Dhani tackles Bengals training camp

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on August 8, 2012 – 9:11 pm

Mike Brown offered Dhani Jones a ride in his golf cart Wednesday during practice so he could get close to his old mates  and say hello.  Jones eyed the Bengals president with a mischievous smile.

“I’ve never sat in that golf cart. I’ve seen other people in that golf cart, but I’ve never been in it,” said Jones, never carted off the practice field in four seasons as a Bengal. “Do you have a license to drive this thing?”

Jones, 34, is in his second year of retirement since playing his last NFL game as the Bengals middle linebacker in 2010, and he continues to traverse the globe in all sorts of vehicles. But Wednesday was the first time in Mike Brown’s golf cart  and yet it wasn’t their first conversation by a longshot.

” I’d barge into his office from time to time,” Jones said. “Mike’s a driven man. He’s got great intentions for the team and he’s got high expectations for the team.”

They talked about, in no particular order, Brown’s health, his family, maps, and his aspirations.

“I don’t think there’s any NFL owner who doesn’t want to win it all,” Jones said.

One of the reasons Brown no doubt feels so comfortable with Jones is that he’s the embodiment  of the player Paul Brown coveted. Smart, prepared, and a plan for life after football.

Jones is busier than ever with seven shows on channels ranging from The Big Ten to Spike TV, where he’s got two. His Bow Tie foundation for charity also continues to expand with more than 80 organizations involved and the designs just keep coming.

His legacy with the Bengals is just as busy and connected. When the thing began to implode in the dog days of ’07 and ’08, Jones was one of the consummate professionals that kept head coach Marvin Lewis’ principles afloat and set the stage for the ’09 North title, the ’11 Wild Card and the high expectations of ’12.

It was a two-way street. On Wednesday Jones told Brown “The four years I spent here on the field as well as off the field were probably some of the best years I played the game.”

One of the players he watched Wednesday was his old roommate, Vincent Rey, the second-year linebacker who has modeled his life on and off the field after Jones. When Jones retired, Rey asked for and got Jones’ No. 57, and made the team as a special teams maven.  A free-agent from Duke, he’s still here.

“I like watching him play because I remember the things we talked about while we were rooming together and that translates into the way he plays,” Jones said. “My little brother.”

His influence is so directly felt on the man that replaced him in the middle, Rey Maualuga, that defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer had to tell him, “Stop trying to be like Dhani.” Jones not only knew what all 10 guys were doing, he desperately had to know.  Zimmer doesn’t think that fits Maualuga’s style of play.

Jones agrees and says he’s talked to him about it.

“I tell him the same thing. He has to be him. You can only be yourself  for that position,” Jones said. “Rey does a great job. He’s got his own style and everybody knows he’s good. He’s got to play like that.

“If he makes the mistake, he’s going make the mistake that might cost you but never cost him. At the same time, he’s a young player on the verge of being a better young player and continuing to get better and better and be a superior player.”

Maualuga’s style?

“Reckless with intent,” Jones said.

Jones didn’t have to tackle the globe Wednesday to view some of his accomplishments. The view was pretty good from Mike Brown’s golf cart.


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Posted in Hobson's Choice | 42 Comments »

42 Responses to “Dhani tackles Bengals training camp”

  1. By mwindle1973 on Aug 9, 2012 | Reply

    I miss Dhani. He was one of the smartest Bengals players ever. On and off the field. If Willie Anderson was Lewis’ voice in the locker room in the first turn of the Lewis era, Dhani was that voice in the second turn. He was a huge part of turning the D around when Zim came aboard.

  2. By mwindle1973 on Aug 10, 2012 | Reply

    @Hobson: Thanks for the link to the Kubicki Ken Anderson highlight video…good stuff! It was good to see, I always find that the former Steelers words carry the weight of gold in this issue. I would like to see a study done that shows individual and collective QB stats against the Steel Curtain D. I think it would show how much better Kenny was than his contemporaries against one of the greatest Ds ever. Kenny’s biggest obstacle to the HOF was his own humble nature and playing in a small market. He was kept a secret to some extent. So keep em comin’ Hobs. Anything that raises the public awareness to how great Kenny really was. How about a weekly blog called “Kenny Anderson: The Greatest QB Never Known.” Just kidding….but if you find the time…lol. We are not just fighting Kenny’s image now, we are fighting what Bill Walsh described as the “fading light of passing time” when once talking about the fading public awareness of the true greatness of Paul Brown and other past greats. The more time passes the more the light fades. Sometimes you have to have a current reason to shine light on old subjects. A Bengals Super Bowl run would definitely help the publicly fading legacies of Paul Brown & Ken Anderson. The NFL (collectively and individually) needs to do a better job exposing it’s history too. To me Paul Brown, Kenny Anderson, all the colorful players and early greats of the Bengals, like Trumpy, Mike Reid, Meyers, Cassanova, Bob Johnson, Riley, Parrish are enough to make me feel being a Bengal fan is being part of something that has roots. I don’t think a lot of fans can connect to that. Of course the ones that lived it can It’s too bad that the team couldn’t produce some of it’s own highlights of each era of the Bengals and some of the greats that were a part of the team over the years to archive here on the website. THings like this could help. But if Kenny was in the HOF with Paul Brown & Anthony Munoz, I think it would change the perception of Bengals fans about those days. But those fans like memories are fading too. I think some fans have come to view Kenny’s HOF snub as proof that he/we weren’t as good as it is/was remembered and we are just under the effects of dreaming of halcyon days.

  3. By mwindle1973 on Aug 12, 2012 | Reply

    Well Wharton’s injury pretty much settled the Oline roster battle. Now you have the starting 5 plus, Collins, Roland, Hudson & Stephens. It’s a matter of will we keep 8 or 9. Usually it’s 9, but we’ve kept 8 a couple times. It seems like we kept 7 once, but I’m not sure about that. And we often will put 1 or 2 on the practice squad. I think Hudson has eligibility but none of the other 9 do if I’m remembering correctly. This is not a bad group, but we have to have a 3rd guy that can snap it. Right now we have Cook, Stephens & Boling that can play C. Stephens didn’t look like he had made a lot of progress from last year on Friday night. But he may get a roster spot, just like he did in 2010, because we have no better option. But I imagine we will be looking for a C, or a G with experience at C on the waiver wire. Hopefully we kind find something like we did with McGlynn last year.

  4. By tepidfan31 on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Windy, haven’t been on for a while, but I see that you are still yaking away. Do you have a job, or is it to enlighten us with your wisdom?
    But back to the ATL game; don’t see much to get euphoric about; only a Dalton long one Didn’t protect Dalton well at all, surprisingly Whit. Ryan passed at will; how many yards? I know a lot of short routes, but still didn’t get much pressure on him. What happened in the 2nd half was ok, but that wasn’t our 1st units, but 1st unit run defense was good.

  5. By mwindle1973 on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Tepid, I see you made it back…actually I had a bit of a hiatus myself. I see you still have nothing but negative things to say. They did tell you this is not the complaint/suggestion box didn’t they? I’ll be the first to admit I get long winded in my comments. That is why Hobson gave me the name Windy and it has stuck. And most in here call me that. What I’ve never understood is your hatred for comments someone typed, that are not even directed at, or about you. When things get busier in here, I have people reply to my comments. They agree, disagree, whatever. Sometimes we go back and forth. But you are the only person on here that calls people out for their comments. You done it to others as well. My advise is the same as the first few times you confronted me about my comments in seasons past….don’t read them if they bother you! I’m not saying anything about or to you. So there is no reason to read them.

  6. By mwindle1973 on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    I thought we had a pretty good outing. There were some obvious problems in regards to running the ball, and some protection issues cropped up at times. But can’t underestimate the D we were playing against. And the fact that Leonard was the starting RB. His fumble changed things a lot too. We never regained success running after that. But good to see we were gaining rushing yards form non-RBs too. But the fumbles have to stop. Both times the ball was not secured. Herron looked like he was finally attacking the hole more aggressively and Jourdan Brooks looked good enough I’d like to see him get snaps earlier against better comp. The passing game continues to come along nicely. And we are able to execute shifts, motions, etc., without many mistakes now. Which Gruden had stripped most of that out of the offense last year. It’s all coming along pretty nicely, just hopefully the injuries curb off and we can get to game 1 with most of our starters and first backups healthy. This team has shown so far that the middle depth has improved immensely especially on D. Guys like Rey, Muckelroy, Skuta, Miles, Micah Johnson, Moch, Still, Thompson, Burfict & Lamur. Actually with the early cut of Shipley, and the injury glut at CB, it appears that LB may end up being the spot where the roster decision becomes like splitting hairs.

  7. By tepidfan31 on Aug 18, 2012 | Reply

    Windy, sorry to offend you, but you always have a rebuttal for anyone’s post, always the expert. I am not an expert, simply have opinions like a lot of others. I simply express them as I see them – sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

  8. By mwindle1973 on Aug 19, 2012 | Reply

    I have been so tired the last couple of seasons of hearing from pundits that “the NFL is a pass first league now.” My thought was how many years did it take them to figure it out…20? Now in their latest article has proven just what I’m claiming. They have proven that the pass/run ratio has been above 50% since 1980, and never dipped below. Check out this small section of the article: …

    The pass ratio has remained above 54 percent since 1991. While many think the pass has really gone up dramatically in recent years, it is just not true.
    During the 1994-96 seasons, teams threw the ball on 56.4 percent of all offensive plays.
    During the 2009-11 seasons, teams threw the ball on 56.8 percent of all offensive plays.

    The 2011 season (57.1% pass) saw huge passing numbers, but in terms of playcalling, it still trails the 1995 season (57.4% pass), which was the pass-happiest season in NFL history. Even the standard deviation in pass ratio for those seasons is close, with 4.51 for 1995, and 4.55 for 2011.

    There was not a single team in 1995 that ran the ball more than they passed. Three teams last season — Houston, San Francisco and Denver — each ran more than they passed.

    So when you hear someone say that “it’s now a pass-first league,” ask them where they were 20 years ago.

  9. By mwindle1973 on Aug 20, 2012 | Reply

    Seen the Zimmer interview from 8/19. He seemed bothered by the criticism of our CBs. When he says the CBs will be fine, I’m inclined to believe him. If you look back at preseasons past he has been bland in his calls on the field. In the preseason his Ds have never shown how strong they actually would be in the regular season. Another thing that got my attention…is when he was asked how Mays had done so far. He said, good, etc…then he said he needs to learn to blitz better. He doesn’t blitz as well as I want or something along that lines. It took my memory back to an article I read on Pro Football Focus. They had Crocker ranked #1 in pass rushing productivity rating amongst all DBs from 2009-2011. He ranked #3 in 2011, Nelson at #4. Last season Crocker had 10 total pressure/sacks/hurries in 44 attempts, and Nelson had 9 in 38 attempts. Also Clements would’ve been #1 with 7 in 23 attempts. But there was a minimum requirement of 30 pass rushing attempts. Combined that’s 26 in 105 attempts. That’s one in every 4 attempts. And considering that they took combined over 1500 passing snaps last season, it’s highly efficient too. So while Mays is an upgrade to Crocker in many ways, he’ll have to learn to replace the pass rushing Crocker was doing. He has the tools for it. Great strength, burst and speed even for a S. He should be a beast once he learns the proper techniques.

  10. By mwindle1973 on Aug 20, 2012 | Reply

    @tepid: I’m not offended, I just don’t get what you are saying. In none of my posts above have I “rebutted” someone’s remarks. In fact the first two are me making agreeable comments about this blog entry by Hobson, and then about an article by Hobson. My third comment is just saying Wharton’s being out for the season kind of settled the roster battle at Oline. That’s an opinion, but not a rebuttal, and is really more like stating the obvious. THen you come in making your negative remarks about me. So whatever you are talking about it must have occurred at an earlier time. And since you haven’t been in the blogs for a couple months or so, it would have to be way earlier. I’ll just reiterate what I already have in the past when you have done this. These are my opinions too. Just like yours. I’m not an expert or claiming to be. If it comes off that way, it’s not intended. It’s simply a matter of giving my opinion and reading others. Sometimes people change your minds with their opinion and sometimes they tick you off. But this isn’t the only blog/website that I comment in. And my point is it’s not normal protocol to attack people in a blog. You attack stances or opinions, or you ignore them. Sure people do attack people in a blog from time to time, but there;s nothing constructive to gain,and nobody else wants to read it. In the the end you’ll just both end up ignoring each other. So might as well either get along, or ignore one another.

  11. By mwindle1973 on Aug 22, 2012 | Reply

    @Hobson: Well no surprise…but disappointed anyway to hear Kenny Anderson didn’t make it again. It’s comforting that the tide is turning in the sense that his eventual induction is starting to carve itself out. Hopefully things keep moving in that direction. The stats and arguments for him are undeniable. He should be in there already. But they are obviously going to follow a process here and he’s going to have to wait quite a few years. But we can still hope that one of these years, enough pressure can come to bear, and the right 9 people will be voting, and he can slip in through the morass of protocol.

  12. By mwindle1973 on Aug 23, 2012 | Reply

    @tepid: On another note though, our disagreements aside..I am glad to see you back in here again. As Bengals fans we can at least agree on one thing…we want some wins this year!

  13. By mwindle1973 on Aug 23, 2012 | Reply

    I’m pumped…2 more of these fake games, and we can actually see what this team can do. This one today will be a big test for the DBs. And it’s also good for the offense because this is for the most part the same zone blitz scheme we’ll see twice from the Steelers this year. IMO those were the 2 games where Dalton struggled the most. And the 2 games against Baltimore next. Hopefully we can avoid some injuries in this game. We won’t know until the season starts for sure, but it appears we have in Taylor Mays a safety that is so fast and so big that he can play the run without being put in the box. I’ve seen plays where both he and Nelson have come from 15-20 yards back and made stops for 0-5 yards. Before Hall was injured we were looking as dominant as any team in the NFL on D last year. There were 2 major reasons. The rotation at Dline, and the fact that we were stopping the run with 7 in the box. I believe the front 7 are strong enough to do that again. Only this time adding in Mays burst, speed and size, I think Zim could get pretty deceiving with some of sets. Long story short, there are some athletes on this team, that will allow Zim to focus on deception more than in the past. He’s already shown how deceiving he can be with his exotic bllitz packages he uses in third down situations. The speed, size and athleticism of some of these guys means we can stack against the run and disguise it like we are in a base set. Or we can show a stack against the run, but the actually play be a coverage scheme. And not just do it when it’s 2 and 15 or 3 and 7. But do it at all downs and distances…every play. With us already running a multiple set D that can be in a 3-4 but look like a 4-3 and vice versa, this could add a lot more confusion for the QB and offense.

  14. By 88in12 on Aug 26, 2012 | Reply

    I wish I shared your optimism Windy..The 1st team was horrible against Green bay, on both sides of the ball. Dalton has clearly regressed from last year. The safeties are NOT playing well. Mays cant cover. Whitworth is having troubles. Hobson keeps talking about the arrival of Geathers back in the lineup as some sort of great moment, the fact is Geathers has not been productive in years. Thursday was a true test as to what kind of season the Bengals will have. Fail.

  15. By mwindle1973 on Aug 27, 2012 | Reply

    @88in12: I posted that right before the GB game…lol…I thought about my post and how I must’ve jinxed things about midway through the 1st qtr….lol…You ever hear Zim or Lewis talk about maintaining “lane integrity” when pass rushing? That game was a prime example. It doesn’t matter how much pressure you are getting if you get out of pass rush lane. Because you’ve then allowed the QB a window to throw into, or an escape route to a 10-20 yard run. I’m sure Zim screamed at them about staying in their lanes every time they came off the field…but they just wouldn’t. I don’t get it. But I’m still optimistic. But I agree that was extremely frustrating game to watch, until the 2nd and 3rd stringers came in.

  16. By mwindle1973 on Aug 27, 2012 | Reply

    One thing I really would like to see in this last preseason game is Dennis Roland get some snaps at LG with the 1st team. I liked the way he looked. I know they say he can’t get his pads low enough against shorter DTs when he’s 6’9″, but he seemed to be getting low enough in the GB game. He got pushed back sometimes in pass blocking but he always seemed to regain the advantage after a couple steps back. He’s like a wall. You get bull rushed 90% of the time at LG, and he can definitely block that. In run blocking he was just, again, like a wall the RB was running behind. Well except in this game the RB could never seem to follow him past the LOS! I really didn’t get to see him pull, and would like to see how he handles that. I really think he could develop at that position. And he’s got the strongest technique of all of our Olineman. Either way he’s invaluable, he can play LG, possibly RG, RT & TE. In a game last year he played the 2nd TE for most of a half due to injury. Just not sure about the interior line at this point. Cook’s success at C has always seem tied to how good the Gs next to him were. He has not been playing his best. And Boling is struggling at times. Zietler is too, but that’s to be expected. He seems to get better each game. It’s just so hard to tell anything for sure in the preseason. It could just be a matter of needing to time to become a unit, and function like one. It would be nice to find a solid vet G that can play C on the waiver wire in a few days. One that could provide consistency if needed.

  17. By mwindle1973 on Aug 29, 2012 | Reply

    We were lucky to find a guy like Faine this late in the preseason. Especially with him already knowing the system. Hopefully he can step right in there and fill the gap.

  18. By mwindle1973 on Aug 31, 2012 | Reply

    @Hobson: You pointed out in an article that it will be difficult to call who is active between Jones and Sanu. One advantage Sanu has is he has been really solid on special teams. Especially in punt coverage. I don’t know if there is a way to activate all 6 of them, but it would be hard to defend the rotation. Also Whalen had a great outing today, but I think it’s too little too late. He’s probably first up for the practice squad, but I don’t think he will clear waivers. Hopefully Hazelton does and we can keep him. I think he’s a year away from breaking out. He was close this season. He could probably be a 5th WR on some clubs, hopefully none of them figure it out and we get to keep him.

  19. By mwindle1973 on Sep 1, 2012 | Reply

    Roster looks good! It must’ve been tough to part with some of those guys, but that’s a good problem to have. What I can’t believe is all 10 draft picks from this year made the roster. With 8 making the 53, 1 on IR, and 1 on the PS. Before training camp I thought maybe 5-6 of them make it and 1-2 to the practice squad. We have a lot of youth, but a nice mix on the 53 man roster. 14 players 23 or under, 35 players 27 or under, with only 6 players 30 or over. Yet we have 12 players with 7 years or more experience, 7 of them being starters and 4 more having major roles. So it’s a nice balance of youth and upside and vet leadership and experience. This team has a chance to improve a lot through the season. I’ll be interested to see who they fill Cook’s spot with and who gets that last practice squad spot they have open. Also there will be tough decisions to make when Moch comes off his 4 game suspension, and when Sims is scheduled to come off IR after week 6. Sim’s days could be numbered, but Moch had a good preseason and we may cut someone to make room for him when the time comes. I can’t wait to see the first game now! Finally see Gruden and Zim unleash there schemes for real and see what we got. It’s a big game right out of the gate, and will let us know where are strengths and weaknesses lie.

  20. By bengalpirate on Sep 3, 2012 | Reply

    Guess it is finally time to weigh in here, as the 2012 NFL season is now officially upon us. First things first though, in that I think Windy does an excellent job of keeping all of us up to date on anything Bengals that we, or Geoff, wouldn’t normally have time to dig up and always keeps it civil. I do wonder sometimes Windy how you manage to find the time for all you contribute, but welcome what you do. I also tire of the always negative comments from some folks, but that is just human nature. I will also caution those who buy into reading too much into pre-season games, as a wise sage point out to me many years ago, that it is only pre-season and has no bearing on the real games. You can go 4-0 in the pre-season and then start off 0-8 in the real season. One concern I do have from the pre-season games, though, is the elephant in the room the the NFL hierarchy wants to ignore. The replacement official just plain suck and I fear that our luck is that no matter how well we play in Baltimore a week from today, the officials will blow a few calls, of course against us and we lose the game because of human error. It’s one thing to lose when the team plays bad, but to leave the fate of the game in the hands of, in my opinion, incompetent officials, is a joke. No matter what spin the NFL management folks put on this, using the replacement officials are an embarrassment to the quality product we are use to and pay our hard earned dollars for. Just my own humble opinion. Who Dey!!!

  21. By mwindle1973 on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    @bengalpirate: Appreciate your comments…I’m a internet junkie…can’t you tell! 🙂 That and I have sleep problems. Oh yeah, then I’m totally obsessed with football and the Bengals. It got worse with age and as the internet progressed to the point you can follow NFL 12 months a year. I’m trying to make room in the budget to do that Game Rewind thing on It’s 69.99 a year, but you get access to all games (not live), including playoffs and super bowl, and now you get the coaches film, where you can see all 22 players. You also get an archive of all 2009-2011 games, and about 10 super bowls. I agree with you on the preseason. And I agree with you on the elephant in the room. I seen them several times this season call a penalty for say 10 yards then only walk off 8 yards. Oh really there are so many things I seen going wrong, I’ll just leave at this..I’m really fearful that these refs are going to cost us a close game. The only thing I can do is pray that instead they will hand us a close game and give someone else the loss. It came out on PFT yesterday that one of the replacements was last employed reffing 6 on 6 games at small Texas High Schools.

  22. By mwindle1973 on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    I’m glad we found Faine and I really hope he can come in and fill the gap. He’s a good of a shot as we have. But that’s also a little scary of a thought too. Because if he falters Robinson is the next guy up. But Faine is a very similar to Cook. They both excel at pulling and getting to the second level. They both are very intelligent and have good technique with their hands. They both have good lateral movement in pass protection. But they both have the tendency to be bull rushed and push backed towards the QB. There both 6’3″, Cook is 315, Faine is 291 according to a lot of websites, but 303 was his combine weight in 2003, not sure about that. Cook is probably a little stronger at the point of attack, and a little better holding the point against 3-4 NTs. But Faine is probably a little quicker in pulling, getting to the second level, and lateral movement in pass protection. In the end they are very similar, and as long as Faine can digest the plays, etc quick enough we should be as good as if Cook was in there. But one thing I noticed all preseason is the Oline having trouble functioning as a unit in pass pro. That’s going to have to step up. The interior 3 will need to work together to keep the pocket clean. The Ravens are known to press the interior often with blitzes. In the end a lot of it going to lay on Dalton development as a QB. He recognized things well for a rookie last year, but he was still a rookie. If he’s improved his pre-snap reads to the point he can get the right protection set up before the snap consistently I think we will be OK. If Dalton struggles with his pre-snap reads it will be a difficult night.

  23. By mwindle1973 on Sep 7, 2012 | Reply

    RIP Art Modell. His death has seemed to stir memories of the move in some, and it has in me as well. After reading and discussing many points about the move with people, I was pretty swayed on some points for Modell, that laid blame on the city. The move certainly changed the fate of the Browns, but also changed the fate of the Pats as well. I know my father, back when he was 13 never quite forgot him firing Paul Brown, he stayed a fan because of Jim Brown. But when Brown started the Bengals in 1968 the old wounds were still there, and he became a Bengals fan. You’ll also get to see former Bengals DT Mike Reid in action. In my opinion he is the single greatest DLineman that has played for the Bengals. The Bengals tracked sacks back then and form his rookie season in 1970 until he retired after the 1974 season due to injury he recorded 5, 12, 12, 13, 7 sacks in consecutive seasons. In all he played 64 games and recorded 49 sacks, and he played injured most of his last season. From 71-73 he posted 37 sacks in 41 games. It’s too bad he had to retire in 1974. It’s too bad he wasn’t there for the 75 season, which may have been the best Bengals team ever. Well I’ve went from Art Modell, to pounding the virtues of Mike Reid. But honestly too many Bengals fans have no idea who the guy is. I mean how many DTs in NFL history have recorded double digit sacks in 3 straight seasons? And how many Bengals period have done it. My guess is Mike Reid is on a short list with that accomplishment.

  24. By mwindle1973 on Sep 12, 2012 | Reply

    Finally a sell out! I was covered on this game because I’m in the Col and Day viewing areas. So if it was blacked out in Dayton, I get lucky enough to get the broadcast on the Columbus station, who broadcast the Browns road games. But the Columbus stations aren’t in HD on my cable system. So now I get to watch in HD! But overall that we achieved a sell out for the opener. As a team what you really want after last week, is to come back home, and flip it. Make us forget about last week…please! Really though there were some bright spots in the game, as hard as they were to see though the bludgeoning. And there were definitely teachable moments to follow up on this week to say the least.

  25. By mwindle1973 on Sep 12, 2012 | Reply

    One thing I want to point out how little last week means once it’s past. The Steelers who were fighting injury and had a lot of people out through camp, played the Ravens in Baltimore on opening day last year. The Ravens forced 7 turnovers and won 35-7. With the theme of the offseason being that the Steelers D was aging and losing a step, the media pounced. The Steelers returned home the following week with a 24-0 pouncing of the Seahawks. Then went on to finish the season 12-4. It’s all about what we do from this point on.

  26. By mwindle1973 on Sep 12, 2012 | Reply

    @Hobson: In your article where ZIm alludes to the 2010 opener. One big difference though, is after that game, he took all the blame. Saying he had put too much on the players mentally. “I thought we were the 46 Bears or something…but, I guess we aren’t…I’ll fix this.” That was what he was saying then. This time there is no talk of simplfying the D or anything of the kind. He’s just talking about faith in his guys. Which is good to me. Hopefully we can look back in a few weeks and that game will appear like an apparition.

  27. By mwindle1973 on Sep 14, 2012 | Reply

    Found an interesting piece that shows that Marvin Lewis is in the Paul Brown coaching tree, or forest as it is sometimes called. THe first branch down from Brown includes coaches Don Shula & Lou Saban. Branching from Saban you have Marty Schottenheimer who played under for Saban and cited him as his cheif influence. Branching from Shula you have Bill Arnsparger and then from his Marty Schottenheimer, whose first NFL job came as LBs coach under Arnsparger the HC of NYGs at the time. Coming down from Schottenheimer are several coaches, one of which is Bill Cowher. And coming down from him is Marvin Lewis, a 4th gen member of the Paul Brown coaching tree. But then I noticed another branch. One that went in this order form top down to another Bengal asst. From Brown down to Bill Walsh to Mike Holmgren to Jon Gruden to Jay Gruden who somehow finds himself in the Brown tree too.

  28. By mwindle1973 on Sep 15, 2012 | Reply

    It’s a big loss losing Howard for the season. He was by far the best defender against the Ravens. The only one you could say had a good game. He is our best LB. It’s not as bad on run downs. And on pass downs, I think Zim can scheme around it, using 3 safeties in a lot of situations. But where it really hurts is in 2 areas. Downs where you have to set up for the run but be able to cover the pass too, and in blitzing. The first one can’t be replaced, the blitzing can be schemed around some, but much like the pass downs, it’s going to limit Zim some on what he can call. I think Taylor Mays would be a good Nickel LB. And he used in a similar roll against the Texans last year. So maybe we reprise that some too. But with Mays struggling to grasp his coverage responsibilities at S, they may not want to put too much on him. Hard to say. But I know this, and Hobson alluded to it in the preseason right after the final cut down…WILL LB, Nickel LB & TE were the only areas on the roster that weren’t very deep. Especially Will LB. Week 2 and again we have some big questions that will be answered. I know this we desperately need Dunlap healthy and playing. WHen he’s in the rotation it raises the level of the whole D. And it takes pressure off Atkins, as well as the coverage. He shortens the coverage time, it’s that simple. We really need to be able to come out and run the ball. That’s the weak point of the Cleveland D, the strongest point of our 1st game, and can shorten the game for the D. Also we have to hit some a couple/few big pass plays. That would give the D a chance to settle in and find a groove.

  29. By mwindle1973 on Sep 17, 2012 | Reply

    30th in the league in D…i would’ve never thought that would be case after games. And frankly it’s not the yardage given up, it’s the points allowed that bothers me. If we were giving up a lot of passing yards, and then tightening up in the red zone and forcing field goals it would be one thing. I know the Dline is down people..but a lot of teams only rotate 5-6 guys. In fact I don’t know of any team last season that regularly used 8 guys. I can also remember that before last season, we didn’t either. And we had a weak pass rush in seasons past under ZImmer but didn’t have this problem. A last thought though…part of the problem may be that the D is not playing together as a whole. Even thought we returned 10 of 11 starters (9 now with Howard out), we brought a lot of new role players in, and the scheme has changed some. I’m hoping that with Dunlap’s return and another week that hopefully Zim can get this giong the right direction.

  30. By mwindle1973 on Sep 18, 2012 | Reply

    RIP Steve Sabol…I don’t think they make men like Ed and Steve Sabol anymore. Not too many of the men who made the NFL what is are left anymore either. One of them still sits in the owner chair at PBS offices. If I could describe our society and culture in one word it would be corporatized. And it is squeezing every ounce of profit out of everything it can. And squeezing anything that has to do with human creativity and passion out at the same time. NFL Films represents one of the last vestiges of an age long gone. One that doesn’t have room for the Steve Sabols of the world. Some of the stuff they did in the early 60’s with the old WWII military surplus equipment are like works of art.

  31. By bengalpirate on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    WOW!!! 30th in defense??? C’mon DEFENSE!!! I’m still pulling for you, as always. I’m still pulling for you too, Rey Maualuga!!! Don’t make me retire your number 58 jersey I so proudly wear, or sell your autographed pre-season pass I was so happy to get this summer!!! Only kidding Rey, but I know your situation and missing so much time after your knee injury in the first pre-season game. You just need a good game to get the blood up and get back in your groove. Baby steps man, baby steps. Now your knee is ready to take the next, big steps back. The same goes for the overall defense, with all the injuries, and adjustments required. Time to step up!!! I doubt the the defense and/or Rey will have a big game against Washington, with RGIII the offensive monster he is, but just try and keep it close and maybe allow the offense and teams to steal a win for us and start this defense on the road back to a Top Ten defense. The year is still young, but you’ve got to get going. WHO DEY!!!

  32. By mwindle1973 on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply

    As I’ve been tossing this game around all week, I really think the Skins back 7 can be exploited. With the injuries on D if they don’t get as much pass rush, coverage will be that much tougher. But the big question is when will Zim get the D together. And containing RGIII also. 3 things have been hurting us bad. Guys are out of their gaps and out of their coverage lanes too much. The push from the Dline, is not the same as last year. The edge is not consistently getting set and we are losing containment. To add to that the tackling has been shoddy and everyone is playing tentatively like they just learned the D. And there definitely is an issue with stamina, especially with the Dline. I doubt that against this mobile of a QB, and potent an offense I don’t know if we bring it back to Zim standards this week. But you never know. Because I do believe that when they decide to play with discipline, we’ll look more like last year’s D. But we also need to get more of a rotation going on the Dline or we might keep leaking points in the 2nd half. Dunlap being back at full go will help a lot. And either Sims coming back or getting more from the rookie DTs. And hopefully Gilberry can provide quality relief for Michael Johnson

  33. By bengalpirate on Sep 24, 2012 | Reply

    I won’t call it a monster game for Rey Maualuga, or the defense overall, but 7 unassisted and 6 assisted tackles for Rey and a defense that seemed to overwhelm the Redskins at times, certainly big steps in the right direction for all. Rey hitting hard, Mike Johnson’s monster game, Dunlap back and everybody else contributing to help steal a win on the road. Keep it up defense, keep improving each week, steal another win in Jacksonville and get back to the Top Ten defense I know you are. I can’t wait for the next home game to throw my big mouth behind the defense, as we hopefully go for our 4th straight win!!! OK, maybe I’m still feeling the adrenaline from yesterday’s win, but once again, hope springs eternal!!! WHO DEY!!!

  34. By mwindle1973 on Sep 24, 2012 | Reply

    @Hobson: I’ve read a lot about the controversy at the end of our game. They marked off 20 yards on the 15 yard personal foul on Kyle Shanahan. I’m I wrong or should there have been a 10 second runoff earlier in the drive when the Redskins player went down and play was stopped? The Skins had no timeouts. Lewis was trying everything he could to get the refs over to discuss it. Solomon Wilconts, who was announcing the game, stated it should’ve been a runoff. So if it should’ve been a runoff, then when the personal foul occurred at 7 seconds remaining, the game should’ve been over shouldn’t it? This is why I love Lewis…if we would’ve lost because of that, he would’ve blamed on the team not stopping them on the last drive. Also we couldn’t buy a holding penalty on their Oline. We were being held badly all day. Guys were breaking away from their man and handfuls of jersey were being grabbed…but only remember one holding call all day.

  35. By mwindle1973 on Sep 25, 2012 | Reply

    @Bengalpirate: Who Dey! Hope you cheer us on the victory against Miami. My daughter bought tickets for me and her to see the Broncos game in few weeks! She just gave them to me yesterday. She’s never been to a game. Actually I hadn’t either until 2 years ago. This will be my 3rd game. It’ll be nice to see Peyton Manning too…just as long as he doesn’t beat us again. On the subject of the D, I was pleased as well. It wasn’t perfect, but that was a very tough offense to get things together against. They played pretty good. The DLine got a lot of pressure.

  36. By bengalpirate on Sep 26, 2012 | Reply

    Windy, I’ll give it my best shot with Miami and I hope we are going for 2 straight wins over Florida teams when I do. I hope we also beat Denver for your daughter’s sake, so she gets to experience a winning Bengals’ game. I really want to beat Denver and Peyton, as correct me if I’m wrong, but we’ve never beat Peyton. I think the defense has the potential to keep improving and knock on wood, if they stay healthy could become a dominant D. For now though, I’ll take good enough D just to win. Who Dey!!!

  37. By mwindle1973 on Sep 26, 2012 | Reply

    @pirate…I believe you are right that we have never beaten Manning…Hobson would no for sure. But I’m almost positive. But I’ll tell you one thing, this Manning team is not the COlts we played in those losses. We should have a good shot at a win. But keep in mind we don’t have a good history against Denver. ANd that’s after bye week, and Lewis doesn’t have a good record after byes. But I believe we can win that game. Right now we are a better team than Denver. And that comes off a home game against PIT, and a bye. SO it’ll be our third week in CIncy. My daughter is great, last year here first paycheck she had ever received in her life, she bought me and her boyfriend (he’s a browns fan) first level tickets to the Bengals Browns game. MOst 19 year old girls don’t want to be seen with their father, let alone spend the whole day with him. But I’m lucky I have that. Actually blessed would be the correct word. I’m hoping when you walk out of your game we are 5-1, and when I walk out of mine we are 7-1. It’s doable! The road games are Jacksonville and Cleveland, and then Miami, Pittsburgh & Denver at home. Tough games, every one of them. But ones right now you have say we should win.

  38. By mwindle1973 on Sep 26, 2012 | Reply

    @Hobson: One stat I would love to know from the Skins game is total QB pressures, hits and sacks on RGIII. And then what % of the time that occurred. At one point during the game, somewhere in the second half it was at 20 and I’m not sure he had attempted 30 passes. I bet we were well above 50% and probably had 25+ total combined pressures.

  39. By mwindle1973 on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Thank you Bengals for re-signing Chris Crocker! It never even occurred to me. I had a feeling we would cut him, and at the time it was the right move. But we need him bad! I believe part of the issue in the secondary is we are failing in the mental part of the game….execution and discipline. He’s also a guy who can play CB in the Nickel. We lose speed for sure when he’s out there. You look at the D up to this point this year. No Crocker. No Dunlap until last game. Nelson can’t be blitzed because that means leaving the young guys in single high coverage. Atkins, when Dunlap was out, and with the Sims injury, is getting too much attention and too many snaps. All this has a great deal in my opinion with what has taken us down a notch on D. It’s the fact we didn’t replace Crocker’s coverage and blitzing skills, which put Nelson out of his shell, away from what he does best. Then the Dunlap injury, which of course no Dunlap! But also mix it with the Sims injury and now you’ve made things really hard on Atkins, and the rest of the line, with all the focus going to Atkins, and everyone playing too many snaps. Pretty complicated storm of things. But Dunlap is back, and now Crocker is back, the only part of the equation left is Sims being out, which was a secondary causation to the problem.

  40. By mwindle1973 on Sep 28, 2012 | Reply

    You know Jeff Faine came right in here and fit in to his spot so quickly and seamlessly that I took for granted he could get injured. C and WILL LB were the only spots we didn’t have any depth at this year, and of course we have injuries there. Hopefully Faine can get out there Sunday. If he’s able to practice limited with a hamstring then it suggests it’s not a bad one. But hopefully he doesn’t worsent he hamstring to the point he ends up missing games. The good thing is I’m noticing Dalton is more and more with each game making the line calls himself. That’s something he’s improved big time on from last year. I think that’s the biggest change in him this season is his recognition of coverages and blitzes. That something Carson was top notch at. And I think Dalton will be as good or better in the aspect. But he also has special skills in anticipation and ball placement that really remind me of Joe Montana. I’m not saying he’s that good, it’s up to him to prove that.

  41. By mwindle1973 on Oct 3, 2012 | Reply

    @bengalpirate: Well you got your wish…you’ll be cheering for the 4th straight win. Hopefully we will get this one and take one from Pit at home, and come off the bye going into the Denver game looking for #6. I seen an article once that listed some things that most Super Bowl winners had in common. One that was almost across the board was a 5 game winning streak during the regular season.

  42. By bengalpirate on Oct 3, 2012 | Reply

    Yeah Windy, got my wish, but now want the win over the Fins and then hopefully steal another road win in Cleveland. At this point I’ll take a 4 game winning streak, but you’re definitely right about winning streaks for Super Bowl teams. I guess my biggest wish is for the Bengals to have a winning streak going into December and hopefully carry it right into and through the playoffs. WHO DEY!!!

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