Anthony Munoz: Bengals Window Closes In A Couple Years

Anthony Munoz dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Wednesday to discuss numerous topics, including his Trojans, his Bengals, and, yes, Colin Kaepernick.

Munoz, perhaps the greatest offensive lineman of all time, was asked what it would be like to share a huddle with Kaepernick these days. How would Munoz react? What would he say to the quarterback-turned-activist?

“When you’re in there together, you want as many non-distractions as you can possibly get to win football games,” Munoz said in studio Tiki and Tierney. “Maybe in my day we would have said maybe use another platform because it’s taken away from us winning football games. Maybe that’s what we would have said in the huddle. It’s definitely a distraction to their team and what’s going on. It’s hard to argue. It is his right to say or do what he’s doing, but maybe in a different way. It’s one of those things where you might not agree with it, but it is his right. Maybe there’s another way to go about doing that, another platform where it’s not going to take away from preparation, (where) it’s not going to take away from winning football – and that’s our main goal as football players.”

That was USC’s main goal Saturday night – and the Trojans failed miserably. They led No. 1 Alabama 3-0 midway through the second quarter. Then the Tide reeled off 38 straight points and won 52-6.

“It’s obvious from that game we’re not up to snuff with the Alabamas and those teams in the country,” said Munoz, who starred at USC in the late-1970s. “But maybe we’re good enough to win the Pac-12, hopefully. One of the areas I thought we’d be a lot better was the offensive line. Just about every guy there is a three-year starter. I thought we might be able to run the football, so Max Browne didn’t have a lot of help. He didn’t have protection, (and we) couldn’t run the football.”

Browne finished 14-of-29 for 101 yards and an interception. As a team, USC rushed 30 times for 64 yards (2.1 yards per carry).

“Defensively, we did all right for about a quarter-and-a-half and then it just fell apart,” Munoz said. “Hopefully it’s another year or two before we can get restocked and where (we were during) the Carroll years. We were loaded then. Hopefully we can get back to that time.”

Munoz can say the same about the Bengals. He helped Cincinnati reach two Super Bowls in the 1980s, but the franchise has been in free fall ever since. The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since 1990 and have been one-and-done in the postseason in six of the last seven years.

Marvin Lewis and Andy Dalton have won a lot of regular-season games together, but can this duo get Cincy over the top and to a Super Bowl?

“I agree that the window is there and then closes,” said Munoz, who spent his entire 13-year career with the Bengals. “Personally, I think in the next couple of years, that’s when the window closes. I think Andy is still young. I believe he’s getting better. Marvin, it’s kind of hard to argue his regular-season record, but of course we’re all judged on what have you done in the playoffs and they haven’t done anything in the playoffs. So I would imagine that maybe a couple more years, they still have (a window to compete). I think talent-wise, they’re in the top part of the league with the guys they have on the team. So I think they’re still very capable of doing extremely well in the season, even though they have a pretty tough schedule. They open up in New York, in Pittsburgh and then home against Denver. That’s a tough opening month, not to mention all the other games they have. But someone who played there knows that if you do well, you’re going to remain there, especially as a coach. You can’t argue Marvin’s record regular-season. He’s done extremely well. I kind of want to believe that it’s probably going to be his call whether he’s there or not. I’m hoping that this year (they can) get (Tyler) Eifert healthy and hopefully they can make a run like they did last year and get their first playoff win.”

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