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Things to think, believe

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on August 22, 2010 – 6:38 am

I put on my Lance McAlister “I Believe” T-shirt and read Peter King’s “Things I Think I Believe” in this week’s Sports Illustrated and came up with these things I Think I Believe:

» A year after not having Roy Williams for 12 games and losing Chris Crocker down the stretch, the Bengals took another hit at safety when Gibril Wilson tore up his knee Friday against the Eagles and looks to be done for the year.  The guy is into it and they loved his familiarity with some aspects of the defense. Wilson spent some time with the Giants under Marvin Lewis disciple Tim Lewis.

The Bengals now need a fourth safety and I Think I Believe don’t sleep on Rico Murray, the Moeller High School product via Kent State in his second season. He also plays cornerback and runs around on teams at high intensity. The fact he’s a swing guy is interesting. Could they keep just nine DBs, now, if they kept Murray? They would still have the magical number of six corners if they count Murray as a safety and count five others at corner.

» It took just one night to realize how good this defense can be. Kevin Kolb may not be Donovan McNabb, but he’s at the controls of a proven offensive scheme that had put up some numbers in the preseason.  The intriguing thing about them is how deep they are at all three levels. They’ve never had this much depth on the defensive line ever, ever.

Who do you cut there? I don’t know, but I Think I Believe that at least two of them will end up with jobs the next day.

» How about some midseason preseason awards?

 I Think I Believe Co-Offensive MVPs would be wide receiver Terrell Owens and running back Cedric Peerman. Defensive MVP would be rookie tackle Geno Atkins, and Special Teams MVP would be returner Adam Jones.

» But I Think I Believe that running back Cedric Benson has looked extremely good. He looks fast, decisive, and ready to dole out some more punishment.  It doesn’t look like they’re carving out a lot of room for them, does it?

 Which brings me to the next.

» The offensive vibes still aren’t there and I Think I Believe that’s a gnawing concern that is now moving into the pit of the stomach. Especially after watching the Opening Day foe the night before.  Tom Brady and the Patriots already look at the top of their game.

 The ease with which New England scored against the Falcons is a not-so-subtle reminder in a year the Bengals play Brady, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Drew Brees – plus Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco twice –  that they have to do a lot more than what they’ve been doing the last three years. They have to roll out more than their one or two touchdowns a game and the same old story of pre-snap penalties, holding calls, and not-on-the-same-page interceptions is more than a bit mystifying after three games.

The defense is good but it can only take the Bengals so far with this schedule.

» I Think I Believe the kicking situation is a mess. Both guys have lived up to the backs of their football cards. Dave Rayner makes about 70 percent of his field-goal tries and Mike Nugent has struggled with injuries. The Texans gave Neil Rackers a good bit of change to sign him this offseason, but along about the third quarter Friday night you had to be thinking how the guy would do kicking on this FieldTurf surface rather than the lunar landscape he dealt with his first three seasons here.

» The Bengals are suddenly thin on the offensive line with the release of center Jon Luigs and injured tackles. It is unclear how long Anthony Collins (foot) is going to be out, but it appears it may be just a sprain. Still, I Think I Believe they could go after a center-guard type on Cutdown Day.


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Posted in Hobson's Choice | 14 Comments »


14 Responses to “Things to think, believe”

  1. By pacomomogoose on Aug 22, 2010 | Reply

    Our PK game looks awful, any options or stuck with what we have?

  2. By jgoods on Aug 22, 2010 | Reply

    I think I believe there is no chance Kyries Hebert gets cut. He made a great interception vs the Eagles. Made a few ST tackles, and has been flying around on defense. I thought Rico Murray could have beaten him out this year, but after Murray had a rough game this week, I thought he had no shot. But then Wilson goes down for the year. So now we could be looking at both players making the team.
    I also think I believe Jermaine Gresham is a weapon. Anyone with 2 eyes can see how much better he has gotten over the past 3 games. I can’t wait to see where he lines up on offense.

  3. By phlockar on Aug 22, 2010 | Reply

    A few thoughts:

    Cedric Benson looks great so far. I can’t remember the last RB we had that is as explosive right after the handoff as he’s been.

    No co-defensive mvp? MJ93? My buddy is a HUGE Georgia Tech fan and he texted me right when we drafted him that I would love this guy. He was right.

    Glad to see we brought Marvin White back. I liked him while he was here. You have to think though how good is he really if he couldn’t make the Lions roster…

    This is the first year that I’m more worried about Carson “getting it together” than the rest of the offense. He ended on such a bad note last year with his playoff performance and isn’t showing much promise so far this year. I don’t know if there is a bigger Palmer fan in the world than me (I bet a friend 10,000 dollars during the 05′ campaign that he would get in the Hall of Fame. Stupid drunk college bet. He doesn’t know my fingers were crossed.) but he’s not playing up to expectations anymore. I can’t keep using the injury excuse.

  4. By rrdirks on Aug 22, 2010 | Reply

    I’m worried about the kicker situation as well. What are the chances we can pick up the loser of the Texans kicker battle (Rackers or Kris Brown)?

  5. By hobsonschoice1 on Aug 22, 2010 | Reply

    GUYS: Anything could happen at kicker. The options are pretty clear. Sticking with one of these guys or do what they did when they got Shayne Graham and pick up a guy after the final cut.

    Did you see that both Rackers and Brown made 50-yarders the other day? Rackers didn’t like me very much when he was here, even though every time I mentioned his percentage I always tried to point out he was kicking on a tough surface at home. He’s had a great run since he left and good for him because he had such a tough start with difficult conditions.

    It would make for a great story if he ended up back here kicking on the fake stuff, but he may not be giving many interviews to Bengals.com.

    I love Hebert, too, jgoods, but not so fast. Secondary coach Kevin Coyle said Sunday after practice that nothing is cut-and-dried at that final safety spot.

    What hurts him is he plays very little, if at all, from scrimmage, and if you’re only keeping four safeties and six corners, which is where they look to be headed, that fourth guy has to play. Maybe they think he can now, but they haven’t done it in two years.

    If they kept a guy like Murray, who plays both, maybe they could keep Hebert as the fourth. I’m like you, I’d love to see Hebert on this club and I’m pulling for him but I think it’s a long way from being decided.

    And Lock, don’t buy into the reverse hype about Palmer. Gee, you sound like a national pundit.

    I hear you. The visions of the playoff game die hard when he looked like Wild Thing out there in the first half and everything was just a bit outside. He was bad, yes, but I don’t think his receivers helped him out very much that day, either.

    He didn’t have a great night, either, Friday, but I think he looks sharper this preseason than he has in the previous two and I think it’s because he’s got more options over the middle. He’s had absolutely nothing in the middle of the field since ’07, when T.J. was last healthy here, and he looks a little more decisive throwing to Shipley and Gresham, not to mention T.O.

    Luckily for you, you can keep warding off that debt with the help of the Senior Hall of Fame voting, which starts 25 years after the guy’s last season. Everybody is eligible.

  6. By whodey2010 on Aug 23, 2010 | Reply

    I agree with most of the things you think you believe Hobby, but really have to question one: Peerman as co-offensive MVP? Granted, I didn’t see the Philly game, but B Scott has been the best at that position so far. I know Benson is really the better of the 2, but I think I believe they’ve been more interested in working on his pass protection since they know what he can do with the rock. But I’d say I think I believe Gresham is the co- MVP. Sometimes, making teams fear you is more valueable than the numbers. And teams have to fear him, or he’ll gash them in the middle. And if they take that away, then our receivers will have great opportunities to make big plays. Look at the other side of the ball for an example you used not too long ago: Odom led the league in sacks before his injury, and alot of that was due to Geathers getting double or triple teamed. I think I believe this team is just as special, if not more, than the Saints team that won the Super Bowl this past year. And I can’t wait to get it going for real.

  7. By rparr32 on Aug 23, 2010 | Reply

    Hob, Im back as promised and just wanted to touch base on a few subjects about your post and what I saw in this weeks game versus Philly. First and foremost I saw a very agressive and impressive defense. They looked really good and played to a top 5 level. The pressure could of been a little better but what can anyone expect with Odom and Geathers out of the game. I thought the guys who filled in did an awesome job and for the most part made Kolb have to move around a little bit. Offensively I think they looked middle of the road at best. Even though they had some bright spots in the passing game things still looked “Bad News Bearish.” Penalties, lack of run blocking, and poor protection are lagging problems for this offensive line. Maybe it is me, but as a fan when I see these things going on, the coaches should be aware they are going on as well. What is so aggravating about the situation is they continue to do nothing about it. They let another Pro bowl lineman slip right through their fingers again. I am making reference to Shawn Andrews who is now with the Giants and they got him for next to nothing. Ok, so the guy may have a few depression problems but so what, give him his happy pills and let him go play football, we have every other type of problem child on this team why not one more. (And that is not an insult to the team, I like a lot of the additions made) Shawn Andrews has been to two pro bowls in his four year career, or should I say the four years that he played. You can not sit back and wait until cutdown day and then pick from Olineman that nobody else wanted (Third Teamers) I guess you can make the argument that their might be a diamond in the rough sitting there at that time. The question I have is, do you really want to take a chance on that when you have a franchise quarterback in the pocket throwing passes for your team? I would not want to take that chance, especially with my 100million dollar quarterback. The addition of the pass weapons were a great move, but if you cannot protect carson well enough to take advantage of those wepons on a regular basis it is a wasted effort. So I say this again, “They better address their line concerns soon or it is gonna be a long season.” This team is the best team I have ever seen on paper in my 37 years as a fan, it is just ashame that we are sitting back and doing nothing about our issues up front.

  8. By hobsonschoice1 on Aug 23, 2010 | Reply

    WHO: Yeah, you’re right on B.Scott. But I’m not going on pure stats. In the last two games Peerman has been on the field with some big fourth-quarter carries that got some points to either win it or add cushion.
    PARR: One of my stories today is talking to offensive line coach Paul Alexander and left tackle Andrew Whitworth about pass pro. It may surprise you. If you saw my post Sunday, you know I also have concerns about how rusty this offense looks just getting things into gear, although I think the protection looked better.

    Shawn Andrews? He hasn’t been on the field in forever. In this age of Antonio Bryant, that kind of signing won’t happen again for a long time.

  9. By rparr32 on Aug 23, 2010 | Reply

    Shawn Andrews played some in 2008, and with the bengals that does not seem to be a problem with the signing of Pac-Man Jones. Talent is talent in my book, and yes you are right with the A. Bryant topic. We might end up losing a little bit of money on that deal. I just thought that the Shawn Andrews thing would have been worth a look for the money. When I weigh the two Shawn Andrews or Chris Rodgers, it kind of seems like a no brainer to me. I like the fact that you are putting the effort in to drop some seeds within the organization about these topics offensively. Hopefully it will help us and get things moving in a better direction. Keep up the good work with the blog and everything else that you do, us fans really appreciate it.

  10. By whodeyjay on Aug 23, 2010 | Reply

    I think I believe that it takes longer for an offensive line to operate on a high level than a defensive line, due to all of the complex schemes.

    I think I believe that our offensive line is single-handedly hindering this offense.

    I think I believe that if complex schemes (that proved to be too difficult for our O-line to execute last year) are not working, you simplify the blocking and institute a gap only system that allows these guys to be successful.

    I think I believe that Carson Palmer is an elite QB.

    I think I believe that we have the most talented receiving corps in the NFL.

    I think I believe that with the poor ability to block, false starts, holding penalties and blown assignments, we will continue to have a poor down-field threat.

    I think I believe that this is a result of poor coaching and poor scheme design. With the current design, Palmer can’t even take a 3 step drop; a 4 man rush is way to effective against it; wide receivers, as a result, are forced to find their way through 7 defenders and cannot get seperation in the second and a half that Palmer has to throw the ball. This all makes this talented, expensive team no better than last year. It will return to the same scouting report as last year: Stuff 7 in the box and dare them to throw it because Palmer will be running for his life.

    I am so excited for this year, and I’m sure these are the things being discussed in meetings. This is a team that has the ability to do spectacular things. But, I’ll believe in the passing game when the offensive line can protect the passer. It’s time to put the weight on 9’s shoulders.

  11. By whodey2010 on Aug 23, 2010 | Reply

    I’m not concerned about the offense because I’m not convinced we’re showing our whole hand. I think that the preseason is used to see who can do what, and once that’s figured out and the games count, we’ll see the whole playbook. If after week 2 we’re still in a bind, I’ll be concerned. Right now, injuries are my only concern.

  12. By hobsonschoice1 on Aug 23, 2010 | Reply

    Don’t make it too complex. This is an easy game. The Bengals proved that last year. Run the ball and play defense.

    The best way to protect Carson is to run it. The best way to run it is to be committed to it. For the most part, they did both last year and so what if it didn’t look pretty with the unbalanced lines and extra tackles and gaudy passer rating? To heck with complexity. Simplicity swept the division.

    My big question is balance. Can they stay committed to the run while using all those new passing targets? I understand. In order to win the whole thing in the playoffs, you have to score. But at what price? We all know the concerns about protection. We also know they haven’t played nearly all of their cards that they will Sept. 12. And they haven’t run it as much as they will then.

    We don’t know what we don’t know.

    But we all know the little mistakes can’t keep happening. Those are the kinds of mishaps that a mega sound team like New England feasts on at home.

    Go back and look at how Baltimore took them apart in Foxboro in the playoffs last Jan. 10. The Ravens committed JUST THREE PENALTIES FOR 15 YARDS. It helped they ran it, too, 52 times.

    Sound and smashmouth.

    Is there any other way?

  13. By theredbengal on Aug 23, 2010 | Reply

    I think I believe if Rayner or Nugent can’t wow us, then there will be other alternatives, such as the loser of the Rackers V. Kris Brown (reminiscent of december 2001 Bengals/Steelers) and Graham V. Cundiff. One of those guys should be able to do the job, right?

    I think I believe I was impressed with the O-line during the Philly game. The defense bounced back and looked tough as well. Adam Jones looks like he could turn out to be a game changing type player. As does Bernard Scott, who looks primed for a breakout year.

    I think I believe losing Gibril puts the Bengals pretty much where they were last year: with 3 proven guys and a toss up. Gibril gave them tremendous depth, but now that is all gone. My fellow Moe Bro Rico might have a good shot at the spot, but with Marvin White back, I we’ll see how the safety spot shakes out.

    Gresham and Shipley are the real deal. I don’t have to think I believe that.

    I think I believe that so far, I’m pleased with how they’ve played for the most part. I had high expectations going into training camp, and nothing has changed those.

  14. By rhoadmd on Aug 24, 2010 | Reply

    I Think, I believe that Carson Palmer better have one of those inflatable bubbles around him this year that I saw at Kings Island the other day because our backup QB’s stink. If he goes down, we’re in big trouble.

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