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Tag:Kyle Cook
Posted on: April 19, 2011 2:12 pm
Edited on: April 19, 2011 11:30 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Cincinnati Bengals

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.




Offensive scheme

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.




1. Quarterback
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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Posted on: August 18, 2010 9:38 am
 

Hot Routes 8.18.10: We're very persistent, man

Posted by Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

Got links for the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter or send an email to josh [dot] katzowitz [at] cbsinteractive [dot] com.

-I love this quote from new Seattle DL Kentwan Balmer on what happened in San Francisco during the past week: “You’re very persistent, man.” No explanation was forthcoming, though the Seahawks seemed pretty impressed with Balmer after his first practice with his new team. Props to the AP reporter for being persistent, though.

-One intriguing storyline for Saturday’s Baltimore-Washington preseason game (you just have to manufacture these storylines for the preseason, eh?) is the return of Ravens quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn to face the team he used to coach. He insists it won’t be awkward .

-The Bengals cut last year’s fourth-round pick, C Jonathan Luigs. The move is a little surprising , because Luigs was the top center in college football while at Arkansas. He’s battled some injuries this offseason, but he played half the season on special teams last year. He wasn’t going to replace starter Kyle Cook, but he seemed like a decent-enough backup.

-Todd Haley was asked about his physical training camps . “It’s all I know,” Haley said. Why is this interesting (or, at least, sort of interesting)? Physical training camps are less and less popular these days. Haley has come under fire on more than one occasion for having a confrontational, perhaps even disrespectful, demeanor towards veteran players. All we know is this: Larry Johnson would disapprove. Not to mention Jerry Jones.

-Could Texans fourth-round rookie Darryl Sharpton really be challenging Xavier Adibi for a starting linebacker job while Brian Cushing is out? Apparently, so.

-The NFL Network forgot to blackout the Bengals-Broncos game for some lucky Northern Kentucky viewers . D’oh. Les Vann, the local CBS affiliate’s VP and GM was less than pleased. “I cannot imagine how the league would have reacted if we had a ‘communication error’ and failed to black out the game.”

-Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel has a hamstring injury, but it doesn’t sound like a big deal . He’s not practicing this morning, though.

-Browns right guard Floyd Womack (some call him “Pork Chop”) is out for the rest of the preseason after getting his knee scoped.

-A player sitting out practice because of tightness in the lower back normally isn’t a cause for major concern … unless that player is Packers DE Justin Harrell.

-Raiders defensive end Jay Richardson is expected to miss the rest of training camp after knee surgery.
 
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