Simpson, Cosby look to be in; Reports have Hebert, Graham cut

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on September 4, 2010 – 12:26 pm

The Bengals won’t release their cuts until 6 p.m. Saturday but they told the players several hours before the NFL’s deadline to get to 53 players and the list is coming together via Internet reports.

Various reports say the Bengals have cut special teams captain Kyries Hebert and kicker Dave Rayner, which makes Mike Nugent their kicker for the Sept. 12 opener in New England. With word out of Baltimore that the Ravens cut Shayne Graham, don’t expect the Bengals to pursue their kicker for the past seven seasons.

Those reports came on the heels of league sources saying that Matt Jones and Dez Briscoe have been cut, indicating that Jerome Simpson and Quan Cosby have won the final two spots on the Bengals wide receiver list with Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens, Jordan Shipley and Andre Caldwell.

Wide receiver Maurice Purify, who missed the last four preseason games with knee tendinitis, is expected to be put on some kind of injury list.

Additional reports have the Bengals cutting defensive tackle Clinton McDonald  and safety Marvin White. That’s two of the guys fighting for the last safety spot that are gone. McDonald, a sixth-round pick from ’09, is a guy they like and has practice squad eligibility remaining.

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Things I Think I Believe

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on May 27, 2010 – 11:50 am

In honor of going on Lance McAlister’s show on 1530 at 4:05 p.m. Thursday the 27th to talk a little OTAs, here are some things I Think I Believe, with the nod to Red Sox fan Peter King:

I Think I Believe that Matt Jones and Jerome Simpson are the two receivers that have the longest to go in convincing the coaches they can play. That doesn’t mean they are longshots, but they have to show that people have been wrong about them.

I also think they can do it because they have looked great here. But, look, the only thing that is going to get decided in the last OTA sessions in May and June is who lockers next to whom at Georgetown. To think that any position picture is going to clear up before preseason games is fantasy football.

So much depends on what Quan Cosby and Jordan Shipley do returning punts (not to mention cornerback Adam Jones) and you can’t go off that until the games. Will Jones and Simpson be able to do against others what they’ve been able to do here? Jones has been able to run by people and Simpson has been able to leap and dive to make some spectacular plays, but can they do it against another club’s first- and second-teamers? Who is going to be able to play special teams other than return punts? You have to see them tackle somebody.

I Think I Believe they’ll have eight or nine guys left after the final preseason game and we’ll still be guessing.

Maybe The Ocho can bring in Len Goodman to judge.

I Think I Believe Bengals president Mike Brown voted against bringing a New York Super Bowl. That is his M.O. He has always thought a warm weather site was the best thing for fans so they would have things to do in the days leading up to the game.

This is the guy that told Chargers owner Gene Klein to save it when he wanted to postpone The Freezer Bowl in ’82, so he knows a homefield advantage as well as anyone. But my sense is that Brown thinks the neutral site with warm weather works best for the people going to the game.

And, he’s probably worried about the Pandora’s Box they’ve opened. Why shouldn’t Washington and Boston get one now? Cincinnati never will because the stadium is too small and there isn’t enough hotel space. The airport was always a great selling point, but no more with the drastic decrease in direct flights.

I Think I Believe I’m amazed at the national NFL writers that just always shrug when they see the word “Bengals,” and automatically write “suck.” Sometimes you get the feeling they stopped watching this club in 2002.

One thing you never hear about this offseason is how just one Bengal isn’t here during the voluntaries, The Ocho, and that with the blessing of the head coach. Meanwhile, there is a daily upheaval around the NFL about what players aren’t reporting. So much so that did a roundup the other day about who isn’t showing up. In places like Baltimore, it is easier to say who’s there instead of who’s not.

They like to write about how it is so dysfunctional around here and how many bad guys are in the locker room and how they don’t know how to win or don’t want to win. And, meanwhile, every day just piles up and refutes all the pontifications.

Talking to somebody about this on the inside, they chalk up the attendance to tremendous leadership of the big players, such as Carson Palmer, Cedric Benson, Andrew Whitworth, Domata Peko, Johnathan Joseph, Leon Hall, Robert Geathers and Keith Rivers.

Yes, I understand. This club has some problems and questions. But what team doesn’t? What entity doesn’t? Even Miss America has to use deodorant, I Think I Believe. Here’s a team that won a division, then addressed its top needs in the offseason, and now has nearly everyone intact working on it, and you’d think they’re rebuilding if you read the national clips.

I Think I Believe I have a list of Bengals that are going to have breakout seasons:

Wide receiver Antonio Bryant – Yes, AB, quarterbacks actually do throw spirals and get it to you on time.

Running back Bernard Scott – If he touches it a dozen times a game via kick returns, passes and runs, he becomes a household name.

SAM/RE Michael Johnson – He didn’t know what he was doing last year and he got three sacks by accident and a slew of tipped balls. Now he’s got a year under his belt and he’ll be lined up in more places than LeBron James, so he looks to be on the brink. A very earnest guy and hard worker.

SAM Rey Maualuga – He’s got the speed, size and hunger to make those game-changing plays, so Mike Zimmer and Jeff FitzGerald are going to make sure he does. Older and wiser, he could be a real handful as they move him around, too.

S Roy Williams – Hard for a five-time Pro Bowler to break out, but after playing just seven games the last two years, he looks and sounds hungry. They get 13-16 games from a near Pro Bowl player at that spot, that is quite interesting.

WLB Brandon Johnson – I love this guy just watching the drills. If the Celtics had him on defense, Superman would disappear. Johnson can cover and he can blitz. Last year he was their best all-around linebacker when it came to making plays.

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Receivers bubbling

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on May 19, 2010 – 4:38 pm

Third-year wide receiver Jerome Simpson continued to impress on the bubble Wednesday.  He caught a long bomb with a dive, corraling the ball as he tumbled to the ground. He got up gingerly but returned to work … Wide receiver Matt Jones also had another good day catching the ball.

» If you made me pick the six wide receivers now, I’d say The Ocho, Antonio Bryant, Andre Caldwell, Jordan Shipley, and Matt Jones with the last spot being fought between Simpson and sixth-rounder Dez Briscoe.

First of all, I may be way off. Second, they still may have to make room for Quan Cosby and his punt returns because he also doesn’t drop many passes. And third, it’s highly doubtful they’d be able to put Briscoe on the practice squad without another team claiming him. It’s already amazing he was there in the sixth.

» Reggie Kelly was surprised when he got a good look at his 6-5, 261 heir apparent, Jermaine Gresham. From what he’d been reading and hearing, Kelly said, he thought Gresham was just a receiving tight end.

“He’s a physical specimen,” Kelly said. “I think he can be a great blocker.”

» Players like defensive tackle Domata Peko and other insiders are raving about how quick the Bengals are up front on defense, aided by the drafting of Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins.

“I’ve been reading where Zimmer was calling Geno, ‘Taz,’ ” said Peko of the nickname that is short for Tasmanian devil and bestowed on Atkins by defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and defensive line coach Jay Hayes. “I can see that. That’s how he plays.”

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