The week ahead

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on September 29, 2010 – 5:26 am

With the Bengals starting practice Wednesday in preparation for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game in Cleveland (Cincinnati’s Channel 12), here is a forecast of the media buzz for the week:

» Four-time Pro Bowl right tackle Willie Anderson tweeted his visit to town Tuesday night that included a Jeff Ruby steak and a chat with the coaches over at Paul Brown Stadium. Although the Bengals are trying to figure out what to do at right tackle, Anderson isn’t an option.

But he indicated he’s going to be around the facility Wednesday, which is nice because he hasn’t been around the guys since he refused to take a pay cut just before the 2008 season and moved on to Baltimore. Anderson is one of the smartest guys to ever play for the Bengals and if the beleaguered offensive line gets a chance to rub shoulders with him, that’s a plus.

The line, of course, is already a blazing topic after the struggles in Carolina.

» Speaking of blazing, the Bengals defense is now No. 9 in the NFL. That didn’t take long. Two weeks after defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer called himself out and simplified the scheme in the rubble of the New England debacle, they’re back in the top 10.

With the Browns coming off an enormous ground game against the stingy Ravens in a performance led by Brady Quinn trade throw-in Peyton Hills, all eyes are again on the Bengals rush defense. The numbers on the ground haven’t been as grand as last year, but the fact is in the last two weeks they have allowed two of the NFL’s top rushing teams just a combined two touchdowns while battering them in time of possession.

Last year they gave up just a handful of runs of 20 yards. They’ve already done that in the first three games, but they’ve been very tough on third down again. They’ve held teams to 6-for-26 on third down in the last two games to counter a 30-yard run by Baltimore’s Ray Rice and runs of 26 and 15 by Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams.

» The state of Carson Palmer is no doubt going to be a 24-7 hot button this week. Here is a sneak peek of what former Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason of CBS had to say to for a story later this week:

“From watching him on TV, it’s hard to get into his mechanics, but I can say just by looking at him he just doesn’t have that confidence in the pocket,” Esiason said. “Why, I don’t know. But I know as a quarterback, confidence is everything. When he puts together a couple of halves, he’ll get it back.”

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