Sunday, August 31, 2008

Goodbye Wille.....

This is a man that deserved better. Willie Anderson was cut in what can only be described as a surprise move by the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday. All of the other cuts I understood, hell I practically predicted them two blogs ago. Rudi was a surprise cut, I was really hoping that they could trade him, but since they couldn't a release makes sense. But to lose a man like Willie makes no sense to me. This is a man that has been here through all the crap and has never complained and has played through pain. He is a four time pro-bowler even amidst some of the worst team Cincinnati ever put on the field and is arguably the second best offensive lineman that this franchise has ever seen.

I argue all the time that players need to respect the contracts that they sign, but on the flip side teams and management needs to respect those same contracts. It would appear that Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis ask Willie to re-negotiate his contract, mainly due to the fact that they franchise tagged Stacy Andrews this off season and are starting him over Willie, and Willie said no. Willie feels that he perform at a high level, and maybe he can and maybe he can't. I am on the line of thinking that he may have lost a step, he was hurt for the first time significantly last year and missed some time on the field. I am sure that he is not at his prime now, but I am sure he is better than 50% of the starting tackles in the league. Plus the Bengals should have known the risk of something like this happening when they signed him to three more years when he was 30-31. I know this is a business, but it is shit like this that drives me crazy, there is nothing good that came out of this.

The most intriguing part of this, however, is what Willie said in a quote yesterday.
"And I've got too much respect for the Blackburns and Mike Brown. They came to me, I turned it down. That's it. I'm going to be a stand-up guy about it."

I find that quote interesting because he is saying that he respects Mike Brown and never mentions Marvin Lewis and was even angry about what Marvin said at the press conference that the team did not see enough from Willie in camp to keep him. I know Mike is not a good owner, but it is interesting that a stand-up guy like Willie has his back and not the coaches. Perhaps again I was correct and there is more blame to put on Marvin for the state of this team.

In any case, good bye Willie you deserved better. You deserved every bit of what Rich Brahm got when he left and more. You will be missed by me and all of Bungledom I am sure.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ocho Cinco.....

The receiver formerly know as Chad Johnson has changed his name to Chad Ocho Cinco. At first I thought this was the dumbest thing I had ever heard. I thought that here we go again this guy just can't help himself, he has to have the spotlight. No one was talking about him and he had to do something to change that so he goes more extreme than the last time.

To a point I think that is true, I think Chad needs the attention and I think that he has put himself in the position that each stunts needs to be more outrageous than the last. Lets take a quick jaunt back in the history of Chad.
Gold teeth
Zany end zone celebrations
Ocho Cinco 1.0
Races a horse
Off season trade demands/Media tour
Challenges Micheal Phelps
Ocho Cinco 2.0

With the exception of the off season trade demands all of the stuff was in fun and was harmless. It was just a guy that wants attention and seemingly wants to have fun.

Of course all this stuff will rustle feathers and piss people off. I think especially after the trade demands he wore himself out on allot of people, me included. But after thinking about it I am less mad. This is a guy that wants to win playing on a team that can't and might never win with Mike Brown as the owner. So what we saw this off season was a guy that had reached him limit and height of frustration, that and his agent talking in his ear, drew Rosenhaus, the most evil man in the NFL. We saw similar situations with Corey Dillion and Takeo Spikes. Both went to other teams and were no longer disruptive.

I am not saying that I am totally flipping on Chad. I understand why he did it, but he went about it the wrong way. There needs to be tact, there needs to be a more savoy way to go about this. If you don't want to play for a team don't sign a long contract. But I also think that 90% of the stuff he does is to have fun. Well that and to shift that camera back towards him. I mean if you think about the only time the media has not been talking too or about Chad since the end of the 2007 season was during Farvegate.

I say go with it Chad, entertain me. But make sure you are catching the ball and scoring touchdowns because that IS what you are getting paid to do right now. And fire Drew Rosenhaus, it will go a long way toward mending some fences with fans.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Game notes and more......

After the final pre-season game I have two pages of notes that I am going to cram into one blog, as well as some other thoughts and notes that I am very excited to talk about. I will however, try to keep it more brief since my wife is yelling at me that my blogs are too long.


The defense did what it was supposed to do to an offense without any of their starters, they shut the Colts down. The Bengals defense did what they didn't do on Saturday, they pressured the quarterback and they were flying around to the ball. It was great to see at least five guys around the quarterback at all times and at least two deep backs near where the ball ended up once thrown.

Defensive game balls.

You won't see it in the stats, but Robert Gathers looked great. He was pushing around the tackles and he was getting penetration. It did not translate to any sacks, but he is looking better and better as the pre-season marched along.

Corey Lynch. I officially have a man crush on him and hope that he makes the cut. He ball hawks and I saw him blitz and get to the quarterback. This kid is like a better version of Kevin Kaesviharn.

Kyries Hebert. This is a guy like Rashad Jeanty who came out of the CFL and desperately wants to prove he belongs, he is hungry and he is showing it. I think the toughest cuts will come out of the secondary and I hope this guy makes it through as well.

Jason Shirley. The fifth round pick out of Fresno State has look impressive. He is a giant of a man and does what they wanted Sam Adams to do......take up space. That and since he is younger he can actually get some penetration.

Offensive game balls.

Ryan Fitzpatrick. They guy was great, he makes me feel much better about our backup quarterback position than Doug Johnson did last year.

Bengals receivers. Without the dynamic duo, Glenn Holt, Antonio Chapman, Chris Henry, Jerome Simpson and even Mario Urrutia the rookie out of Louisville had a pretty clean, good game.

Dede Dorsey. Every time I watch this guy I get excited, but then I have to remember that I am seeing him rush against second and third stringers. I would love to see what he could do on the first team a few times.

Offensive line. As much as I have bad mouthed them this pre-season I will give them props for doing a decent job Thursday night. They were not great and they were not playing against the Colts best, but they did worlds better than last Saturday.


Special teams looked like crap. I take that back, the kick coverage looked like crap and Deltha O"Neal looked like crap returning punts. Antonio Chapman looked great returning punts and isn't that why we got him in the first place? Leon Hall saved the opening kick off from going to the house and later in the game Leon Hall was not there to stop it from actually happening. Just wait till we see some of the premier return guys in the league. Jeff Rowe looked like a turd sandwich again and the sad part is that they are going to keep him over Jordan Palmer. I will still contend that Jeff Rowe was a waste of a fifth round pick last year when we had other NEEDS and he is no better than a college free agent that we could have picked up after the draft. And this is not as much of a concern as it is an observation. Rudi was dressed and did not play. i will have more on him later, but was the reason he was healthy and did not play was because they did not want to risk him getting hurt to trade him?

Random thoughts.

I can not begin to tell you all about how excited I am that Adam "Pac-man" Jones has been re-instated to play in the NFL. Why you ask? For one simple reason October 5th at 4:15. That is when the Bengals will play the Dallas Cowboys. Incidentally it is also the first game that Chris Henry will be allowed to play for the Bengals! You have the potential for Pac-man to be covering Chris Henry!! Are you kidding me?! We might see a guy get shivved or shot on the field! Who knows what kind of fireworks will go down when these two repeat convicts clash, all I know is that this has potential to be the game of the year, not because of playoff spots, but because of on the field incidents between those two. I am marking my calender and not answering my phone the entire game, I will be glued to my seat in eager anticipation!

My neighbor Mo will normally text me 3 minutes into the game "God they suck." I did not hear from him until halfway through the second quarter and it was just to get an update, no disparaging words! That tells me that it was actually a pretty good night. I tend to judge Bengals games on the Mo meter. The more calls and texts I get from him during a game the more horrible the Bengals are doing. Grand total after the game, one call and about three texts, and one doesn't count because it was about UC football, so a pretty good night!

Trade Rudi. Yeah I said it. All I read about from Geoff Hobson is how if we don't have Rudi then we don't have a bell cow to pound the ball up the gut, to carry the load. I love Geoff Hobson, but I respectfully disagree with him here. Rudi is an old school runner in a world that is dominated by quick backs. Backs like Ladianian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson, Steven Jackson, Barry Sanders. Rudi is the essence of three yards and a could of dust and I think that in today's game you need faster, quicker, a guy that can cut to the outside. I also think that the trend of running back by committee is a good idea and I think that if we use it here correctly then we do not need Rudi. Provided Chris Perry can stay healthy and Kenny Watson why can't they split carries? Throw in James Johnson and Dede Dorsey and you have four viable backs that are quick and can rotate as needed. Granted James Johnson is more than likely practice squad bound, but I still think that there is plenty to work with, with perry, Watson, and Dorsey. I say trade Rudi and get a proven receiver or a draft pick, but don't settle for anything less than a fourth rounder.

Jerome Simpson is still raw, but is showing signs of being a good receiver. He will go out and make a great catch and then on the next play drop a screen pass thrown right to him. He is young, trying to adjust and I think he is lacking in concentration. We will see in three years how far he has come.

Here are my votes for who should be cut.

Ahmed Brooks. This guy is the Brandon Larson of the Bengals. All the coaches talked about after MIKE BROWN drafted this guy in the supplemental draft was how much of a physical freak this guy was and how great he was in limited time in college. Limited due to off the filed incidents amazingly enough. But all I have seen from this guy is a clinic in how to miss and not tackle guys. His first year he was too dumb to learn the playbook and get into correct position his second year he was hurt and this year has been an embarrassment in how to play football. Give me Bobby Boucher over this guy.

Deltha O'Neal. never have I seen a guy care less and play with less passion than Deltha. David Jones plays harder and wants it more.

HeranaDaze Jones. Great special teamer, but I can't put him above Herbert or Lynch at this point.

Dan Howell. I know getting rid of a linebacker after last years debacle is iffy especially two, but cuts have to be made and this guy showed me nothing, not even on special teams.

Provided Jeremi Johnson can stay under 5000 pounds, Dan Coats becomes expendable. Reggie Kelly and Ben Utecht are in and I liked what I saw from Nate Lawrie and you know they will keep Matt Sherry.

Quote of the night.

"We didn't see Rudi because Jeremi (Johnson) ate him!"

That was Mo commenting on why Rudi never made it into the game!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fast Food Controversy

Today marks the first day of a fast food ban. A giant thank you to Wendy's who was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. Today during my lunch break I went to Wendy's and waited 20 minutes in know for FAST FOOD. My order was simple, although perhaps too complex for the G.E.D.less yokels that work there. I ordered a chicken sandwich with just mayo and a double stack, formerly the stack attack, plain, a value fry and a large coke. VERYYYYY complicated I know. So I go to the window and pay for my "meal" to what looked like Quasimodo and went to the next window to get my food. I should have known that something was askew when my order was waiting on me. In the history of me ordering "fast food" it has never been ready when I pulled up to the window, especially since I order most things plain. Although the warning sign was there I foolishly ignored it and drove away back to my place of employment to try and enjoy a little bit of Jim Rome on the radio and have my "meal" before I had to go back to my indentured servitude.

Here is the part in the story where I get angry. I eat my chicken sandwich and fries without incident, and then I go to open the double stack.....damnit it is not plain. How hard is it to read a screen? How hard is it to see that it says plain next to that order? Apparently this is one of the more complicated tasks in the world because I would say that 1 out of every 3 trips the these garbage factories results in me getting the wrong food. I know that none of these folks are creating cures for cancer, brain storming new technological advances or even just bathing on a regular basis, so, is it too much to ask for them to get my damn order correct?

Incidentally I gave my burger to someone else, which will make my wife happy to know that I did not eat the extra food. And since I am just a peon, I did not have enough time to go get something else to eat or even drive back to Wendy's to go all "Jesy" on them. Sorry for the inside joke there, but if you want to know the story please let me know and I will tell anyone.

So, no more fast food joints for me, unless it is an emergency or I am out voted by a group i am out with. Thank you Wendy's for ruining a good run of bad food.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Naked Bengals.

Brad Johansen said it best last night, "If this was supposed to be the dress rehearsal for the season opener, then the Bengals were playing naked." What I saw on Saturday night as I arrived from a very long drive from Hilton Head was astonishing, or more to the point repulsive. Year after year this team is getting harder and harder to watch, it is like we took a trip with 'Ol Doc Brown and Marty back to the 90's in Bengaldom, or should I say Bungledom!

The Bad.
Ten punts. They had as many first downs and they were only across the fifty yard line once.
136 total yards for the game and 38 were rushing. I remember the days when we thought that as long as our defense could hold someone to under two touchdowns that our offense would blow the doors off anyone. I am worried as I am sure most are, this once vaulted offense looks stale, predictable, and unmotivated. I am sure part of that can be accounted by the loss of Chad, T.J., and Rudi, but this is virtually the same offensive line that we had in 2005 and Palmer is getting beat like a red headed step child, more on that later. The other part of that is the scheme, it looks like to me that everyone in the NFL know what is coming from Bratkowski, hell I didn't even play college ball and I can almost tell you what play is coming next.

I mean this team can not be this bad and I am sure that it has talented players, so at this point I have to start questioning the coaches and in particular Marvin Lewis. This is a man that was praised as a defensive genius with that great defense he built in Baltimore. For one that is a pretty short resume, and I know he was in Washington and Shitsburg before coming here as well, but what did he really do there? And I am tired of hearing about what he did in Baltimore, he MIGHT have had a say in who was drafted, but as far as coaching the talent he was handed, well I know high school students that could coach that talent. All he had to do was tell them where to stand and with those guys the rest was easy.

The Ugly.
Palmer had to leave the game, not that he was coming back after the half anyway, with a busted nose and lip after his third sack. I love Palmer, but I think that I am glad this happened. After watching the Detroit game and then the New Orleans game something dramatic had to happen to get the guys on the lines attention and maybe this was it. I can only hope because god forbid we have another incident from 2005. And that is exactly what will happen, that or he is going to get shell shocked like the likes of Tim Couch and Joey Harrington. We have heard of the phrase, "from worst to first," well I think the phrase can be reversed for the Bengals line, first to worst. They had better get it together!

The best was listening to Brad and Dave on the way to my in-laws house to drop off the golf clubs that we toted back from Hilton Head. Golf is an evil sport by the way enjoyed by only masochists and those who love to do harm to themselves. Anyway listening to them was like listening to Bob Uecker in "Major League." Never have I heard such defeat in a broadcasters voice, it was sad and funny all at once.

The Good.
I have to end on a positive note or I will drive myself crazy, and this is just the third pre-season game. I love what I am seeing from Ben Utech, Keith Rivers and Corey Lynch so far. Utech and Rivers were supposed to come in and help and they are, but Lynch from a 1-AA school was fighting for a roster spot and I think as of about two weeks ago might have been on the outside looking in. I hope the Bengals are seeing what I am seeing from this kid, but who knows with the way this team is run sometimes. Chris Perry is tough to tell with the state of the line and with out a back like Rudi to get those in between the tackle Yards that Chris is now having to pick up.

All in all it looks to be a longer year than normal because expectations were still marginally high from three years ago. And don't tell me to stop living in the past because it was the single greatest year for the Bengals in close to 20 years and these fans deserve better. And if I cant live in that past then I don't know what else to do, because our future looks grimly like the past of the mid '90s and that is enough to make a true fan sick to his/her stomach.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Bengals deal with the devil.

And so begins a new Chris Henry era in Cincinnati. Could be a good move, could be disastrous. Just as polar as Chris Henry himself. A man who coaches describe as quiet and take direction well, but has so many off the field issues that he makes Rae Carruth look like a stand up citizen. And then there is what he brings to a game. 6'4'' and 200 lbs., quick and can catch, which most of the healthy receivers have had issues with so far this season. For a while on the field the man looked like a mix of Randy Moss and Chris Carter, he had the size and speed to create huge mis - matches and seemed to have a nose for the end zone. But just like Randy he comes with so much baggage that he has his own luggage cart.

And so that begs the question, has Henry learned his lesson, now that he literally has nothing left can he "know his role and shut his mouth?" Can he be like Randy and put away the self centered bull crap and be a productive part of a team? I would love to say yes, I want to believe because I have seen what he can provide when given the chance, and lets face it the Bengals need someone reliable on the field right now catching the ball. Chad, T.J., Caudwell, and now Marcus Maxwell are all hurt and Maxwell is for sure out for the season. Even with Henry serving the four game suspension at the beginning of the year they NEED him.

And this is why, against every fiber of his being I am sure, Marvin had to make the call and secure Henry before a team like Dallas, or Oakland, who obviously has no issues with checkered pasts, to sign him. With Henry knowing the system and the Bengals looking at their third pre-season game in less than a week it would seem to reason why some one like Joe Horn is out, not to mention possible locker room issues with egos like his and Chad's in the same room.

So did the Bengals make the right call? For weeks all we heard from Marvin was the adamant "No", but it was apparent now that it was all coach speak. I know all coaches do it and I thought I had become immune to it, but I thought Marvin was better than this. The man who came here and cleaned house and made this club a contender again and not a punch line. All that only to completely go back on his word and sign a man who is the poster child for all the Bengals legal woes over the last three years. And while I see why the Bengals did it and while I see the desperateness of the situation at receiver, I think this was the wrong call. I think that it would be better to lose and give some of the younger guys, guys that are hungry for it, who have not blown their chance over and over again a chance to excel. Will there be growing pains, yes of course, but at least you don't bring on the distraction of the inevitable implosion with Chris Henry.

Randy needed a different team and maybe so does Chris, let him go and save your integrity for god sake.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bengals Training Camp Reveiw

To begin my blogging career I thought I would begin with something that is near and dear to me, the Cincinnati Bengals. I will begin with my observations and more than likely spin off several times on tangents as I regularly do, if you know me you are used to it, if you don't then GET used to it!

Return of Rudi!

I will be the first to admit that I am not a big Rudi fan. Now before anyone screams profanity at me or threatens children that I don't even have yet hear me out. I have watched him for years "dance" timidly to the line once he takes that hand off and not be able to get around the end to stretch the field a little bit. This is a guy that is supposed to be the "Bell Cow," and yes he has carried the ball a ton, he averaged 346 carries a year from 2004 to 2006, but he was always missing that game breaker ability. Enter Chris Perry. If/when healthy is that game breaker, but not the bell cow that Rudi is. Now even with my slight disdain for Rudi, which comes more from not using him correctly and Rudi himself thinking he is something that he is not I was elated to see him back on the field Wednesday night. The thought of the Bengals being able to use the both of them together for what they were both made for gives me wet dreams! Watching Chris Perry in the Packers pre-season game gave me hope provided god does not curse us again with another running back injury! Of course all this hinges on if 'ol Bob can come up with a way to use both, might be a daunting task though since the Bengals offense might be the most predictable in the NFL. I just hope that they are serious about making the running game the key this year. Eat up the clock and let the defense rest. This will be key in keeping the likes of Peyton, Tony Romo, Brett Farve, Worthlessburger, and Vince Young off the field!

Defense shows no intensity again this year.

I was super excited to go down this year to see Mike Zimmer and the new attitude on defense. For years I have wanted to see Bresnahan fired, I thought he was soft and could not scheme his way out of a box. And what I saw in Zimmer was fire and passion when I got off the exit at Georgetown I rolled down my windows expecting to hear him yelling from there, but instead what I saw when I got there was allot of the same drills that I saw last year and guys standing around playing patty cake with each other. I am trying to reserve judgement until the season starts, but nothing really looked different.

Rivers is a man possessed.

So far he is living up to the billing. It was fun to see a guy know his position and fly all over the place. It seemed as though he was involved in every play! And let this be a lesson to the Bengals, when you draft a guy keep him in a position he knows instead of switching his position and starting him ala David Pollack. Of course the hold out hurt David, but Rivers held out as well and has made the transition almost seamless. Just imagine for a moment with Rivers at Will, Odell at Mike and David on the end to replace Justin Smith.....WOW! Just let me dream!
Chad continues to confuse.
What a weird freaking dude. I have never in my life had such a hard time with my feelings for a player. I mean is this guy footballs version of Many Ramirez? Is he just living in his own little world and just have no idea how what he does is perceived? Or is the guy just a marketing genius and he keeps coming up with new ways to re-invent himself? It is like a "Pro Wrestler" he is a bad guy, then a good guy, then a bad guy, then a good guy. I mean it is like watching a politician flip-flop! I guess at the end of the day I will continue my stance of at least he is not T.O. although he was dangerously close this off-season. I will continue to cheer for him and enjoy his inventive ways to celebrate as long as it does not effect the team, but I will not try to think of him as a leader or even a great player, in my book T.J. is the better receiver.
Other minor notes.
1. For most of the practice Jonathan Joseph was on Chad like a blanket, it was VERY nice to see that.
2. Leon Hall was not step for step with receivers, but he did have good closing speed and broke up quite a number of passes.
3. Stacy Andrews was holding his own against Robert Gathers.
4. Still have not got to see Jordan Palmer throw the ball much and would love to because Jeff Rowe looks like he is throwing a baseball out there.
So there it is my first blog and my observations from training camp, I am trying to remain optimistic, but it is hard especially looking at the schedule!