- I get where Le'Veon Bell is coming from in terms of feeling he is undervalued, but I am pretty sure he's played his hand very badly by sitting out this season. His motivation is apparently increasing his long-term earnings, but he's more likely done the opposite. He's forfeiting millions this season, and there is no guarantee he will make that money back even if he signs the same long-term contract he would have signed without holding out like this — which is no guarantee at this point, either.
- Generating optimism about baseball has been hard in Cincinnati lately, but I am pretty tempted to think the Reds' new pitching coach could make a huge impact right away. There's no lack of talent on the staff, but for whatever reason execution has been extremely lacking for those guys at the major league level. Of course bringing in an established starter or two who knows what he's doing and can set an example might help, too.
- I'm a believer in Hue Jackson as an assistant coach but his return to Cincinnati sounds like a strange arrangement. Obviously Marvin Lewis could use some help managing games, but wasn't Jackson generally regarded as a poor game manager in Cleveland? Regardless, he's obviously a guy who knows how to coach football even if he's not head coach material.
- Then again is it fair to conclude Hue Jackson can't hack it as a head coach based on his inability to win in a place no one else (even Bill Belichick) has done so consistently in 30 years?
- I guess I'm intrigued to see what the Bengals do with Lewis running the defense. They really can't get worse, so it could end up being a stroke of genius. The team certainly indicated when Lewis was re-signed in January they were making a two-year commitment, and I believe the roster needs another year to potentially round back into being a true contender. The offense is trending in the right direction (though the offensive line still needs work and no-shows against Kansas City and New Orleans are troublesome) but the defense was obviously going in the wrong one. Everything that happens from here on out is more about 2019 than 2018 as far as I'm concerned.
- Going back to the fires that had to be put out Tuesday, one of my favorite things these days is how much harder the national media makes our job on the local level. Whether it is with shoddy reporting or more often fly-by-night analysis that misses the mark badly because of a lack of perspective, knowledge or both, they really have a knack creating more work for local reporters while also turning readers and sources against us all. It's a great formula for the future of the business!
- Related: At least once a week I find myself thinking, "Well people on the internet are already arguing about this, so I guess I need to write something up for them, but do I subject print readers to it, too, or are they better off not knowing this ever happened?"
- Brining is one of the things people on the internet are not wrong about, though.
- Finally: More than a decade later, all those Nickelback songs everyone says they hated are still being played on the radio, so I guess they got the last laugh.
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