Posted by hobsonschoice1 on December 21, 2010 – 5:58 pm

» 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.

3,682 yards.

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.

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Posted in Hobson's Choice | 22 Comments »

22 Responses to “Musings”

  1. By whodeysteve on Dec 21, 2010 | Reply

    I wouldn’t bring back TO. Maybe bring Ocho back. I would also get rid of Antwan Odom, Robert Geathers and Andre Smith(trade them if you can get a draft pick). With the money you save on them I would go get T. J. Houshmandzadeh and Logan Mankins. I agree resign J-Joe and Benson.

    If you get the O-lineman it becomes a great Offensive line. LT Andrew Whitworth(Great), LG Logan Mankins(Great), C Kyle Cook(decent), RG Bobbie Williams(Good), RT Nate Solder (Good). Palmer would have T. J. Houshmandzadeh again and the rookies this year would only get better. Drafting the OLB would allow you to move Rey(Although I would keep Dhani Jones cause he is a great leader, smart, and would help if Rey got hurt) to MLB and we need a good safety. I think that would help make us a playoff contender.

    I would also like Hue Jackson he deserve’s it, he knows the Brown family, and he is very, very in your face/energetic coach just like Zimmer. Zimmer is the same way too he would be great also as our HC.

  2. By bengalanthony13 on Dec 21, 2010 | Reply

    Geoff —

    Agree with a lot of what you said. I’ve always been a supporter of Quan and Caldwell. Not sure why everybody piled on eighty-seven after a pretty decent 2009 for a #3 Wide Receiver. I also have been on the Anthony Collins at Tackle and Andre Smith at Guard bandwagon. Andre is just too big and looks more like a Guard build, if anything. The same transition from Tackle to Guard saved the careers of Robert Gallery and Leonard Davis, so why not Andre? They need to look hard at Center and Left Guard though.
    Ocho needs to go. He’s been a good player for the Bengals, but I’ve long contended that he is the most overrated player in the NFL. I think the departure of Ocho and TO will be a refresher to Carson and maybe, just maybe, it can finally be HIS team.

    There’s pieces here, but we shouldn’t be fooled by the roster as we all have been at the end of seasons. All of the above-mentioned players and the moves they make in the draft and in free agency are moot until TRUE changes are made with the infrastructure of the franchise. Without more scouts, a better medical staff, an indoor practice facility, a capable new coaching staff and, most importantly, a competent General Manager, this team will continue it’s losing ways. Without these changes being made starting this offseason, impact free agents will continue to avoid coming to Cincinnati.

  3. By jasonnc on Dec 21, 2010 | Reply

    Have they ever considered trying Collins at left guard? I’m not thrilled with the O-line play overall, but Whit is certainly not the problem, and I think a healthy, fit Andre will be great at RT. Guard is a need. Try Collins at LG and draft a mauler like Marcus Cannon in 2 to play RG and I think the line is suddenly a LOT better.

  4. By the513 on Dec 21, 2010 | Reply

    i must say this with everyone paying attention….. DO NOT, i repeat, DO NOT let Ocho go!!!! He is one of the best receivers in league. We will need him if we want to win. Him, Ship, gresh and a top notch rookie to go along with Caldwell would be fantastic. Keep Benson as well. as Scott. We need to use Scott catching more balls out of the backfield. I agree that we need to sign j-Jo and revamp the o-line. This team, even at 3-11, is not far away from taking this division back. DO NOT LET OCHO, CARSON or CED GO!!!! This fels nothing like the old, losing Bengals. This is not Akili, Klingler, Warrick, or any of those underachievers. We have talent. It just needs to be utilized better. Dumping Chad would be a HUGE mistake

  5. By 4stringking on Dec 21, 2010 | Reply

    First let me say how THRILLED I am to see Pressley back and actually playing for the Bengals. When they were on hard knocks last season and he actually dented his own facemask blocking guys I was sold. I was really bummed to see the kid get snagged by the Bucs. I never thought he’d be back. Secondly, look at the completely different style of play calling by Brat with T.O. out and Chad playing sparsely. It actually looked like a game called by an NFL coordinator. When it comes to Palmer, I still believe he’s capable. He shows flashes of his ability every week. The thing that has been bothering me about him is that he seems to be making decisions before the ball is even snapped. When you watch other top QB you can see them survey the field step up and make the proper read. Carson used to do the same thing. When you look back especially the last few games, he has just stared down his recievers and tried to cram it in. He missed an easy TD to Shipley this past game. Last week against the Steelers they were driving and he failed to see a wide open Shipley on 3rd and 8 to kill a drive. He tried to force it to Chad who was double covered. I could see if he were under pressure but he had plenty of time to survey the field and make the proper decision. I will say though that when there was no Chad or T’O. in last week he seemed to be better about it. Everyone was worried about T.O. and Chad coexisting but I think the problem ended up being Carson and Bratkowski for that matter, feeling pressure to get them both the ball.

  6. By sapon1 on Dec 22, 2010 | Reply

    The only things on this team that need rebuilding are the O-Line (LG, RG, and RT), the Offensive Coordinator, and the owner (he just needs to get out of the way). Beyond that… clear out the 2 head cases at WR and the deadwood at DE. This team could be in contention next season. They’ve got great emerging talent at so many positions. MB is the poison pill… I’m pretty sure he is the reason Bratkowski is still calling plays and why the team turned it’s back on a run-first, smash-mouth strategy that used a full-time FB to clear paths and seal the edge.

  7. By mwindle1973 on Dec 22, 2010 | Reply

    Hobs I’m glad your back on board. It was just last week that you said that history would point to “drastic changes”. I’m a little disappointed that Caldwell & Simpson are part of what has changed your mind. While I agree that there is a lot of youth on this team that is developing. THere is plenty of youth that is playing below last seasons level and some that have never made there mark.

    I think Caldwell & Simpson performed ok. Let them perform like that when the running game is being shutdown though. I know they blocked well. And that is way more important than people think. But first and foremost they need to run routes and catch balls. So far neither has been able to that very well in 3 seasons. They make too much money as 2nd and 3rd picks to be the 4th and 5th WRs. Isn’t that why Simpson is on the roster instead of a guy like Maurice Purify? You go with the guy you owe all the money too. Hoping he’ll return your investment.

    I think one point you make is that they play like Marvin wants his WRs to play. Physical and giving effort on every play. And I wonder what would happen if Brown put together a whole team of players that play like Marvin wants them to.

  8. By mwindle1973 on Dec 22, 2010 | Reply

    On the Ocho option issue. Why would we not give him 6M? What WR are we going to pick up that can fill his shoes for 6M? Bryant was a second tier WR and commanded 8M. Chad will get more than 6M from another team. I fully expect Brown to pick him up again. Barring the fact that they are just sick of dealing with him. But financially speaking it’s as sound a move as you can make. I don’t care what his production is. His physical skills are intact.

    Even if we payed him 6m next season. It is amazing to see how little money we have put into fielding an elite WR for the last 10 seasons. And that’s part of the problem isn’t it? It’s not all Chad. That said, he’s playing witht he committment of a guy who wants to be let go. And that’s disappointing. But these guys are human beings. Not the superstars (there’s no such thing) we hold them up to be. And they asked for it. But that is beside the point. Human nature is human nature. You have to expect what will happen, not what you want to happen.

  9. By mwindle1973 on Dec 22, 2010 | Reply

    Quick request. Very telling stat about Benson and when he carries more than 20 times. I remember Rudi Johnson had a very similar stat. Where 20 + runs equaled a lot of victories. I’m wondering what the stats are with Marvin Lewis. What is his record when we run the ball say 20 or 25 times a game. And also is this an exclusive thing to the Bengals, Rudi & Benson? Or is it a league-wide trend? Does success running the ball equal wins in most instances?

  10. By Ronald Sebree on Dec 22, 2010 | Reply

    With apologies to Hobs and others, as the 2010 season winds down,here are some things I think I know. I think I know the late Pual Brown was a football legend and mastermind. I think I know that Mike Brown is neither. I think I know Mike Brown wants to win. However, I think I klnow Mike Brown still hods some scars from what Art Modell did to his Dad and therefore holds controi over the team. I think I know the Bengals will continue to be the not ready for the big game team as longs as Mr. Brown continues to hold on to this power. I think I know given the power structure here the Bengles will ick up the Ochos option for 2011 just so Mike Brown can show the Ocho he is still the boss. I think I know based on the length of time Coach Lewis has been here and not gotten this team to he Super bowl Marvin Lewis will not be the head coach next year. I think I know the window on Carson Palmer taking the Bengels to a Super bowl is beginning to close. I think I know Carson is still a good quarterback. I think I know TO will be a Bengal next year and Cedric Benson will not. Assuming there is football is 2011, I think I know the Bengals will not be in the playoffs next year.

  11. By wnyjoe on Dec 22, 2010 | Reply

    Why do people think Simpson and Caldwell are making all this money? These rookie contracts are so incentive laden. Simpson probably made 350k last year because he didn’t even touch the field.

    And the carries per game stat is very misleading. Sure if this RB carries the ball 20 per game the team is 15-5. You can read it like that. Or you can read it as… When this team wins, they can attempt more runs because they are ahead and running out the clock. That’s why carries and wins are so tied together.

  12. By bengalpirate on Dec 22, 2010 | Reply

    On the TO and Ocho issue, I’m sure TO will take the good year he had in Cincinnati and turn it into one last multi-year contract, with a nice signing bonus to boot, so he is gone. Thanks for the contribution to this year’s season TO. As far as Ocho goes, pick up the $6 million option, where, correct me if I’m wrong, but there is no bonus money, no impact on the cap in an un-capped year. Then if we can pick up a top notch free agent or draft a burner WR to replace Ocho, then release him and all his distractions and thank you very much for all the good years as a Bengal, Ocho.

    With the absence of a CBA going into the 2011 season, is there any option to put a franchise tag on Cedric Benson? If not, then get him signed to a long-term contract, as we are not going to find a better bellcow RB in free agency, or in the draft. I also agree to getting Jonathan Joseph re-signed, moving Andre Smith to right guard and finding a way to get Anthony Collins in the line-up. So much of the future O-line make up depends on whether Andre can stay focused, keep his weight under control and make it through a whole season. Hopefully, we can plug the gaps on defense, resolve the head coach issue early and rebound quickly next year. This is a team that has been one of the youngest in the NFL for 3 years and it is time for the youngsters to grow up, get some impact rookies/free agents next year, then win the division and some playoff games. WHO DEY!!! Go Bengals, Beat the Chargers!!!

  13. By 2ndboot on Dec 22, 2010 | Reply

    First off to the people who think getting rid of Mike Brown will work get a life. I think Mike Brown would just as soon saw his legs off before handing over control of this team and calling him names isn’t going to get you anywhere.. Face it, Mike Brown is rubber and you’re glue. It’s like someone coming to your house and saying, “I don’t like how you decorate so you better sell now and move.” Just imagine your own response to that.
    Geoff i have written pretty much the same as you wrote on the boards and everyone knows more so I give up trying to talk sense to some of these schmoes. They win in fantasy football so OBVIOUSLY they could run this team better..right? Yeah, that’s what i thought too..
    I LOVE the idea of grabbing a fresh, top flight receiver first round and keeping Cedso in the backfield instead of trying to keep hoping old Ocho and old TO will turn this team around. Maybe 5 years ago they would have been killers out there, but now they just seem old and Carson Palmer still has the zip and brains, but when your marching orders are to make sure the diva patrol gets the ball you’ll look bad every time. I’d much rather have 6 receivers who will get 600 yards every year than 1 or 2 who get 1000 leaving the others wondering why they don’t play more often.

  14. By 303bengalguy on Dec 22, 2010 | Reply

    @Ronald, you post that TO will be back when it was widely speculated recently that he will NOT. I don’t think you know on that one fellow fan…

    I think cutting ties with 85 and moving on from Bratkowski (say what you will about TO but he was spot on regarding the lack of ability to adjust from the coaches, once this team was facing a deficit or their schemes seemed to be figured out) are just as necessary to the offense refreshments as drafting a lineman first or second (hopefully first).

    On defense, albatross contracts like Odom’s need to be wiped off the books and the Dunlap/Atkins/MJ regime (with Sims and Peko rotating as the other DT) needs to be allowed to take hold and flourish.

    NOT resigning J-Joe would be a travesty and set this team back a number of years too in the secondary. Resign him and draft a quality safety.

    On the WR draft front, I don’t like using a high pick there. You can find gem WR’s in the 3rd and beyond, history even in Cincinnati has proven so (Ship, TJ, etc).

    As bad as it’s been – yes indeed – we are rather close to getting it pulled back together next season if these items are addressed properly.

  15. By wnyjoe on Dec 22, 2010 | Reply

    Why risk a 3rd round pick to find a “gem” WR? A gem is there for us in the top 5. His name is A.J. Green. Scouts call him a Calvin Johnson Larry Fitzgerald type of prospect. You want to fix Carson Palmer? Draft him a horse that will fly around all game, stretch the field, go up for balls, fight for balls, make Palmer look good, listen to #9, and be where he supposed to be. That would go a long way to making Carson Palmer look like himself again.

  16. By bengalanthony13 on Dec 22, 2010 | Reply


    Good point and metaphor about the neighbor. But Mike Brown is that old, bully “neighbor” that everyone is afraid to confront who leaves his Christmas lights up until May, his trash cans out all week, the paint on his house is shoddy at best and his dog barks all day. He’s the guy annoying everyone in the neighborhood with his idiocy and lack of care for his property, which then directly affescts the value of your home. It’s time that the neighborhood and the homeowner’s association step in and take measures against the guy.
    I personally wasn’t “calling Mike Brown names”, but his “stats” as Owner and G.M. speak for themselves. It’s time for a major change–otherwise the Bengals will only occasionally stumble onto a winning season, not be a continuous powerhouse franchise.

  17. By overthroensamoan on Dec 23, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Hobs Merry Christmas! As this season comes to an end and with it being the gift giving time of year I’ve listed my Bengals wish list for 2011. 1. Reup J Joseph 2. Draft A J Green 3. Sign Matt Light 4. Move A Smith to G. 5. Find at least 1 healthy capable Safety. 6. More playing time for Evan Mathis. And last but not least say so long to the Ocho. It’s been a great ride, but sadly you & TO have become a sideshow. You both have been more about self promotion than team for some time and now that time has come to an end. But I will say this. For a couple years you were the best WR in the game. It’s a shame you let your ego out perform your talent. If not you just might have gotten to wear a legit HOF Blazer.

  18. By looking4sb1 on Dec 23, 2010 | Reply

    I think a lot of the fans have hit the nail on the head. As long as the franchise continues on the same path, we are only going to see similar results. The one constant through the decades of losing teams is Mike Brown’s control. I think it is sad that he hasn’t seen this and adjusted accordingly. Of course, as long as the team continues to bring in top-10 profits, I don’t see him changing his ways. He is a business man first, and as long as the team keeps making him money, he has no reason to change. It’s quite sad for the city of Cincinnati and the fans that the only way there will ever be a change is if the product on the field becomes so devastatingly bad that no fans show up for games and radio and television stations start losing advertising dollars as a result of poor ratings. Unfortunately, that will never happen. We Bengals fans have seen rock bottom for many years. Those of us that have stuck with the team are the ones who are supporting Mike Brown’s ways. It is our stubbornness to support this team that will keep the trend going. Yes, I admit… I am a stubborn fan who will continue to support a crappy product.

  19. By jltinc on Dec 24, 2010 | Reply

    Merry X-mas always enjoy your stuff. I like over will state my x-mas wish list .

    1. Retain Marvin this is a must
    2. INDOOR practice facility. Far as i’m concearned no reason for explanation.
    3. Resign Ced Benson/ J Joe. This is a must good bell cow backs r hard to come by need to get back to 08-09 when we had to many rb’s. Cover corners a must D is already week in back end without him it will get ugly!
    4. Hire Hugh Jackson !!! He has one more games with J Campell n Gradkowski enough said !
    5. (Draft) unfortunatly its not last year and personally i think it looks thin. Draft Playmakers!
    6. Address #9!! Yes he has had a terrible year but it’s a qb driven league and he still can make big time throws!
    Last but not least with no ??? asked send the actors to hollywood. We need football players !! I’m so tired of that position i cant stand it. All u here from there mouths are numbers yes they have great numbers. But numbers dont win titles! Count how many they have of those !
    With that being said it will be a very interesting off season!

  20. By mwindle1973 on Dec 24, 2010 | Reply

    I’m still not sure why the media, etc., is so sure we won’t pick up a 6M option on Ocho. Ocho wants to propagate that rumor. Because he doesn’t want to come back. But tell me truthfully what WR of his level of skills, will not command at least 6M per year in free agency? Coles made 18M for 2 years (technically 2 years). Bryant made 8M for one year. Chad will command that kind of money. Unless we have his replacement on the team, we will pay dearly again.

    But a good point was made above, SImpson and Caldwell, both will be in going into the last year of their contract next season. Both are contracted at just over 500k a piece. So as pointed they are not making any significant money. I think the issue is are they just eating up good roster space. I think by the end of the season we will know the answer to that question.

    They made some good plays. They made some bad ones too, Caldwell especially. He ran the wrong route more than once. And you have to consider they came off the bench. But how will they do if we aren’t winning and the running game isn’t working?

    Or consider this too. The Browns are the first team this year who decided to take away the pass game instead of our run game. No other team will make that mistake the rest of the way. So I think we will see what the 2 guys who were once the WRs of the future are made of.

  21. By 2ndboot on Dec 24, 2010 | Reply

    C’mon folks.. Mikey isn’t packing any bags to go anywhere nor should he. His father gave him the team to do as he pleases. To use an old phrase so utterly popular with all of you conservative twits; it’s HIS inheritance, not yours. His money so if he wants to make them dress up in pink uniforms and dance the sugar plum fairy before games he can do that.. It wont win him any fans if he does, but Mike Brown isn’t in any way, shape or form a media hog, but he does own the team. I admire Mike for sticking to his guns.
    If you think you can do better then here’s what ya do.. First, get a few billion dollars, buy an NFL franchise, get a city to build you a stadium and name yourself president, CEO and GM. Once you have established a better track record then and only then come and badmouth Mike Brown.
    In the meantime he’s still the owner and leader of the Bengals for better or worse and no amount of badmouthing him will ever change that because Mike Brown is one tough SOB to take all the crap he does and still hang onto things..
    Give the man his due and stop your belly aching!

  22. By kingbengal on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    PLEASE let him go! Please he is a hell of a wide-out BUT to much of a DIVA that needs attention.he will be lucky IF any team give’s him 6 million a year.A very,very poor route runner and complains to much and to small and light to fight for position for catches.And he is scared of the middle of the field,not big enough.Besides he has a career,being a reality TV star,this is what he really want’s to be not a CHAMPION. Any team he go to will WIN,but will NEVER win it all,but they will sell alot of tickets,a great entertainer.

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