Blog Entry

Offseason Checkup: Cincinnati Bengals

Posted on: April 19, 2011 2:12 pm
Edited on: April 19, 2011 11:30 pm
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Posted by Andy Benoit



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups.



After the Bengals fell behind the eight-ball with a devastating turnover-infused loss to the Bucs in Week 5, they went into their bye a lowly 2-3 and searching the depths of their character for answers.

Problem was, the depths of their character included the collective souls of Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, Pacman Jones, Rey Maualuga, Tank Johnson, Cedric Benson, Michael Johnson, Andre Smith, Carlos Dunlap, Frostee Rucker, Jonathan Joseph, Leon Hall and whatever other players on the roster who, at one point or another, have raised the red character flag.

None of these guys were individually heinous in 2010 (save for Owens), but collectively, they created a staggering void in the leadership department.




Offensive scheme

Bob Bratkowski is out as offensive coordinator, and deservedly so. In terms of complexity and sophistication, the Bengals’ system in 2010 was comparable to that of a really sophisticated Pop Warner team’s.

The receivers’ route combinations rarely worked off one another, making them easy to defend. The play-action game was non-existent, which was fitting because the run game was an afterthought.

Which brings us to the change: more power runs under new coordinator Jay Gruden. Expect Cedric Benson to re-sign and get about 25 carries a game. Not only is he best suited to be a bell cow, but the Bengals powerful but heavy-footed offensive line is best suited to play downhill, rather than in the frequent drop steps of pass protection.




1. Quarterback
Carson Palmer insists he’s retiring if the team doesn’t trade him. Owner Mike Brown may be great at playing hardball, but it would take a hardhead to keep Palmer around at this point. Besides, Palmer’s skills have declined (though not as much as you’d probably guess) and he clearly doesn’t trust his offensive line or receivers.

2. Pass Rusher
This need is almost as glaring as the potential need at quarterback. Antwan Odom has not been the same since injuring his Achilles. Robert Geathers was never the same after blowing out his knee. (Unfortunately for the front office, both players were inked to long-term deals before their injuries.) Athletic ex-Gator Carlos Dunlap earned some high marks as a second-round rookie last season, but equally as prominent were his low marks.

3. Interior Offensive Lineman
Right guard Bobbie Williams is aging. Left guard Nate Livings is the definition of average. Or maybe center Kyle Cook is. Whatever; the Bengals need more athleticism inside up front.




A healthy goal for the Bengals would be to regain respect. Self respect, that is. Individually, the Bengals are more athletically gifted than a lot of teams.

But their athletes have not lived up to potential or played well together. Ushering in a new wave of leadership would plant some positive seeds moving forward.

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Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 8, 2012 1:28 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Cincinnati Bengals

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 5:38 am
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Since: Apr 28, 2011
Posted on: April 28, 2011 5:45 am
 

Offseason Checkup: Cincinnati Bengals

 

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Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: April 20, 2011 1:59 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Cincinnati Bengals

I was born into a Bengals Fan Family and I married into a Bengals Fan Family, so my excuses are legacy. Rooting for the Bengals is difficult, to say the least. Every year at draft time we hope for that miracle draft class, my husband watches it live, my son as well. Each year from the TV room I hear "who's that" and "what the hell" accompaning every painful Bengals pick.

Yet hope springs eternal.

Every draft is followed by another pre-season and then another season of expectations, then the harsh reality of last place season upon last place season.

Good Luck Bengals we're hoping for excellence but pulling for mediocrity.



Since: Jul 16, 2009
Posted on: April 20, 2011 1:46 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Cincinnati Bengals

Lest we forget some other notable Bengals 1st round busts, Marco Battaglia, Chris Perry, John Copeland, Reinard Wilson and Ricky Hunley. Most people don't remember any of those players and that is the point. These picks came from the NFL team that does not employ a scouting department, The Cincinnati Bengals !



Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: April 20, 2011 12:05 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Cincinnati Bengals

Is Andre Smith still in football, I'm sorry I didn't know. He was in the car with Jimmy Hoffa wasn't he, no that couldn't be right, that would mean that he would have missed the buffet line, and everybody knows that that's where he did his truly great work. Another great draft pick wasted by the Bengals.

I wonder which Bengals draft pick would they consider the most wasted, David Klingler, Akilli Smith, Dan Wilkinson, David Verser (for a cop, a pretty good receiver), and let's not forget Ki-Jana Carter, the list could go on and on.

The next Bengals bust is right around the corner, I can hardly wait.


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