Early Friday notes: T.O. gets open (letter); Hot spot

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on August 20, 2010 – 8:00 am

Bengals wide receiver Terrell Owens got open Friday morning before that night’s game against the Eagles at Paul Brown Stadium.

In an open letter to “Who Dey Nation” that appeared in Friday’s edition of The Cincinnati Enquirer, Owens thanked Bengals president Mike Brown for the chance to play and promised “focus stronger than you’ve ever seen it.”

“The Bengals are now my extended family and I look forward to learning more about your city, teammates, coaches and you all,” Owens wrote. “This is my home and I’m happy to be in the Midwest. I’m confident in our team’s chances of winning the title, so anything less than the playoffs is unacceptable to us. It will definitely take a fight but if my gut is correct, Who Dey Nation will be proud this season. I signed here for a reason.

“With hard work and unity, this team will restore power and respect. We’re focused on playing in Texas on Feb. 6. Just take a look at my calendar, the date is saved. Let’s make the Jungle roar this season! “

Before signing off, “Yours truly, Terrell Owens aka T.O. aka “I’m Batman!” Owens said he has “learned that life can be more challenging but I’ve matured.”

HOT SPOT: The roster wild card as the Bengals try to advance beyond the Wild Card is that running back spot they have to keep for injured Brian Leonard (foot).

With Leonard not expected to play until the second game of the year against the Ravens at PBS at the earliest, the Bengals have to keep an extra back to join Leonard, Cedric Benson and Bernard Scott. James Johnson would seem to have the edge because of his knowledge of the system, but Cedric Peerman has some moves. The Bengals coached him at the ’09 Senior Bowl and liked him but were wary of his ball security.

So where is the position where they go with one less? Probably not in the secondary, where the cardinal rule is six cornerbacks and four safeties. It would seem they have to keep just eight defensive linemen or just six linebackers. Keeping just two quarterbacks or just five receivers would seem to be a longshot, but…

It is still extremely early in the process when you consider they could be making key additions five days before the opener off the waiver wire. There have been seasons where they added a kicker (2003) and a backup quarterback (2007) that late.

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Posted in Hobson's Choice | 8 Comments »

8 Responses to “Early Friday notes: T.O. gets open (letter); Hot spot”

  1. By bengalanthony13 on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    I’m confused as to why Leonard’s injury provides the most confusion and is the “Wild Card”. I would think that Bryant’s injury situation is the biggest question right now. Is there any indication (outside of the rumor that they’re exploring an injury settlement with him) on what they’re going to do with him? Will he be on the roster? Will he be IR’ed? He can’t be PUP’ed, so will they look at the injury settlement and waive him? It seems very uncharacteristic of Mike Brown to pay a guy $7 million just to turn around and cut him shortly after…

  2. By phlockar on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    Can’t be IR’ed or PUP’ed…I say CUT’ed him!!

    But seriously.

    This is assuming that he’s out for an extended period of time. Us fans don’t know the extent of the injury. Maybe he’s out until week 8? Maybe he’s back week 1? Yes it’s frustrating but we have to deal with it.

    Who cleared this guy as healthy prior to signing is what I want to know?

  3. By jgoods on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    Phlocker, good question. Who is in charge of these WR additions over the past 3 seasons? Drafting Simpson and Caldwell. Letting Housh go. Signing Coles, and then Bryant this season. Who is evaluating the WR talent?

  4. By 2ndboot on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    I could be wrong, but at this point in his career I think TO, besides just wanting a ring, wants respect and acceptance and to not be thought of as a locker room cancer. Anyone who would deny anyone that seems pretty stingy and unforgiving if you ask me.. I give him the benefit of the doubt. I have no reason to think otherwise.

    Has there EVER been a season when the Bengals had to grunt and struggle in decisions on who to keep and who to cut more so than this year?
    I like Johnson more than Peerman for some reason. I don’t really have anything legit to base that on, but it’s just a gut feeling. Still, once Leonard is back on his feet does Johnson or Peerman once again get walking papers? I can’t see them letting go of Leonard, but it would seem, and I could be wrong they would want more guys with multiple abilities and roles like Cosby and Skuta.

  5. By theredbengal on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    Clearly, Bryant passed his physical during the spring before they signed him. He practiced throughout the OTAs and all that. If missing training camp and the preseason nets a healthy Bryant for the regular season, I have no problem with it. His knee may or may not have pushed them to sign TO, but regardless, that was a good move.

    Hearing Antonio and reading his quotes, you can tell he’s a tough, honest guy. He realizes how much money they’ve invested in him, and how much confidence the organization has in his abilities. He seems very committed to make it worth their while. We’ll see in the next few weeks what happens, but I won’t bash the signing or the guy until Sept. 12 if he is not ready to go and if he’ll miss extended time…

    In regards to tonight’s game, I’ll be watching for big #71

  6. By phlockar on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    I’ve been a Bengals fan all my life and I’ve never been more dissappointed as when Housh left and we brought in Coles. I wish we could erase last year in the aspect of Coles being on this team. The worst..

  7. By ilwhodey on Aug 21, 2010 | Reply

    I think it was the worst mistake letting Housh go!
    But in the same token im happy to see they got TO i hope he puts his foot in Ocho’s rear so he will play better dont get me wrong Ocho is one hell of a reciever he is just not showing it i know Chad can do alot better we have all seen it! CHAD YOUR TEAM NEEDS YOU MORE THAN EVER!
    I think if Chad gets his game on and TO keeps doing what he is doing and the running power of Cedric the Bengals offense is gonna be awsome thats if they can protect Palmer a little better and cut down on the penalties!

  8. By hobsonschoice1 on Aug 21, 2010 | Reply

    ANTHONY: Sorry to confuse you on Leonard. Here’s what I mean. Whether Bryant is running the New York Marathon or gets cut,they are going to keep six receivers no matter what.

    So the Leonard injury is the wild card because they have to keep him on the 53 as well as an extra running back to take his place in the games he can’t play while he heals.

    (And it could be the first couple in the regular season.)

    So when they go one extra at running back, they have to go one lighter some place else. Bryant is no factor in the numbers game. He’s either here or he’s not here.

    Interesting question on what happens when Leonard comes back. Leonard and Bernard Scott are outstanding complementary players, but don’t they still need a fourth back that is a bell cow and can pound it 25 to 30 times for a couple of games if Ced gets nicked? Can Johnson or Peerman do that? I’m not sure. They haven’t is all I know.

    You’d have to say it doesn’t look good on Bryant, does it? Bryant was nowhere to be seen during pre-game warmups Friday night (I could have missed him but I don’t think so), which would indicate he’s not practicing Sunday. The longer it goes, the more you wonder.

    Radio analyst Dave Lapham said on air he understands Bryant makes another $1.5M if he’s on the Opening Day roster on top of the nearly $10M he gets this year. $1.5M could pick off a healthy veteran at another spot where they need more depth. (Backup guard-center?)

    If it happens, it’s a shame. Bryant has overcome a lot and he’d be a tough, smart guy in the locker room. Those are two qualities that could get him back.

    The Bengals approach free agency much like they do the draft. They get opinions from their scouts as well as the coaches, and, as we have seen, players like quarterback Carson Palmer.

    Both are heavily involved. The Terrell Owens talks didn’t speed up until the coaches got back from vacation, but the coaches and scouts both liked what they saw on tape back in March. They also both liked Bryant.

    Bengals president Mike Brown prefers consensus among coaching and personnel.

    It’s a two-way street with Housh. At the end the Bengals offered pretty much what Seattle did. Maybe the structure was different but it was enough of a mesage that he wasn’t coming back. Who knows why? Getting away from The Ocho’s shadow? Going to a perennial contender nearer his Los Angeles home? The final offer came too late and not in training camp?

    Housh is a pretty outspoken guy and at times didn’t endear himself to a coaching staff that, at times, grew weary of his shoot-from-the-hip style. But they also know how valuable he is for his toughness and reliability.

    I think they gave it a try to re-sign him, but you need two to tango and each side was doing some dancing. Houshmandzadeh with the green grass of somewhere else and the Bengals with the age factor.

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