The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy sat down with Bengals owner and general manager Mike Brown for a rare interview opportunity during the season. Brown has been notoriously tight-lipped during his tenure, usually only fielding questions in preseason and post season press conferences. Reedy and Bengals.com were able to sit down with him earlier this week.
Many items were discussed, but of particular interest was Brown's take on his team's surprising 3-2 start. Brown called the team a "sparky group" that's "starting to believe in themselves, and that's what you want." Brown is particularly pleased with his first and second round picks, AJ Green and Andy Dalton. He was also complimentary of the team's free agent acquisitions like Thomas Howard and Nate Clements. He was quick to point out the overall youth on this year's squad and the promise that the future holds:
"The number of new, young players on our team – by that, I don't mean just rookies but guys 1-2 years into it – is disproportionate, and they are showing well."
Brown also spoke about the lack of fan commitment to this point as indicated by the significant drop in attendance. Tomorrow's game with the Colts will mark the third non-sellout this season. Brown acknowledged that last season's poor showing was a major reason for the drop off that "we have to earn back our people. They lost belief in what we're doing." He remains confident though that this current group can bring fans back to PBS.
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"I think you have to have a winning team, a team that people believe in and get excited about, and once again we have a group of young guys who look to have a good future for the Bengals, and I think as they come on and do well, the public will see that and get enthusiastic about the team once more."