Re: Big Ben is da man!
No, it's not just about QB's...but I thought that this thread was.
You don't absolutely need a superstar QB, but you do need an efficient one. Very rarely can a defense carry a team by itself...just ask the ravens. If the ravens had anything that resembled a QB behind the line of scrimmage, then they would be a consistent super bowl contender.
The Bengals have a young defense right now. This year they will be starting 2 rookies and 2 second year players on defense, not to mention a 2nd year cornerback in Keiwan Ratliff and 2nd year linebackers in Landon Johnson and Caleb Miller coming off the bench. They really have only 4 veteran players on defense...Kim Herring, Brian Simmons, Tory James, and Bryan Robinson.
Last year Cincinnati was ranked 17th overall in total yards allowed per game, 26th in rushing yards allowed per game, 12th in passing yards allowed per game. The year before they were ranked 28th in total yards allowed per game. The defense has upgraded since last season and become a little more experienced overall, so there's no reason they shouldn't take another step forward.
But, I'll give you the biggest reason why the defense will be improved this season....Chuck Bresnahan, the new defensive coordinator. Leslie Frazier as a defensive coordinator was laughable at best. During one game in the season Marvin Lewis had to take over and start calling defensive plays because the defense was doing so horrible. Then, the defense magically started making stops! Imagine that.
In my opinion, the coaches make the biggest difference on defenses, not the players. You don't believe me? Look at the patriots. They lost basically their entire secondary and even had a wide receiver playing cornerback. Did they miss a beat? No. Why? Because of Romeo Crennel and Bill Belichick's coaching abilities.