept is the same no matter your seed: depth stays important but takes a hit because you’re limited in how many players will make it into your actual lineup.That doesn’t mean you should just release a strong player in the free agent pool, but if you have one you’re never going to use and won’t be of value to you or an opponent, they become expendable and you gain the value of a roster spot for a more crucial position.It’s rare during the regular season that you need to worry about an opponent’s roster. That changes during the playoffs. You may discover a desperate need for a player at a certain position due to injury or a terrible matchup. Maybe there’s an obvious player for them to target on waivers. Well, if you have more free agent acquisition dollars or a higher waiver priority, play a little defense and grab the player before they can. All’s fair in fantasy (if it’s not explicitly against the rules) — just make sure the player you’re releasing won’t come back to haunt you.One last tip — there’s a chance Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski could be disciplined for his hit on Bills player Tre’Davious White Connor McGovern Jersey , and that we won’t know before the waiver deadline this week. Make alternate plans so you’re prepared for any scenario.Here are some other possible moves you could make this week:AARON JONES, RB, Green Bay Packers (50 percent owned in leagues)He only had one carry Sunday but it was a big one as Jones went for the game winning score in overtime. Jamaal Williams is playing well but so was Jones before he was injured. Sunday’s game was likely always going to be used to ease Jones back into action and while he is unlikely to start versus Cleveland in Week 14, he should see a busier workload than he did versus the Buccaneers on Sunday.PEYTON BARBER, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4 percent)When Doug Martin was forced to miss the Packer game with a concussion, it was thought that Jacquizz Rodgers (30 percent) would get the start in his place. Tampa Bay threw everyone a curve ball when they announced Sunday morning that it would be Barber who would get the start instead. All Barber did was rush for 102 yards and add another 41 yards on four receptions. Those are numbers that Martin hasn’t reached in any of the eight games in which he has played this season. Even if Martin clears the concussion protocol and is available to play this week, Barber should still have an important role in the Tampa Bay rushing offense.DEDE WESTBROOK, WR Foster Moreau Jersey , Jacksonville Jaguars (36 percent)Someone has to catch the ball besides Marqise Lee in the Jacksonville offense. We have been waiting for Westbrook to break out since he returned from injury in Week 11. Sunday may have been that breakout with six receptions for 78 yards on nine targets. If teams can bottle up Leonard Fournette and the Jaguars rushing attack, then Blake Bortles will be forced to throw more often. Westbrook and his fantasy owners should benefit from this as he has more big play potential than Lee.TION GREEN, RB, Detroit Lions (1 percent): Ameer Abdullah was forced to miss the game Sunday due to a neck injury. Green ended up being the leading rusher for Detroit and that was certainly a surprise for everyone. Detroit hasn’t had much of a running game seemingly since Barry Sanders retired and Abdullah shouldn’t have the starting job etched in stone. There could be a role for Green even if Abdullah returns this week.
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