Hobson's Choice: Revolving door slowing

Is it just me, or has Marvin Lewis made one of the biggest roster turnovers off any team ever? This has to be one of the things I like best about Marvin. Many fans have wanted Artrell Hawkins gone for years, gone. Takeo Spikes wasn't going to saddle up, gone. The list goes on and on. Do you think this is one of the most significant things Marvin has done with his time here? And who else do you see them letting go?

Same team, but at the same time totally different. It's exciting to see some fresh guys come in with winning attitudes and the old guys that had been "Bunglized" get out of town. Things are looking up. We even have two prime time games this season. NFL football is back in Cincinnati!!! Thanks
** Ian

We won't know when the Bengals are playing on TV until the NFL releases its schedule, which should be next week some time. America is going to see pretty much the same team they saw last year in a Sunday night victory over the Dolphins and a Monday victory over the Broncos. It looks like the Marvin Merry-Go-Round is settling down after two whirlwind seasons because there are now more Marvin Guys than Country Cub guys that ran the locker room at the former Paul Brown Stadium Spa and Health Club.

But even though Hawkins and Spikes aren't here, they should be remembered as two guys who were always committed to getting this thing turned around. Lewis has just made sure they are the ruling majority. I'm sure other coaches have revamped rosters with similar upheavals, but this Marvin Renewal Project has been staggering.

There are just two starters (end Justin Smith and linebacker Brian Simmons), and one sub (safety Kevin Kaesviharn) still around from the 2002 Opening Day defense. There are seven offensive players left from that lineup in receivers Chad Johnson, Peter Warrick, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, tackles Willie Anderson and Levi Jones, center Rich Braham, and tight end Matt Schobel. Also still here is long snapper Brad St. Louis. Running back Rudi Johnson was here, but inactive in that 34-6 loss to the Chargers.

That makes just a dozen players still here, and there could be a few of those that might not be here for the third anniversary of that opener. The fate of Warrick and Braham could rest on what the club gets out of the draft in two weeks. Schobel and Kaesviharn have survived two Lewis cutdowns and it should be interesting to see where the draft leaves them.

But there isn't much left to revamp. Lewis indicated as much Thursday when he said he wasn't sure extra draft picks could make the new roster. That shows he's stocking the club with the kind of serious, committed young veterans he seeks.

To me, that's the most important thing Lewis has done. He came in with a plan that included a blueprint of the type of player he thinks makes up a Super Bowl champion and fit their talents into what he wants. Not the other way around, where you take the player you think is the most talented and then blow a year or two or all of them figuring out how to use him .

The next best thing he has done is really what Bengals President Mike Brown did when he hired Lewis. The hiring allowed an outside voice to bring to the organization a different perspective, a broader view of the NFL for a team that had hired its head coaches and assistants from within. <>

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