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Hue Jackson: Bengals 'tired of being the brunt of jokes'

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The Cincinnati Bengals have gone 24 years without a postseason victory, the NFL's longest active drought.

Since Andy Dalton assumed the starting quarterback role in 2011, the team has lost in the Wild Card round of the playoffs four consecutive years -- prompting critics to dust off the "Cincinnati Bungles" epithet from the dark ages of the 1990s.

Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, for one, is taking a stand against gridiron ignominy.

"Last season cut me to the core. I promise you that," Jackson said Wednesday, via The Cincinnati Enquirer. "I think it's cut a lot of people at the core because we are tired. I'm tired of being the brunt of jokes. I'm tired of our organization being the brunt of jokes. ... I don't want to be the laughingstock of anything and neither do those players in there on the offense."

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Echoing legendary Houston Oilers coach Bum Phillips, Jackson alluded to the Bengals' need to "kick in the door" to change the postseason narrative.

"We get to the door, but we don't kick it in," Jackson said, via ESPN.com. "I'm tired of getting to the door. Let's go blow that son of a gun open and see what happens. ... Make sure that when you go to the door, though, that you go to the door the right way. You've got to come with the hammer. If you go to the door with whipped cream, that's a whole different deal.

"If you ain't coming with the hammer, you shouldn't even come."

Coach Marvin Lewis deserves credit for changing the organization's woebegone culture over the past decade, but does he share Jackson's sense of urgency?

It was evident two years ago that Dalton was preventing the offense from reaching its potential. In 14 career prime-time or playoff games, he has generated a 55 percent completion rate, 12:17 interception-to-touchdown ratio and a passer rating south of 70.0 -- while winning just three times.

It's hard to blame the Bengals for their resolve in attempting to develop Dalton as the solution. Franchise quarterbacks are rare commodities.

If Lewis at least entertained the idea of changing course, though, and exhausted all avenues to unearth a capable alternative, we would be more inclined to cut his team a break the next time they ring in the new year with a season-ending loss.

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