Posted on: September 3, 2011 4:21 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2011 6:58 pm
Posted by Josh Katzowitz
Bengals guard Bobbie Williams has been suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances, the team announced today.
Williams’ absence will leave a big hole on the right side of the Bengals offensive line. His listed backup Otis Hudson was a fifth-round pick in 2010 who doesn’t have experience, and the backup left guard, Max Jean-Gilles, was one of the team’s cuts today. Rapid Reporter Paul Dehner writes this would be a good opportunity for rookie Clint Boling to take a spot in the starting lineup.
“We anticipated this would occur," coach Marvin Lewis told the media, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. "It is nothing that has come as a surprise from our end and it is something we have prepared for.”
You’ll recall that I ranked Williams as a top-five guard before last season, but after 12 years in the league, it’s clear the 34-year-old Williams has begun to slow a bit.
And this four-game suspension won’t help his conditioning nor his top-notch reputation.
In other suspension news, Titans fullback Ahmard Hall has been suspended for four games for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances. In response, the Titans have acquired fullback Quinn Johnson from Green Bay for an undisclosed draft pick to make up for Hall's absence.
UPDATED (6:56 p.m. ET): Williams' agent, Tony Agnone, was quick to defend his client.
“The program has run amuck,” Agnone told Bengals.com. “It was designed to keep guys from having a competitive edge. It was about taking steroids and now it has gotten far away from it.”
Agnone said Williams did not take steroids or recreational drugs. But he had other reason to be upset.
“First of all, Bobbie and I found out from you and not the league,” Agnone said. “Look at Bobbie. He has not changed one iota since he’s been in the league.”
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Posted on: April 19, 2011 2:12 pm
Edited on: April 19, 2011 11:30 pm
Posted by Andy Benoit
Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups.
After the Bengals fell behind the eight-ball with a devastating turnover-infused loss to the Bucs in Week 5, they went into their bye a lowly 2-3 and searching the depths of their character for answers.
Problem was, the depths of their character included the collective souls of Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, Pacman Jones, Rey Maualuga, Tank Johnson, Cedric Benson, Michael Johnson, Andre Smith, Carlos Dunlap, Frostee Rucker, Jonathan Joseph, Leon Hall and whatever other players on the roster who, at one point or another, have raised the red character flag.
None of these guys were individually heinous in 2010 (save for Owens), but collectively, they created a staggering void in the leadership department.
Bob Bratkowski is out as offensive coordinator, and deservedly so. In terms of complexity and sophistication, the Bengals’ system in 2010 was comparable to that of a really sophisticated Pop Warner team’s.
The receivers’ route combinations rarely worked off one another, making them easy to defend. The play-action game was non-existent, which was fitting because the run game was an afterthought.
Which brings us to the change: more power runs under new coordinator Jay Gruden. Expect Cedric Benson to re-sign and get about 25 carries a game. Not only is he best suited to be a bell cow, but the Bengals powerful but heavy-footed offensive line is best suited to play downhill, rather than in the frequent drop steps of pass protection.
Carson Palmer insists he’s retiring if the team doesn’t trade him. Owner Mike Brown may be great at playing hardball, but it would take a hardhead to keep Palmer around at this point. Besides, Palmer’s skills have declined (though not as much as you’d probably guess) and he clearly doesn’t trust his offensive line or receivers.
2. Pass Rusher
This need is almost as glaring as the potential need at quarterback. Antwan Odom has not been the same since injuring his Achilles. Robert Geathers was never the same after blowing out his knee. (Unfortunately for the front office, both players were inked to long-term deals before their injuries.) Athletic ex-Gator Carlos Dunlap earned some high marks as a second-round rookie last season, but equally as prominent were his low marks.
3. Interior Offensive Lineman
Right guard Bobbie Williams is aging. Left guard Nate Livings is the definition of average. Or maybe center Kyle Cook is. Whatever; the Bengals need more athleticism inside up front.
A healthy goal for the Bengals would be to regain respect. Self respect, that is. Individually, the Bengals are more athletically gifted than a lot of teams.
But their athletes have not lived up to potential or played well together. Ushering in a new wave of leadership would plant some positive seeds moving forward.
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Tags: Andre Smith, Bobbie Williams, Carlos Dunlap, Carson Palmer, Cedric Benson, Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati Bengals, Frostee Rucker, Jay Gruden, Jonathan Joseph, Kyle Cook, Leon Hall, Marvin Lewis, Michael Johnson, Mike Brown, Nate Livings, Offseason Checkup, Pacman Jones, Rey Maualuga, Tank Johnson, Terrell Owens
Posted on: July 14, 2010 12:36 pm
Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit resume their debate, with today’s focus on guards.