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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Posted in Hobson's Choice | 11 Comments »

11 Responses to “The week ahead”

  1. By phlockar on Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

    I hope the coaches lock A Smith in a room with Big Willie all day and make him listen to everything he says. I guess he can hear Willie talk all day but it depends if he listens.

    Kudos to Zim for getting the D back on track. After the next 2 weeks he should have them back into the top 5 maybe? At least close to it. As long as they keep an eye on that Hillis guy. I watched a little of that game and he was running over the Ravens D.

    I’m over the bashing of #9…for this week. We have him locked into 2014 if I’m not mistaken and he’s not going anywhere. I’m pretty sure our owner is quite fond of him and we know how stubborn he can be.

    Let’s take another round in the battle of Ohio Sunday! Whodey!

  2. By theredbengal on Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

    Willie, please come back!

    If Andre is going to be inactive, fine. But please, for the love of Sam Wyche, give Anthony Collins another shot at RT! He’s a better pass protector than Roland, and it always looks like he’s having a blast out there on the field, as he’s always running over and picking up Bengal TD scorers. And, if Boomer is right, which I believe, it is all about confidence with Palmer. Carson has no confidence in his receivers, his protection, or himself.

    Let’s hop in our DeLoreans and travel back to week 2 of 2007. The Bengals were coming off a huge monday night win against the Ravens, and the Browns were coming off a debacle of a loss to the Steelers, one in which they traded their starting QB (Charlie Frye) that week. Derek Anderson was getting the nod, even though he hadn’t looked good. What was the result? As if we’d forgotten, the Browns, led by a confident Anderson, beat the Bengals in a shootout 58-48. Anderson was able to build off that confidence he got from that win and the Browns went 10-6 that year.

    Wouldn’t it be fittingly ironic for Palmer to regain his confidence in Cleveland, just like Anderson did? BTW, Palmer’s line in that game: 33-50, 401 yds, 6 td.

    You never know what kind of craziness will happen in the Battle of Ohio.

  3. By jrwilson1946 on Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

    If the Bengals play this week against Cleveland the way they have played over the past 3 weeks, Cleveland will win. Lack of Offense is not an option.

  4. By acn160 on Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

    You must get this all the time, Geoff…maybe this is even one of the main reasons you stopped doing the mailbag thing…but how on earth does Bob Bratkowski still have a job? I just don’t get it. Does he have blackmail on the Brown family or what? In what other profession that is supposed to demand excellence can someone do so little with what they’re given so consistently and keep coming back year after year, while making a king’s ransom? I can pretty much tell you what each play is going to be when the team lines up (ESPECIALLY when they make a check at the line), and I’m no defensive coordinator. The only film I’ve watched is watching the Bengals games live each week. I can’t imagine how easy it must be for someone who has studied harder and knows more of the game than I do. I haven’t done my homework and checked, but this guy must be one of the longest tenured assistant coaches in the league. And, from I can tell, for no good reason at all. What gives??

  5. By bigdad616 on Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

    My view of the Carson ‘controversy’ – he has not been completely comfortable in the pocket because the pass protection has been variable. Not being completely comfortable in the pocket reduces his split-second effectiveness – he has trouble getting totally into the flow of the game. The offensive line has been less effective because they are rightly concentrating on getting fewer penalties. As the season progresses, this will become more automatic, they will become faster off of the snap and the protection will get more consistent. Overall, something that is noticable and significant right now but will likely disappear completely as the season progresses.

  6. By mwindle1973 on Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

    Here’s an interesting thought. The Pats beat us and the Ravens beat the Jets week 1. Week 2 we beat the Ravens and the Jets beat the Pats. Does that mean we are better than all three of them? Does it all cancel each other out?

    No. It means it’s week 4 and you can’t really count on much from what you’ve seen so far. The Steelers were supposed to be 0-4, 1-3 at best. The Cowboys should be 3-0 not 1-2.

  7. By mwindle1973 on Sep 29, 2010 | Reply

    Also Brat has been around awhile but success will do that for you and for about 3 seasons not many D coordinators wanted to face him.

    Mike Heimerdinger is in his 12th season as the Titans OC. Tom Moore was at Indy for 12 seasons. THis is their first season without him. If you have seen any of the Colts games, they are struggling offensively this year.

  8. By hobsonschoice1 on Sep 30, 2010 | Reply

    GUYS: You could make an argument that the 51-45 game changed everything. Or maybe it was the next week in Seattle when Willie got hurt on the last play and the Seahawks won it in a two-minute drill or…

    I’m with you on Collins. He played pretty well as a rookie and maybe the solution is to make Smith a left guard.

    That’s a good point, Windy, on the continuity of coordinators and that’s the answer here. Mike Brown has always been a firm believer in continuity. It’s why the pretty much unbroken line of Walsh-Infante-Wyche-Coslet lasted until Brat was hired in 2001.

  9. By overthroensamoan on Sep 30, 2010 | Reply

    Putting A Smith at G over Livings would be huge. No pun intended. Give Collins a shot at T he can’t be any worse than Roland at this point. To bad Roland has struggled he’s a hard working guy that just isn’t blessed with the tools to be an every down NFL T. He has an NFL heart but CFL feet.

  10. By krfeldner on Oct 1, 2010 | Reply

    Forget about the “week ahead.” What if the NFLPA decertifies and sues the Bengals organization? How will that look in the fans’ eyes? Then it will be the “future ahead” and many fans could give up on the players and find something else to do instead of watching these players who feel they’re being asked to take a paycut and put more into their body of work….as if all of us aren’t being asked to do the same in OUR jobs.

  11. By hobsonschoice1 on Oct 3, 2010 | Reply

    FELD: Let’s take one crisis at a time. The lockout I’m worried about is happening in the red zone. Give me another couple of months.

    But, you’re exactly right.

    Any time you talk about a work stoppage in pro sports, you’re playing with the fire of the fans’ emotions. And I think the fans, like voters and everybody else in this click-of-a-mouse society, are more prone to anger and more quick to shut the door than in the ’70s and ’80s.

    And the economy has a lot to do with it, too. People are hurting more than we’ve ever known. Lucky for baseball that the 1994 strike came in the boom. And that game still had a tough time bouncing back. If it wasn’t for steroids, you wonder how much it would have come back.

    You hope that both sides can gauge the mood of the country. Next month at the polls should give them an idea that the public, for better and worse, is as intolerant as it has ever been.

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