Lewis, coaches to tandem parachute

Posted by bengalsweb on May 11, 2010 – 3:27 pm


Head Coach Marvin Lewis and members of the Cincinnati Bengals coaching staff will participate in a tandem camp with the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team on Wednesday, May 12, at Warren County Airport in Lebanon, OH. Coaches Kevin Coyle, Jeff Fitzgerald, Darrin Simmons and former Bengals player Eric Ball are also scheduled to jump with the U.S. Army’s official parachute demonstration team.

The Golden Knights Tandem Team provides the unique experience of tandem parachuting to centers of influence that can help share the Army’s message. These influencers put their lives directly into the hands of our Army Strong Soldiers who demonstrate the Army values of Leadership, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage.

In addition to jumping with the Bengals coaching staff, the Golden Knights will also jump with Cincinnati-area educators and community leaders, and will participate in Major League Baseball’s Civil Rights Game Weekend by performing demonstration jumps at Great American Ballpark on Friday and Saturday, May 14-15.

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Ocho fighting to get to Final Four

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on May 10, 2010 – 9:34 pm


After posting the lowest score in his first dance of the night on Monday’s Dancing With The Stars with a 21, Chad Ochocinco and partner Cheryl Burke responded with a 24 doing a ’60s jive that took them out of the basement by two points heading into Tuesday’s results show.

The usually upbeat Ocho couldn’t hide his concern when he groused about his posture, saying out loud after the second dance he’d be OK if he could find someone else’s.

Contacted a couple of hours before the show, The Ocho said he’s treating the final three shows like football.

“I’m taking it one dance at a time,” he said. “It’s just another week. I’m not looking at it like anything different than before. Just another week.”

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A Who’s Where

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on May 10, 2010 – 8:17 pm

The Bengals open their on-field voluntary sessions Tuesday morning and most everyone is expected.

Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is, of course, detained by ABC’s Dancing With The Stars. But the offense could get a new/old  addition if not this week then soon. Word is the talks for tight end Reggie Kelly have heated up again and that might bear some fruit before May is very old. The Bengals would love to see him sooner rather than later. Not only to check out his surgically-repaired Achilles, but also for him to give the kiddie corps at tight end some whiskers. Most of the rookies, led by No. 1 pick Jermaine Gresham, the former Oklahoma tight end, don’t arrive until next week.

Right tackle Andre Smith (foot) doesn’t look like he’ll be ready to go Tuesday. Starting safety Chris Crocker (ankle) is still rehabbing and backup SAM linebacker Rashad Jeanty (leg) won’t be ready until training camp after he had surgery. But starting SAM backer Rey Maualuga looks to be ready. Dhani Jones, the other network star who appeared Monday on Today, figures to be back at middle linebacker Tomorrow.

Two guys not to look for:

Former Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell and former Bills receiver Terrell Owens.

The Bengals are about eight players over the 80-man limit for training camp and they’re looking to cut rather than add. That is what the number would be if all the draft picks are signed and they won’t start counting against the roster until late June, when the first ones figure to sign.

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Aging as a Bengal (and not)

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on May 10, 2010 – 5:46 pm

Adam Jones (and we’re honoring his request to be called “Adam”) is still only 26?

He’s been in the news so much that he seems as old as a Supreme Court justice.

(And, by the way, here is another getting-old note before I forget:)

With word that President Obama has tapped 50-year-old Elena Kagan for the high court and with all signs pointing to her confirmation barring she didn’t inhale while at Princeton, that means anybody born in the ‘50s is now older than a Supreme Court justice.

And I don’t care if it is just by 11 months. That is still jarring. There may no bigger sign that the world’s fastest 40 time belongs to Father Time. )

Anyway, Jones doesn’t turn 27 until the fourth week of the season, Sept. 30, as the Bengals prepare for a game in Cleveland. Awfully young to be washed up, the Bengals hope.

Tank Johnson has it right.  The surest way for Jones to make sure he turns 27 as a Bengal, besides all the obvious off-field stuff, is to listen to defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and do everything he says. Jones has a history of freelancing and doing things on his own and Zimmer isn’t going to tolerate that for very long in his defense. The quickest way for Jones to get to the bubble of the roster on the field is to go outside the scheme.

That’s one of the reasons Zimmer was impressed by Jones’ workout last week. He not only did the drills well, but he followed the directions to a T. Jones showed he got the message from February, when Zimmer threatened to walk off the field after Jones kept running them wrong.  If he’s in the right spot, he’s got half the battle won. Zimmer thinks he can listen.

If Deion Sanders’ words prove true, “Coach, he’ll play for you,” then Zimmer and Jones should be on the same page.

A side note to the signing of safety Gibril Wilson:

 C.C.Brown signed on with the Lions, according to, after he and Ken Hamlin worked out for the Bengals two weeks ago.

Note who Brown joins in Detroit at safety. Two former Bengals, Marquand Manuel (a sixth-rounder in 2002) and Marvin White, a fourth-rounder in 2007.

 You’ve got to love Manuel, a guy that kept a list in his locker of the safeties drafted before him. Heading into his ninth season, no doubt he’s outlasted most of them with 116 games and 57 starts. The first safety taken in that draft? The Bengals’ Roy Williams with 102 games and 99 starts.

Not a bad run of sixth and seventh-round picks for the Bengals, starting in 2001 with T. J. Houshmandzadeh in the seventh, Manuel in the sixth in ’02, and Scott Kooistra in the seventh in ’03. All three are still playing elsewhere. The seventh-rounder in ’05, defensive lineman Jon Fanene, is coming off a career-high six sacks with the Bengals. Safety Chinedum Ndukwe, a seventh-rounder in ’07, was the team’s third-leading tackler last year and has made 25 NFL starts. A sixth-rounder in ’08, safety Corey Lynch, is still in the league, and the two six-rounders from ’09 – cornerback Morgan Trent and running back Bernard Scott –  played key roles last year.

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Bengals waive CB Antonio Smith

Posted by bengalsweb on May 7, 2010 – 1:56 pm

The Bengals on Friday waived second-year cornerback Antonio Smith of Ohio State. Smith finished last season on the Cincinnati practice squad and was signed to the club’s offseason roster on Jan. 11.

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Wilson adds depth; Jones brings question mark

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on May 6, 2010 – 5:13 pm

The Bengals have agreed to a one-year deal with safety Gibril Wilson, according to agent Alvin Keels.

As the business day wound down Thursday, all indications are if the Bengals do anything officially with Wilson and cornerback Adam Jones, it won’t be until Monday.

One of Jones’ representatives said Thursday that he had agreed to a two-year deal and Ray Savage said he expected him to be in town Monday to sign it.

Wilson brings 80 NFL starts, including 15 last year in Miami and 13 for the 2007 Super Bowl champ Giants. Jones hasn’t played since 2008, when he played in just nine games, the only times he has been on the field since 2006.

As Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer said back on Tuesday when reports surfaced the Bengals were going to sign Jones, he doesn’t know what Jones can do. He did tell Jones he’s not going to start and that he better play with more discipline. And he’ll have to play better than he did in ’08, when he was basically the Cowboys’ fourth corner. Unspoken is he’ll have to adhere to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s last-strike policy.

To be or not to be?

Now the Bengals are on stage.

Will he?

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Zimmer-Jones intriguing match

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on May 5, 2010 – 5:28 am

Even if the Bengals end up not signing corneback Adam Jones, it shows you how much faith they have in defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

Here’s a guy that has had no problem going to the scrap heap for his unit’s remarkable rise from No. 27 to No. 4. He plucked safety Chris Crocker off the street nearly in November and revived his career. He took troubled Tank Johnson off the street in April and saw what no one ever thought would happen. He played well enough and flourished enough in the locker room to get another multiyear deal. Zimmer also went and got safety Roy Williams in April and even though Williams only played four games before re-breaking his arm, he looked better than he had in years.

Zimmer likes to say he came off the scrap heap himself, a victim of the Bobby Petrino fiasco in Atlanta that suddenly left him on the street after the 2007 season. So it’s not all that surprising that Zimmer mentioned Jones’ name back in February about a possible look-see. Like he said Tuesday, there was talk about getting a cornerback in the draft because “you can never have enough good corners. There aren’t a lot of them.”

He says he has put it all on the line to Jones and told him exactly what the story is, which is why his players love Zimmer.

He’s not coming in to start, Zimmer told Jones. He has to play with more discipline than he has shown in his career. He won’t put up with anything that hurts the chemistry of a defense that has grown so far so fast.

“He looked me in the eye and shook my hand,” Zimmer says, and in his world of a man’s word, that means a lot.

Zimmer has spent a lot of time talking to one of Jones’ patrons, former cornerback Deion Sanders. The two remain close after Zimmer coached Sanders in Dallas. Zimmer has liked what he has heard. Sanders has told him, “He’ll play for you.”

Sanders, it can be assumed, has told Jones what to expect.

“If we sign him,” Zimmer said, “I’ll be on him at all times.”

Hard to argue with the track record.

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Ocho flips the switch

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on May 3, 2010 – 8:38 pm


The Ocho hasn’t been this graceful since he caught that six-yard touchdown pass from Carson Palmer for the AFC North title as he was going down on his back against the Chiefs.

After showering partner Cheryl Burke with a raft of gifts on her 26th birthday (the diamond heart necklace has the tongues wagging),  Chad Ochocinco logged his highest score of 25 on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars in all but wrapping up another shot next week.

The Ocho finally sold his most harshest critic this side of Marvin Lewis when judge Len Goodman gave him a nine for the waltz because of his “fluid arms.”

“I don’t know why, but for some reason tonight, it clicked. I was able to flip the switch,” said The Ocho a few hours after the show. “For the first time I felt like I do on the field. I had that same swagger. That same confidence.  It’s about time. I’ve been working so hard, I feel like it’s been paying off.”

Goodman declared that he will remember “May 3, 2010” as the day Ochocinco became a contender.

“To hear that from a professional dancer was big thrill,” Ochocinco said.  “I’ve got my competitive juices going.”

If it was a game?

8-137, 2 TDs.

And he is thinking about football, too. He says he’s getting up at 5 a.m. to lift and run. He got a text from Lewis telling him No. 1 pick Jermaine Gresham looked good at rookie camp. Ochocinco says he’s still on last year’s sked, when he came into the on-field workouts in mid June.

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Of WRs, Rodney, and age

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on May 3, 2010 – 12:41 pm

A few musings on the rookie camp just completed:

» Now that Marvin Lewis has confirmed he’s talked to the agent for Pacman Jones, what is the next step?

Apparently Jones didn’t have a great workout when he was here back in February or they would have signed him, so if they are serious they would no doubt bring him back for another look see.  It would seem like they’ve already got four cornerbacks and two punt returners. So if they end up signing him it will only be because he worked out again and it would have to be off the charts, wouldn’t it?

But, who knows, maybe then it would be worth it.

» The wide receiver thing really gets interesting with sixth-rounder Dez Briscoe. Offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski put the heat on everybody when he said it’s a free-for-all after The Ocho and Antonio Bryant.  And  right now you’ve got no idea how it’s going to come out and probably won’t until Labor Day.

That class of ’08, second-rounder Jerome Simpson and third-rounder Andre Caldwell,  is going to be feeling the scrutiny. Simpson is a longshot to make it, but you have to feel that Caldwell showed enough last year in crunch time in the slot that he should be very much in their plans

But the addition of Bryant gives them huge flexibility because he can also play the slot. If a guy like Briscoe or Matt Jones come on playing the outside, that could get intriguing.

Plus you know Shipley is going to make it. But is he going to be the third receiver in the slot, or the fourth or fifth?  It was Shipley who knocked Bengals receiver Quan Cosby out of the punt return job at Texas and could he do the same here and knock him off the roster? You’d think if Shipley is one of the three receivers playing a lot, they wouldn’t want him returning punts and Cosby would have a life. But what if he isn’t?

And what if Briscoe takes what Bratkowski says to heart and drops the 10 pounds while continuing to look like he did in what amounted to his only practices before he tweaked his groin?

Bottom line is we have no idea. It is to be played out. But you would think by the time the dust clears they’ll have three good receivers and a good punt returner.

» Why does rookie tight end Jermaine Gresham remind me of Rodney Holman?

He’s got the same serious, don’t-get-in-the-way-of-my-job demeanor. Rodney doesn’t suffer fools and this kid strikes me as the same you-can-count-the-consonants way.  But once you get to know Rodney, the guy’s a great talker, funny, smart, honest, but it takes awhile.

I think Gresham is the same kind of guy. He guards his privacy and doesn’t dole out his trust very easily. Fine with me. I think it’s great. It shows the kid has some substance to him.

And, yeah, he plays the same position and if can play it as well as Holman, he’ll make Carson Palmer a very happy man.  With his size and the way he moved around this weekend and caught the ball, it all  made you think of Holman, too.

» With a May birthday, I never feel as old during the year as I do when public relations stalwart P.J. Combs hands me the rookie camp roster.

Two guys born in 1989? Wasn’t that just last Thursday? I swear I just heard Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire” in the car.

(Why, by the way, do they play the same 40 songs on classic rock stations? And nothing after 1982?)

But what really gets me is Mike Windt, the University of Cincinnati long snapper via Elder High School.

My son long snapped against Windt in a Division I state playoff game in 2003 when Anderson head coach Vince Suriano dared take his Kurt Shoemaker-Matty Mullenaux Redskins into “The Pit.”  Just like he does now over at Mount St. Joe, Vince is one of those few guys that can beat more with less, so you know they gave them a good game. They got into the red zone about four or five times, but couldn’t come up with enough points to stop the Panthers’ march to the state title.

Never saw that Friday night game. That was Lewis’ first year here and he started taking the team early to the West Coast. So I was in Arizona trying to pick up the game on the Internet and trying not to throw up on the laptop. From what I remember, no bad long snaps in the Windt-Hobson duel.

Now the only thing they have in common is they’re both getting out of school and in the next few weeks are going to job interviews. My guy is getting out of grad school and heading to the Big Apple. Joe Windt’s kid is coming across town to put his resume in front of special teams coach Darrin Simmons.

I wish them both well as I steady my cane.

(You always  go to the kids for advice. I was thinking about writing a story built around the two kids. How they snapped against each other in a long-ago game and now one is headed to the real world and one is headed to the world all kids want to try.

“Nah,” my kid told me. “You know how you’re always saying that no one cares about what you do or think and they just want to read about the Bengals? They don’t care about me, either.”

Well played, kid.)

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Remembering Karm

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on May 3, 2010 – 10:04 am

Lions defensive line coach Bob Karmelowicz came out of Miami and the college game to the Bengals and the NFL with his hair on fire (he did have reddish hair) nearly 20 years ago and never stopped coaching at the optimum level of animation and passion.

Karmelowicz battled illness for years with the same toughness he demanded of his players and when he died Saturday at 60 of nasal cancer one of the NFL’s great players paid him homage when Vikings defensive end Jared Allen told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune he was “a major influence” on his career.

Karmelowicz coached Allen in Kansas City and his other stops included Houston, Washington and Detroit.  But his first pro job was on head coach Dave Shula’s staff in Cincinnati in 1992. Well aware of his resume at the University of Miami (where he taught a guy named Warren Sapp the position), Shula put him with defensive coordinator Ron Lynn. After two seasons Lynn took Karmelowicz and linebackers coach Mike Haluchak to Washington.

“I can’t say enough good things about Karm. He was an outstanding defensive line coach,” said Bengals director of football operations Jim Lippincott, who also joined the Bengals in ’92. “He had no problems coming from the college game and he became one of the great ones. A great motivator. He was also very good at personnel. He was a good scout. A very talented man.”

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