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The future is now

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on July 28, 2010 – 5:17 am

In some ways, it is the anti-Bengals move.

In other ways, it is pure Bengals.

Either way, the Terrell Owens move shows a bunch of things: Just how much Mike Brown wants to win, how much influence Carson Palmer has, and just how rare speed and separation are among NFL wideouts that you have to find it in a 36-year-old physical freak.

Before 2007, Isaac Curtis, Tim McGee and Michael Westbrook were the only Bengals wide receivers to make a catch after their 30th birthday.  Since then, it has become a matter of routine.  The Ocho and T.J. Houshmandzadeh became the first 30+ starting duo ever in 2008 and for the third straight season the Bengals may line up with two Opening Day starters 30 or older at receiver as Brown and Marvin Lewis try to find weapons for Palmer.

One national media guy called Tuesday and said this looked like a Mike Brown move and I said it looked just the opposite because of the age thing. He likes his receivers young and fast, especially after Laveranues Coles showed up here last year with barely a pulse and Antonio Bryant is working overtime this year to rehab his knee. With young guys like Jerome Simpson and Dez Briscoe around, you’d have to talk him into it.

This thing was dead Friday morning. But when the Bengals got called by Owens and the coaches were clearly excited by what Palmer was saying about their workouts in California, a consensus began to build. And while Brown has made some moves arbitrarily, he has a long track record of going on consensus and relying on his coaches to push it one way or the other.

When Lewis emerged from his training camp staff meeting Monday morning with a thumbs-up,  Bengals vice president Troy Blackburn put together a proposal.

Owens fits the trend of the last couple of years: A player with baggage who has found a second chance in Cincinnati. The coaches liked Cedric Benson when he worked out. Mike Zimmer was sold on Tank Johnson and Adam Jones. Brown felt like the late Chris Henry could turn his life around.  And there are the one-time stars or high draft picks that have something to prove that Lewis loves, like Roy Williams, Chris Crocker, Dhani Jones and Rey Maualuga.

Owens’ age may not fit the formula. But like Chad Ochocinco said Tuesday night, “The window is open, let’s go.”

What was once one of the more competitive roster spots in camp is now almost moot. Six make it and we know the five that are going to dress on game day: The Ocho, Owens, Bryant, Bryant, Andre Caldwell and Jordan Shipley. That would seem to leave Simpson and Briscoe battling for the sixth spot that is deactivated unless something crazy happens. What to do with Quan Cosby, a very reliable punt returner?

That’s why they have camp, but it sounds like everyone wishes Sept. 12 were here right now with T.O. on the way.


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Posted in Hobson's Choice | 10 Comments »


10 Responses to “The future is now”

  1. By spaulding24 on Jul 28, 2010 | Reply

    Yes the time is now. Carson now has weapons at every position. We can now run any formation we feel like, barring injury of course. Our defense is certifiable, oh and healthy. We do have an intersting schedule. Not the simplest by any means, but one that will define us as a whole.

    Now on another note Geoff, since we are very deep at WR, what are the possibilities of trades now.??

  2. By chad85esteban on Jul 28, 2010 | Reply

    Does this mean Matt Jones is gone? I still see potential there, if nothing other than his size, speed, and his last encouraging season…..To me it comes down to special teams. Who left can contribute? I say it goes to Purify or Quan. Man, I wouldn’t wanna be the WR coach right now….albeit a nice problem to have.

  3. By trabba98 on Jul 28, 2010 | Reply

    I say the last spot goes to Briscoe after Ocho, TO, Bryant, Caldwell, and Shipley simply because he would get plucked off the Practice Squad. As much as I like Cosby, he will probably not make the cut either being that his primary value is on ST and Pacman or Shipley can easily step into the PR role. I would say Simpson, Matt Jones, and Cosby are most likely on their way out. But you never know what camp and pre-season will show either, so let the battles commence. Should be a great year!

  4. By 2ndboot on Jul 28, 2010 | Reply

    Odd isn’t it? Just a few VERY short years ago people were renting billboards in a vain attempt to get Mike Brown to step down. They were flying banners around town and wearing goofy t-shirts to oust him and now all I read are his praises and I was among those who wanted him gone, but now it’s painfully obvious that it’s just not as easy as many make it out to be to put a winning team on the field.
    Even to this day there are those who think he’s backward and all manner of negative things, but one thing nobody can say anymore is that Mike Brown doesn’t want to win.
    I never did think it was as easy as some claimed because some make even politics out to be simple as falling off a log and we know that isn’t true.
    Now comes the really tough decisions I’m sure no coach or owners wants to do..tell promising young players we don’t have room for them on the roster and ironically some of these young guys could play on any team in contention and certainly for those not in contention and it’s not just among wideouts either. I don’t recall any time in Bengals history when they had such a luxury and ironically the moves they make are never guarantees of anything. The players they let go could very well end up on a team that stomps the Bengals into the ground and what a wonderful feeling for any players who end up on such a team and a low down feeling for all Bengals and fans involved if such a tragedy happens. (OK..you can tell me to stop cursing us any time now.)
    At any rate my opinion of Mike Brown went up drastically last year and now it’s at a very high level and imagine how Mikey will feel towards all his detractors if they win the Superbowl come January. A WHOLE lot of people will own him a huge apology, one I feel is well overdue as is.

  5. By theredbengal on Jul 28, 2010 | Reply

    I still say Cosby makes it. When was the last time the Bengals had a top 5 punt returner statistically? Cosby and Josh Cribbs were tied for 3rd in the AFC for return yrd averages of 11.9 yds.
    Not to mention Darrin Simmons called Cosby’s blocking of 3 or 4 steelers on B. Scott’s TD return one of the best special teams plays he’d ever seen.

    I know there are more options now, with Shipley and A. Jones joining the fray, but man, Cosby can’t just be thrown to the curb so easily.

    Chad, TO, Bryant (best top 3 receivers on any team, period), Shipley, Caldwell, Cosby. That is my prediction. All can hold it against me if I’m wrong.

    Get’chyour popcorn ready, Bengals Fans! WHO DEY

  6. By dhathaway99 on Jul 28, 2010 | Reply

    Geoff–do you agree that it is Super Bowl or see ya for Marvin?

  7. By redhawk8 on Jul 28, 2010 | Reply

    Jeff….

    I agree the future is now. But I also think that the final spot has to go to Briscoe or Simpson (or both). I doubt either can make it to the Practice Squad….and we need young “outside” receivers to develop….Shipley & Caldwell are better suited inside, and we need future replacements for Owens, Ocho, and even Bryant.

    If I were making the call, assuming Simpson really has progressed, I would keep 7 (both Briscoe and Simpson) and go thin somewhere else like linebacker, where you have Johnson’s versatility.

  8. By Chris Ross on Jul 28, 2010 | Reply

    It is really going to be interesting to see T.O. in Cincy with Ochocinco there. Two of the most controversial wide receivers in the league on the same team, it’s like a media dream come true. I actually think that TO can help a team out, but he truly has to realize that he is not the go to guy and is not going to get the ball all the time. I’m not sure that is possible. Nevertheless, it is going to be a great NFL season. The only thing I’m waiting for is Favre to officially return :).

  9. By ftmyersbengal on Jul 28, 2010 | Reply

    Simpson has had his chances, he couldn’t even get activated much less see the field even when we were desperate for WRs. 2nd round pay and doesn’t even play ST’s he has to go. I don’t know why everyone seems to be so high on Briscoe. He had inflated numbers at Kansas because they threw the ball 50 times a game. There is a reason he was a 6th round pick, he won’t be able to get any separation in the Pros and the only STs position he might be able to play would be KO coverage. At least M Jones has size and a little bit of speed. Cosby made it on his own merits and by the end of the year was one of our better receivers. He has to stay even if Adam Jones beats him out for PR. ( I refuse to call him Pacman)

  10. By whodey2010 on Jul 28, 2010 | Reply

    I really want Matt Jones on this team. I really don’t want J.T. O’Sullivan. I doubt there’s anyway they run with just the Palmer’s, then have Jones as emergency 3rd String QB, but it’s what I’m hoping for. That, or my previous request to cut Bryant. As I’ve said, if his knee isn’t healed yet, why get stuck with his big contract and take the risk of it never healing right? We’ve done this before, and been burned every time. In an uncapped year, there will be no cap hit next year for cutting him now. Just pay the guaranteed money, get him out, and keep Hall and Joseph. Because if we keep AB, I don’t see how we can keep both of them. Do you see a way, Geoff?

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