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News » Should Bengals bring play-calling down to turf?

Should Bengals bring play-calling down to turf?

Should Bengals bring play-calling down to turf?
CINCINNATI - Bengals offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski loves the view from upstairs in the press box.

Maybe it's time for him to move downstairs to the sidelines like Carolina Panthers second-year offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson.

Davidson - the former coordinator and assistant head coach of the Cleveland Browns - moved "downstairs" this year, joining a majority of play-callers (24) who like being close to the action. Bratkowski is in the minority (8), preferring the press box, where he can see the entire field. Offensive play-calling from the sidelines is one of the league's trends.

The first three teams eliminated from postseason contention - the Bengals (1-9-1), Detroit Lions (0-12) and St . Louis Rams (2-9) - call their offensive plays from the press box.

The combined record of the eight teams calling plays from upstairs: 28-60-1. Browns coordinator Rob Chudzinski is a press-box dweller.

"I think guys that call the plays from upstairs feel like they have a better viewpoint of what's going on," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said. "It's not as chaotic. They've got a little better understanding of what's happening that way."

The Bengals rank 32nd and dead last in the NFL in total offense at 239.5 yards a game, and are among the league's poorer performers in three other major categories - points (31st with a 13.5 average), passing (30th at 159.5 yards a game) and rushing (29th at 80 yards a game).

Nevertheless, Bratkowski sees an advantage of calling plays in the coaches' booth in the press box, where he's more comfortable.

"What I have always believed is that you have a tendency to be in a little more of a sterile environment in terms of seeing things, and away from the emotion on the field," Bratkowski said. "And you can't see things nearly as well (from the sidelines). And so that's why I've always gone up."

Would "Brat" ever consider moving to the sidelines?

"I wouldn't say no, I would never," he said. "But at this point, I am not considering that."

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2253 or cludwig@DaytonDailyNew s.com

Next game

Who: Baltimore Ravens (7-4) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-9-1)

When: 1 p.m., today, Nov. 30

TV: WHIO-TV (CBS, Channel 7)

Radio: WLW-AM (700), WTUE-FM (104.7)

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 2, 2008

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