Ultimate Catch

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on July 12, 2010 – 3:53 am

Not exactly Masterpiece Theater, is it?

The Ocho’s dating show, “The Ultimate Catch,” debuted Sunday night on VH1, with Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco cutting his field of 85 women down to a very sweet 16. Congrats to the Ocho for making a niche outside football, but we still like to watch him best on Sunday afternoons.

It began in the Rose Bowl with drills like trash-talking and end-zone dances. It ended 90 minutes later with The Ocho seeding the women one through 16 to set up the rest of the series. I already forgot the name of the top seed, but I am keeping up with his tweets and it sounds like his boxing workouts are as intense as ever as he vows to be in top shape for the upcoming season.

As last month’s minicamp broke, one of his fellow receivers wondered if The Ocho would save him one. But there were no Bengals and no Cincinnati girls.

That’s about all you need to know, except that T.O. tried to get a phone number from one of the girls and The Ocho still let her advance.

More than anything, to me at least, the show got the wheels turning about the competition at the Bengals wide receiver spot. The only way they can keep seven receivers is if they kept only two quarterbacks and that is a longshot unless J.T. O’Sullivan or Jordan Palmer totally implode in preseason. And they have shown no signs of that.

So figure six, and nothing has changed since last month with everybody on the bubble but The Ocho, Antonio Bryant, Andre Caldwell and Jordan Shipley.

The public backlash against Caldwell has been sharper than how the coaches view him. They think he came back in excellent shape and played faster than any of the receivers in the spring, in large part because he’s so comfortable with the offense in his third season. The guy plays all three spots, is physical, and can run. Maybe he’s not one of your top two receivers, but you just don’t throw away guys like that, either.

There is concern about Bryant’s knee, which knocked him out of a couple of the last minicamp practices after he worked all spring. But the thinking is he’ll be OK because they’ll back him off. He did play last year on it after he missed the first month of the season and while he caught just 39 balls in the middle of the Bucs quarterback mess and coaching snafus, they still like the fact he averaged 15.4 yards per catch. So look for him only once in the two-a-days, and he’ll probably get some Fridays off once the season starts.

But it is not really six they’re cutting to. It is five that are going to be active on Sunday and three of the guys conceivably have to help them on special teams. That would not appear to be Matt Jones, Jerome Simpson, or Terrell Owens for that matter.

You have to think the closest Batman and Robin will come to teaming up this year is this past Sunday night. The money, the fit, the age (36) makes less sense than when T.O. visited back in March

The fifth guy could very well be punt returner Quan Cosby. Shipley might be able to do it, but if he plays a bunch from scrimmage he’ll need help and Cosby is merely coming off the Bengals’ best return season in 25 years.

It is hard to see both Jones and Simpson making it. But you could also see either one getting a spot because they do provide the best deep threats beyond The Ocho.  The edge would have to go to Jones over Simpson because of his experience and the fact that the Bengals could use his college quarterback skills in some kind of Wildcat.

You’d have to think the favorite for the sixth spot is sixth-rounder Dez Briscoe. He didn’t do much in the spring because of hamstring problems, but the kid was 20 when they drafted him and he worked enough that they were impressed with how smoothly he ran routes. He’s got good size, speed, and has the big upside, as they say. If they try to get him to the practice squad, you have to assume somebody takes him off waivers.

The Ocho and Briscoe are bookends of eras. Briscoe became a Bengals fan the week Chad Johnson guaranteed a victory over the undefeated Chiefs. Dez was 14. The Ocho has since taken that Joe Willie moment from nearly seven years ago to the next level and you have to take your hat off to him. He’s become bigger than big. You’ve got to credit him for realizing that disgruntled superstar (2008) doesn’t cash as well off the field as a smile and nine touchdowns (2009).

But the real Ultimate Catch would be The Ocho handing down his DBs knowledge and line-of-scrimmage experience to a kid like Briscoe that grew up watching him play. Chad would have no problem with that. We’ve known for more than seven years that Chad will talk to anyone willing to listen.

They’ve got a date.

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Posted in Hobson's Choice | 14 Comments »

14 Responses to “Ultimate Catch”

  1. By spvinny on Jul 12, 2010 | Reply

    Geoff, loved the article, but I was wondering if it would be possible for us to see 3 quarterbacks and 7 recievers on the team. Last year, we had a backup fullback on the roster, as well as 4 tight ends. If the team thinks Vakapuna is the long term answer at fullback then there is no need for a backup because Brian Leonard can fill this role. As for tight end, Clark Harris can serve as an emergency 4rth while Darius Hill is placed on the practice squad. This seems like a good solution to me because it helps the team keep a lot of players they have at a positon they have an abundance of talent at.

  2. By mwindle1973 on Jul 12, 2010 | Reply

    Geoff, I haven’t watched “The Ultimate Catch:: I have it saved on DVR, getting ready to watch it. But to my surprise that was not the Ocho’s only appearance on TV last night.

    I regularly watch a show on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim called Squidbillies. It runs 15 minutes. So I thought I watch this before I start Ocho’s show. The show chronicles the exploits of a family of Northeastern Georgia squid hillbillies, the Cuyler family. Having lived about a 20 miles north of Athens in Northeast Georgia in the early 90s, I can really appreciate the shows take on the culture.

    I turn the new episode entitled “Lean Green Touchdown Makifying Machine” on and begin watching. In this episode young Rusty Cuyler is being recruited by (or should we say pimped out to by his father Early) all the big colleges in the nation for his football skills.

    In one of the recruiting scenes Ocho Cinco appears to pitch the local “Sheetrock U”. He demonstrates what his next TD celebration will be. He’s swallowed by a T Rex traverses his GI system emerges to declare “shockin’ the world!”

    See Chad obviously doesn’t take himself seriously and is able to OK someone doing a parody of him.

    Next scene you see “Tom Trebow, Houseman trophy winner & starting QB from the national champion Crocodiles of the university of the peninsular state just below the state of Georgia” Later Early is seen wearing a hat that says “U of PS just below the state of GA.”

    Just thought I mention you aren’t keeping up with all of Ocho’s TV appearances. 🙂 Apparently even his likeness is in demand!

  3. By bengalbill on Jul 12, 2010 | Reply

    Why not make Jones the emergency third QB? Jordan P. could go to practice squad I think. You only use that position in an emergency for the rest of 1 game then you could activate Jordan for the next game if necessary. I think Jones has more value over Simpson. Simpson probably bites us in the butt later on but I don’t see him playing for us as long as Ocho is around. Shipley will return punts. I think that is why they drafted him. He will play slot only if Caldwell can’t or has to play another position (Bryant). To me it comes down to Briscoe or Cosby. Don’t forget we also have Adam Jones to return punts. Boy would that be something if he can keep himself straight and gets back his playing ability. WHEW!

  4. By 2ndboot on Jul 12, 2010 | Reply

    I really want Simpson to make it if for no other reason than for the under dog factor and the fact he’s caught more “bust” crap than anyone since the days of KillJonny Smith (Kijana) not to mention the Bengals have a lot invested in that kid. I also really want Briscoe to make it and it wouldn’t really shock me if Bryant ended up a bit like Coles, but that’s yet to be seen. That would be a huge disappointment for everyone not to mention make free agent signings at WR more rare than Sparky Anderson playing quarterback.
    I still very much like Caldwell and Q-ball Cosby and of course I hope Shipley makes good as well. Matt Jones…maybe.I’m just not as sold on him as others for some unknown reason..
    Still all in all nobody has proven themselves in stripes for the upcoming season except Ocho and I have a hunch this may be his last season before retirement, but for all I know he’ll be a Bengal for 9 more years. Now that would be a hoot and to see him catch 12 TDs and gain 1000 yards at 41 yrs old, but hey…look at the guy throwing BBs for the Reds in his 40s.
    Never say never I guess.

  5. By bengalbowl on Jul 12, 2010 | Reply

    Good article, I agree that people are giving up on Caldwell prematurely. He made some great plays last year, as well as some bad ones. However the great plays superseded the bad ones by miles. The two clutch touchdown catches were against the Steelers and the Ravens, you don’t get any more intense than that, the bad ones were against the Raiders and San Diego. Don’t get me wrong they made me sick when they happened but I think he learned from them and will move on. He has potential to be a stud. He is a solid all around guy that does whatever they ask of him. I also like the idea of making Jones the third string quarter back. I don’t see it happening but it is a good idea to keep as many of these talented WRs as possible.

  6. By mwindle1973 on Jul 12, 2010 | Reply

    What about Kelly Washington? Is he still available? IDK what the asking price is, but we really need to land a vet who can play in the slot and at WR2. I think we need an insurance policy for Bryant. Sounds ridiculous and it is, but it’s also true.

    Can’t we terminate any contracts right now without penalty? Like Simpson’s for instance? Isn’t that the biggest reason to cut him is he is probably the biggest salary aside from Ocho and Bryant. We need to keep Ocho, Bryant, Shipley, Caldwell, Briscoe and go get a vet for 1.5 to 2M. Say like Washington or TO or any one like that who can play outside and inside. But a big body anyways.

    Who know maybe Jones can become this guy during camp, but I don’t see it yet, and if he doesn’t we still have the same whole as last year. If Bryant doesn’t live up to expectations then the other half of the problem is back too. Perhaps Caldwell will take the WRs lucky 3rd year and make something up of it.

    What about FB, things seem a little questionable there too?

  7. By samoanjungle on Jul 13, 2010 | Reply

    There is no way I would keep a 3rd QB over a 7th receiver with the guys that they will have to let go.
    Maybe they can work a trade to send Simpson somewhere if he shows up well in Training Camp.
    I think Jones will make a big push to be the #3 or #4 and if Bryant’s knee doesn’t hold up he is the second most experienced left and should be able to get 800+ yards.
    A 3rd QB/Clipboard holder could be picked up anytime off of the street and we could have 4 in TC to learn the playbook.

  8. By hobsonschoice1 on Jul 13, 2010 | Reply

    No, WIND, I’m not keeping up with The Ocho’s TV appearances. As Sam would say, there are books to be read and All-Star Games to watch.

    But thanks for the update. The guy has scored in popular culture, hasn’t he?

    They’ll only keep one fullback, but Leonard isn’t a backup fullback. He can do it for a couple of plays or in different formations, but…I still think they need a fourth running back to back up Ced.

    The backup fullbacks are most likely the tight ends. Which means Reggie Kelly and Jermaine Gresham, most likely over the third tight end, Chase Coffman.

    They need outside receivers that can run and, remember, these same coaches weren’t using Kelley Washington all that much because they didn’t think he could get down field four years ago. So I don’t see it now. No question, he has been a first-down machine for Baltimore, but I think now he’s basically a slot guy and the Bengals have plenty of those.

    The way it looks, these are your guys.

    You’re right. Contracts can get dumped with no penalty, but that is no factor with Simpson because he’s into the third year of a rookie contract. He’s basically making minimum.

  9. By bigdad616 on Jul 15, 2010 | Reply

    I dunno about Shipley. Seems like he is a guy who is a little slow and a little small but has great hands, excellent route running and an exceptional attitude. He could turn out to be a solid contributor or forgettable. Either way, his route onto this team is via special teams contribution. Top 3 receivers are Ocho, Bryant and Caldwell. That leaves Simpson, Shipley, Cosby and Jones (in that order) going for 3 roster spots. Briscoe goes to developmental. The only twist I can see if Coffman fails to impress and they go with 2 tight ends (remember Dennis Roland can play the position). That would allow 7 receivers. My bet is that someone gets injured and that allows 6 WR without losing any of these guys.

  10. By mwindle1973 on Jul 16, 2010 | Reply

    Hobs, is there anyone on the roster who might be a target of exploiting the no cap situation? Management has done a great job of exploiting any areas they could this year with the lack of a cap.

    I guess what I’m asking in general is do you look for them to continue to use it to pursue positioning for the future. A handful of key signings and they could be a top team for a few seasons here.

    They have so far been very aggressive in a season when even a lot of big market teams are being frugal. I see it that teams that are less responsible financially (most of the league) are reacting to the cap by cutting expenses. Using it to recharge financially.

    Teams like the Bengals, Patriots, etc who are always financially sound, have been spending away, trying to jockey their way up the ladder.

    Do you think the Bengals still have some extra money in the coffers to blow on bonuses for new contracts for JJ and Hall, and a couple others? The advantages of spending now would seem to give us an advantage once the cap comes back. Perhaps they are just spending to make a run this season before the looming lockout next season.

  11. By 2ndboot on Jul 16, 2010 | Reply

    Wow..some folks seem to think they can just wave a magic wand and presto! Room for everyone!
    Sadly someone has to go, but that happens every year and in our case it’s a problem, but a problem most teams would kill to have.
    All we can do at this point is to hope the guys we have to let go or send to the PS remain with us instead of wanting to be a starter so bad that any team will do.
    Can you answer this Hobs? If a player is on a practice squad and another team wants them do they HAVE to go there or can they opt to remain on the PS with us out of perhaps loyalty or just the desire to work their way into the starting team to go on to the SB?
    I don’t put to much weight on loyalty anymore because few players were ever Bengal fans growing up not to mention that we’ve already seen more than a boatload of players leave for more money elsewhere, but one thing in common with most is they want to win and the Bengals give them a pretty good shot at that so if a team claims them off the PS can they opt to stay anyway?

  12. By bengalbowl on Jul 16, 2010 | Reply

    I agree that players should be loyal, for instance Jerome Simpson has been getting a big paycheck for nothing, we should be able to pratice squad him again and he should be loyal to the Bengals because of the money. However, I personally would go to another team if it meant getting to play. I would rather play for a crappy team than sit for a good team. Also Roland is listed as a TE but he can’t play TE, they just used him in the unbalanced line. No way they let Coffman go in exchange for Roland. Shipley is a stud too. I think he was listed as the WR most ready for the NFL during the draft.

  13. By mwindle1973 on Jul 17, 2010 | Reply

    2nd Boot: I’m not Hobson, but yes I’m pretty sure a player can chose to be on the practice squad. It’s really a money issue. But sometimes top teams can lure a young man to stay on the practice squad with a hefty salary. But it’s hard to compete with league minimum money, a real roster spot and a chance for playing time to establish yourself.

  14. By hobsonschoice1 on Jul 19, 2010 | Reply

    WIND: I’m sure you thank the skies every day you aren’t Hobson and you are exactly right, sir, a player can choose to stay on the practice squad rather than be on the 53-man some place else.

    Sometimes if a team comes calling, the Bengals will match and say they’ll activate him, too, with the thinking the player is already comfortable in the system and already has a feel for the team and the coaches. But that didn’t help last year when they lost fullback Chris Pressley to Tampa Bay.

    To be sure, there is no cap, but there is something worse that could not be there.


    On paper it would be a great time to dole out big money extensions to core guys. But can you imagine any other Fortune 500 company doing that not knowing if they’ll be open for business the next year?

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