» Biggest thing to come out of Sunday’s win besides the pass rush was the eyebrows that were raised by the blocking of the young wide receivers in the run game. Running back Cedric Benson has been a sitting duck for unblocked safeties all year. It looks different when they get blocked, huh?
Head coach Marvin Lewis has been fuming about it for years. And that’s one thing that Laveranues Coles willingly did last year and what Antonio Bryant was ready to do this year. Terrell Owens was brilliant at times (Jordan Shipley’s 64-yard run-and-catch in Atlanta), but wouldn’t always bring it. Same with The Ocho. Sometimes. Not always. But Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson were willing participants every snap.
And you could tell.
» Per Joe Reedy of The Cincinnati Enquirer, Chad Ochocinco is going to have some candid comments about his situation next year Tuesday night at 10:30 on the T.Ocho Show on Versus. Let me guess.
The Ocho has indicated recently he doesn’t think the Bengals will pick up his $6 million option in 2011 and when asked Monday if he thought this Sunday would be his last game as a Bengal at Paul Brown, he said to check the stories from 2008. That’s back when he wanted out via a trade.
He’s probably right about the option. Heck, he’s putting out a poll on Twitter asking fans if they would pick up the option if they were a GM.
But say this about the man: He’s never backed down from playing hurt and it’s going to be a long time before anyone else breaks his team records. He should get several standing ovations Sunday to say thank you if this is what it looks like and this is it.
Think of it this way: With 10,783 yards, he has 3,682 more yards than the incomparable Isaac Curtis, the most gifted receiver in Bengals history and the man whose record he broke.
That’s more than Dan Ross, the best Bengals tight end ever, caught in his career.
It’ s also more yards than wide receivers like Chip Myers (3,079) and Peter Warrick (2,811) had in their entire Bengals careers, as well as their top receiving back of all time, James Brooks, with 3,012.
It’s quite a run.
» Was anybody else wondering where that run on third-and-three with 1:55 left Sunday was against Tampa Bay on third-and-13 with 2:28 left back on Oct. 10?
» This is why special teams coach Darrin Simmons loves Quan Cosby: Smart. Reliable. Always on the ball, literally.
With 2:13 left Sunday, who in Bengaldom didn’t think the Browns would recover the onside kick and win it on Phil Dawson’s kick at the gun? Not Cosby, in the middle up front on the hands team.
“We saw them do it on film,” Cosby said. “If it was an onside kick, he put it on the ground in front of the tee. If he teed it up, it was either deep kick or a middle bunt and the middle bunt was going to come right at me.”
But the film they saw was of a surprise onside, not one that was expected late in the game. Yet Simmons had them schooled Cosby digested it. Lewis has been telling his team all year and did it last week, too: Smartest team wins. Cosby is that quintessential lunch-bucket reliable guy.
» It was emotional watching and listening to Benson get emotional like that after the game. How nice is it to see someone care that much about what he does and how much it means to succeed?
Reedy has a nice stat comparing Benson’s first 39 games to the first 39 of Corey Dillon and Rudi Johnson, where his 3,004 yards and dozen 100-yard games trumped them. It did take Dillon half a season to get into the starting lineup his rookie year and Johnson played 22 games before he became the regular starter, but the point is made. Benson has been the heart of the team. As he goes, so they go.
Because these are my favorite Benson stats: In his 100-yard games, the Bengals are 10-2. In the games he carries it 20 or more times; they are 13-5-1. In games he started and he carried it less than 20, they are 3-15.
And that plus-20 stat really should be 15-3-1 because it includes the two losses this season the Bengals flat out gave away, Tampa Bay and Buffalo.
I agree with Reedy. The Bengals should try and re-sign Benson, but it will be a tough sell if there’s not at least some move back to the run-first philosophy of ’09.
» Watching the kids play up front on defense, Chris Pressley play fullback, and the young receivers run around, it makes you wonder how far this team is away.
This isn’t your 2002 roster.
There’s too much here to do a complete facelift on the field.
If it’s me, I re-sign cornerback Johnathan Joseph, draft a wide receiver that can fly in the first round, find out if Anthony Collins can play right tackle and think seriously about moving Andre Smith to right guard, and shore up safety. Whatever, the offensive line has to be a priority. If you decide Smith is too brittle, some bold things have to be done, but with those moves you’ve got a shot to get right back in it.
Would that be enough to salvage Carson Palmer? It would seem that he needs to be sold on what’s happening next. But Palmer is the guy that makes this all work if you’re looking for a quick turnaround, and they are. Say what you want. Palmer makes them dangerous. He is 22-14 in the NFL’s toughest division. He’s tough, smart, business-like, and disdains politics.
Give him a couple of kid receivers with Gresham and Shipley and let’s go.
Tags: bengals musings, Cedric Benson, Chad Ochocinco
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