"It's easy for people to criticize the choice," says Brown, who like Shula is a Dartmouth grad, thoughtful and stolid. "But none of that detracts one whit from that fact that he's a good young coach. He's smart, he's forceful, he's someone who's swept up in his football career."
Shula realizes he faces skeptics in his league, his city and, probably, in his locker room. "It's a gutty decision by Mike Brown," he said last Saturday in the midst of assembling his new defensive coaching staff. "I haven't had the experience. I'm not a proven guy. There's nothing I can do about being Don Shula's son and being the age I am. I go by an old Paul Brown phrase: You only worry about the things you can control."
Whatever one might say about Shula, at least the Bengals, unlike so many other NFL teams, have a coach.