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!