Digesting Saturday’s moves

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on August 27, 2011 – 10:12 pm

A look at how Saturday’s six cuts could affect the roster:

QUARTERBACK: With Jordan Palmer gone, the Bengals are left with three (Andy Dalton, Bruce Gradkowski, Dan LeFevour) and all signs point to them keeping just two and putting one on the practice squad. It could be LeFevour, but he could also come off the waiver wire. If the Panthers whack Cincinnati native Tony Pike, keep an eye on him.

OFFENSIVE LINE: They didn’t cut a lineman Saturday, but keeping two QBs would open a spot here. If you line up with four tackles (Andrew Whitworth, Andre Smith, Anthony Collins, Dennis Roland), a center (Kyle Cook) and five guards (Bobbie Williams, Nate Livings, Clint Boling, Max Jean-Gilles, Otis Hudson), that already gives you 10 when you would normally keep nine and you still don’t have a backup center. That guy would be Reggie Stephens. They can’t PUP Hudson because he hurt his knee during training camp, a tough break because they said next to Smith he was their most improved lineman. If he can get back after the bye (the seventh game), maybe they’ll keep him on the 53. But they’ll need that extra spot.

WIDE RECEIVERS: They cut rookie Jamere Holland, so maybe that means they’re looking at Calvin Russell or Andrew Hawkins for the practice squad. Aren’t the six receivers A.J. Green, Jerome Simpson, Andre Caldwell, Jordan Shipley, Quan Cosby, Ryan Whalen?

SECONDARY: They cut three DBs Saturday when they terminated the contract of cornerback Fred Bennett and waived safety Tom Nelson and cornerback LeRoy Vann. That leaves nine cornerbacks (Leon Hall, Nate Clements, Adam Jones, Morgan Trent, Jonathan Wade, Rico Murray, Brandon Ghee, David Pender, Korey Lindsey), three more than usual and maybe four if they keep five safeties. Plus, they’re expected to go on the street looking for corners on Cutdown Day.

The top four? Hall, Clements, Trent, and probably Wade, but the rest have not asserted themselves. And what if they don’t PUP Jones (neck) and need a spot for him? Murray is grinding because he can play multiple spots and besides safety Chris Crocker, Murray is the only DB that can play both corner and safety now that Nelson is gone. Ghee, last year’s third-rounder, has barely played with a hamstring problem, and didn’t get many snaps against the Panthers.

Before a knee injury plagued his rookie season, Nelson had a promising start when he made the roster as an undrafted free agent out of Illinois State at safety in 2009. His ability on special teams and to play both cornerback and safety helped him in past roster fights, but the Bengals are jammed at safety. There are still six left and they’ve kept either five or four in the past: Crocker, Reggie Nelson, Gibril Wilson, Jeromy Miles, Robert Sands, Taylor Mays.

Wilson said Saturday his reconstructed ACL felt good after his first action in a year on Thursday and they’d like to have his experience. They’d also like to have the speed and athleticism of Miles and Sands. Getting Sands through waivers to the practice squad would seem to be a tough nut since he’s a fifth-round pick. Tough to see them giving up on Mays so quickly after they traded for him. Even if it was a seventh-rounder in 2013.

Lewis likes him, not to mention the fact he was in the right spot on his “7-8 snaps” Thursday even though “he did (it) with 1½ practices.” You know coaches love that.

LINEBACKER: The Bengals cut rookie Stephen Franklin, so you’d have to think if they’re going to put a backer on the practice squad it would be Kentucky rookie DeQuin Evans. It looks like they have to keep a spot for injured backup SAM Dontay Moch, so the big question is going to be if they PUP WILL backer Keith Rivers (wrist). That seems to be where he’s headed since there has been no indication he’s close.

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Posted in Hobson's Choice | 13 Comments »

13 Responses to “Digesting Saturday’s moves”

  1. By mwindle1973 on Aug 28, 2011 | Reply

    At WR IDK who the 6th guy should be. Really haven’t seen enough of Whalen to know. But who else? Hawkins would probably be next in line. Do we keep 5 and send Whalen & Hawkins to the PS? What Vincent Rey at LB? Can he go to the PS? Really roster spots 47-53 are no different than the 8 PS spots. None of them are going to play unless injuries occur. So what really drives the situation is who can go to the PS. And then also who you have to keep on the roster because they wouldn’t clear waivers.

  2. By trevor85 on Aug 28, 2011 | Reply

    What about matt o’donnel?!?!!? We can’t just let a specimen like that walk on the street!!! He could be a great swingman if Collins leaves next year,.. He’s been doing good IMO

  3. By mwindle1973 on Aug 28, 2011 | Reply

    I think it’s good that we cut Bennett & Nelson, even though it would seem that their experience, etc would give them a roster advantage. Marvin promised us certain changes in the way he and Brown would do things. THis is a good example. Younger guys get more snaps right now. And we will try to fill the gap with a free agent, if we don’t find one then we’ve chosen to let a young player develop instead of going with a vet that shows little upside. That shows me a clearness in decision making. Nelson was always a good prospect, but he had to grow a lot to be effective on D. I think (and Zimmer has said this too basically) that you keep the guys who can play on the field and you teach them to play STs. Who wants a backup S who can’t cover, just because he was a better STs player than someone else. Nelson had some potential, but it was always a long shot. The playoff game against the Jets exposed a lot of his weaknesses. His body size did not translate to strength on the field. And his speed did not make up for his bad/slow decisions. He’s a decent prospect, but he will do much better in a Cover 2 dominant scheme, where he doesn’t need to play man coverage and doesn’t have to get in the box often.

  4. By Amarillo Slim on Aug 28, 2011 | Reply

    Man if they don’t get a starting caliber CB off waivers this Defense will have a frustrating year. Zimmer will have to blitz just to lessen pressure on the coverage… usually makes for a losing season. Any idea what veteran CB’s might become available?

  5. By donnyscott on Aug 29, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t see 10 NFL caliber OL on the roster right now. Amongst the backups Collins, Roland and Boling are locks. After that I think they’ll look to pick up a vet who has C & OG experience after cutdown day. Failing that they’ll probably keep Stephens since he has C experience. But keeping 10 may be a stretch since they have to think about keeping 4 RB’s (Peerman), 3 TE’s, 9 DL, 10 DB’s and maybe even 7 LB’s.

  6. By donnyscott on Aug 29, 2011 | Reply

    Also, all the starting OL are healthy right now.

  7. By wnyjoe on Aug 29, 2011 | Reply

    Here’s how I would do the DBs. I keep a total of 10.
    CB – Hall, Clements, Trent, Wade, Ghee
    S – Nelson, Crocker, Mays, Sands, Murray (CB)
    PUP – Adam Jones

    The toughest cuts are going to be on the DL. Can you keep 10?
    DL Locks – Peko, Dunlap, Atkins, M.Johnson
    DL probable 53 – Sims, Geathers, McDonald, Fanene, Rucker
    Shirley has looked his best. Fanene doesn’t look to be anywhere close to being in shape. Geathers is… Geathers. Rucker shows up when he plays -where does he have trade value?

  8. By mwindle1973 on Aug 29, 2011 | Reply

    I like the trade, but did we have to trade one of the 4 true NTs we had on the roster. Peko is obviously the starter at NT. Sims sometimes struggles when playing the 1 tech at NT. The only other one left is Shirley, and while he has improved a lot, it was a long shot for him to make the roster, and now with his calf injury it’s a virtually certainty he’ll be cut. But then again Peko has been amazingly durable throughout his career.

  9. By Amarillo Slim on Aug 29, 2011 | Reply

    Giving up McDonald is a bigger deal than most people outside of die-hard fans can appreciate BUT I am thrilled to see Bengals management be proactive and address the obvious hole in a meaningful way. In years past we would “go with what we have” and hope for the best. I bet McDonald works his way into Seahawks starting lineup before season is over. Really hope we can see same level of contribution from Jennings.

    Mike Brown must be out of the country this summer. There are too many smart personnel moves happening.

  10. By mwindle1973 on Aug 31, 2011 | Reply

    @ Amarillo Slim: Couldn’t agree more. This is both a good move, and people misunderstand the McDondald is starting material in the NFL. Before the trade, I was on the verge of thinking we should keep McDonald instead of Rucker as the 9th Dlineman. No doubt Rucker has the advantage now, but he’s as good as he’s going to get. As far as Jennings, I have no reason to doubt Lewis’ and Zimmer’s judgement about DBs at this point. They do nothing but turn other people’s trash into treasure time and time again, and I suspect this is the same. It shows me that this team realizes that NFL offenses have changed overnight, and our D has to change with it. The only move I can criticize is not trading Palmer just to make a point to the team. Maybe Leon Hall doesn’t like the point being made? Reports are the players secretly supports Palmer. What if this flexing of the muscles by Brown, backfires and makes our own vets leary to sign long-term contracts with us? In fact I said since Jan that now right after before the regular season is when his value will peak, it will on go down as he sits and collects rust. There are a couple teams that lost on the big QB grab, and are extremely desperate for an answer.

  11. By mwindle1973 on Aug 31, 2011 | Reply

    I’ve got to add also that the Taylor Mays move was just great. While every other interested team sat and waited for him to be cut, because we all knew he would be. We snuck in and stole him away for a 2013 7th rounder. 7th round picks sometimes don’t even make the practice squad. So it was a virtual risk free trade. He’s going to be a contributor down the road, mayber even this season.

  12. By mwindle1973 on Sep 1, 2011 | Reply

    Hobs, great story on Vada & Rico Murray! Here is a great link of some highlights of Vada’s career at Michigan. Twice in 1 season he had a int, blocked kick and fumble recovery in the same game. In one game against the Bruins he blocked an extra point to hold the lead at 8. After MI scored he recovered the onside kick. And then after they took the lead, he closed the game with an INT on the last play. Check it out!

  13. By mwindle1973 on Sep 1, 2011 | Reply

    Well, we’ll get a good look at some of the guys on the bubble here tonight. Mays, Murray, Miles, Sands, Ghee, Wade, Evans, Vincent, Skuta, Whalen, Hawkins, Peerman & Adeyanju all still have a chance to try and change minds, for good or bad. Sadly looks like Shirley will miss his last chance to prove they need him. He put up enough good tape to get a contract somewhere this season though. If he can do that and stay healthy he could still turn his career around. I haven’t heard talk of it. But I have to wonder if we don’t see Boling at C some more in this game. Even if we keep 10, that’s the starting 5 plus Boling, Collins and Roland. Leaving Giles, Hudson & Stephenson to vie for that spot or 2, depending on whether we keep 9 or 10. You’d like to see them keep Hudson. By all accounts he had progressed well beyond expectations. Most of all, the biggest thing I want to see in this last pre-season game, or in all pre-season games for that matter, is no injuries.

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