Saleh and Campbell’s Bengals Talk Has Big “If” Dan Leberfeld

Mobile, AL – They were both asked about the big leap the Cincinnati Bengals took this year.

Two years ago the Bengals were here in Mobile coaching at the Senior Bowl, and now they are in the Super Bowl.

So Robert Saleh (New York Jets) and Dan Campbell (Detroit Lions), who are coaching in the Senior Bowl this year. were asked if that is an inspiration for their clubs.

“You definitely look at that,” Campbell said. “It’s living proof that it can be done.”

“When you develop within, you draft well, you select the right free agents and you build a culture that you believe in and you stay with continuity and you don’t fall into peer pressure with whatever Cincinnati has had to endure over the last couple of years, you end up reaping the benefits of your patience,” Saleh said.

However, and this is a big however, the key to making the leap the Bengals did, was landing a franchise QB, Joe Burrow, in the 2020 draft.

You can draft good players at cornerback, offensive line, wherever, but if you don’t land an elite QB, it’s hard to make the big jump the Bengals did.

The Lions don’t have an elite QB right now. They have Jared Goff, who the Los Angeles Rams traded to them because they clearly didn’t think he was elite.

The Jets have Zach Wilson, who has potential, but it’s still unclear what the Jets have in him after an up-and-down rookie season. We will find out in the next couple of years what they truly have in his player. Right now, nobody knows for sure.

So people can talk about drafting well and having patience, but unless you land a top-shelf QB, you aren’t likely to take the quantum leap the Bengals did.


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