Tag:Jay Gruden
Posted on: June 10, 2011 8:28 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 9:02 pm
  •  
 

Lewis: Dalton could be Bengals' Week 1 starter



Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's all about perspective. In January, shortly after the Bengals put the finishing touches on another underwhelming season, pretty much everybody -- Marvin Lewis included -- figured the team would have a new head coach in the coming weeks.

Somehow, owner Mike Brown didn't fire Lewis -- and Lewis didn't quit -- which only makes sense in the Groundhog Day/bizarro/funhouse-mirror world of the Cincinnati Bengals. Although Lewis will be back for a ninth season, the team will look decidedly different in 2011.

Quarterback Carson Palmer has threatened to retire if the team doesn't trade him, and wide receiver/soccer hopeful/amateur bull rider Chad Ochocinco has likely caught his last pass in Bengal stripes. Which opens the door for second-round pick Andy Dalton and a bunch of young receivers, including first-rounder AJ Green.

Lewis, appearing on ESPN 101 in St. Louis, spoke on a variety of topics, including whether Dalton could be under center in Week 1.

“Well that’s something we are going to have to see what happens and how it plays out, but there’s no question when we selected Andy Dalton we selected him with that in mind -- that he’d possibly be our opening day starting quarterback,” said Lewis, according to SportsRadioInterviews.com.

Different strokes for different folks, we guess. The Panthers, Titans, Jaguars and Vikings all drafted quarterbacks in the first round (Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder, respectively), but none are expected to start.

Cincy backup Jordan Palmer, who referred to his brother as a "former teammate" earlier in the week, will have a chance to win the gig. But he won't have the luxury of knowing the playbook any better than Dalton; offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski was fired during the offseason and was replaced by Jay Gruden. Everybody's learning a new system.

When asked about Carson's decision to call it a career unless his trade demands are met, Lewis sounded like a man who had long since come to terms with losing the one-time face of the franchise. "Those decisions don’t come overnight," Lewis said. "Those are things that sit in your belly for a long time and they really have a tendency to bother you, so it’s a good decision that he made to move on with the rest of his life and we understand that and accept that. We’ve put things together to move forward, and we’re excited about it. It’s been a great offseason that way, and when we get an opportunity to start working with our players we’ll be fired up and ready to go.”

By most accounts, the organization did a swell job of using the April draft to re-stock the roster. Cincy landed their quarterback of the future in Dalton, the best college wideout in the country in Green, and both will join a young group of pass catchers who showed gobs of potential late last season. Whether it will be enough to improve on a 4-12 record is another matter entirely. But it's not like Lewis hasn't dealt with losing before; in his eight previous seasons, the Bengals finished above .500 just twice. This time, though, the task should be easier if for no other reason than Lewis won't be preoccupied with trying to keep Ochocinco happy.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:00 pm
 

Jordan refers to Carson as 'former teammate'

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Perhaps it was a Freudian slip or wholly intentional. Either way, we chuckled at Jordan Palmer's comments Wednesday about his brother Carson, who had been the Bengals' starting quarterback the last seven years before proclaiming this offseason that things were so dysfunctional in Cincinnati that if he wasn't traded he would retire.

Meeting Wednesday with the local media for the first time this spring, Jordan was asked about Carson.

“The route I’m taking is I’m focused on the Bengals and myself. I’m getting myself prepared to be the guy and if I’m not I want to get this team as prepared as they can be. I’m separating myself from what Carson is doing. He’s my brother but he’s a former teammate going a different route and I’m focusing in what is front of me.”

Hear that, Carson? Former teammate. That shot across the bow came from your own flesh and blood. 

Actually, we're guessing that Jordan and Carson have discussed their NFL futures, and it's no secret among the Palmers or those with just a passing interest in football: Carson is serious when he says he'll retire if the Bengals don't trade him.

(That said, we were convinced that Carson quit midway through the 2010 season and was secretly replaced by Jordan, who was stuffed into a No. 9 jersey and assumed the starting role with predictably disastrous results. It would certainly explain Carson's steep fall-off from legit franchise quarterback to noodle-armed has-been.)
More on Bengals
Related links

Other than referring to Carson as a "former teammate," Jordan's comments were about what you would expect from a backup competing for a starting gig. Even in early June, during the middle of a lockout, Jordan is a long shot. The Bengals selected Andy Dalton in the second round of the 2011 draft and they sound like it will be his job to lose once the labor situation is settled. That possibility, however, hasn't changed Jordan's mindset.

“I definitely want to be the guy, I’m preparing to be the guy," Palmer said, according to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I’ve also told him (Dalton) that if he’s the guy it’s not because I’ve helped him out too much. It’s going to be because he’s more ready and better. When Carson came here he had Jon Kitna here to help him be a pro. I’m going to help him be a pro. I’d love to help him get there as fast as he can.”

During a normal offseason, Dalton's youth and inexperience would make Jordan the early favorite. But labor issues, and having to learn an entirely new offense (the club fired offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski after the season and hired Jay Gruden) means that everybody's behind. Veteran guard Bobbie Williams still feels sorry for the rookie.

“I don’t know. I’ll just say, God help the young man. I mean, he’s placed in a challenging position. But you know what, in this profession you’re always placed in a challenging position, it’s up to you how you (react) to it.”

If recent Bengals history is any guide, Dalton's in for a long season.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
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.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed
Posted on: April 3, 2011 1:13 pm
 

Hot Routes 4.3.11: Freeney settles lawsuit



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • Colts DE Dwight Freeney was recently hit by a $400,000 lawsuit by a landlord because he allegedly was behind 11 months on his rent for a Hollywood recording studio. But not to worry. A six-figure settlement has made everybody happy. Wait a minute, Freeney rents out a Hollywood recording studio?!?!
  • The wife of former Falcons lineman Shane Dronett, who committed suicide in 2009, reveals some startling information in an interview with CNN, including accounts of his paranoia and rage after he retired from the league in 2006. Not surprisingly, Dronett’s brain revealed he was suffering from CTE.
  • Jay Gruden is excited about the new challenge of being the Bengals offensive coordinator. But, the Tampa Tribune asks, is he a savior?
  • Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer says Panthers fans can forget about seeing Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert in a Carolina uniform next year (unless the Panthers trade down in the draft). But if Carolina stays with the No. 1 choice, fans might see Auburn QB Cam Newton, Georgia WR A.J. Green or LSU CB Patrick Peterson.
  • You remember those two massage therapists who sued the Jets for apparently blacklisting them after objecting to Brett Favre text messages? Well, the Jets say the therapists are overplaying their ties to the club, considering they worked a total of five days during a two-year period.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: March 29, 2011 9:48 am
 

Bengals in the early-round market for a QB

Posted by Will Brinson

This may not come as a surprise because of the Carson Palmer situation in Cincinnati, but the Bengals need some help at the quarterback position.

And according to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer -- who also notes that Ryan Mallett will be Cincy on Thursday and Friday -- they're almost definitely going to use a pick on a QB in either the first or second rounds.

Which means that more so than in most years past, the No. 1 overall spot is a first domino that could go in a number of directions. See, Cincinnati would likely take, or consider taking -- according to Reedy -- Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert with the fourth-overall pick.

But if they're both gone (which is a decent possibility), then the Bengals will turn their attention to the second round, where they'll consider quarterbacks like Mallett, Christian Ponder, Andy Dalton, Jake Locker and Colin Kaepernick.

Which, honestly, isn't that horrible of a spot to be in -- Ponder and Dalton are considered as "pro-ready" as anyone in the draft, and would likely fit well with what Jay Gruden wants to run, offensively, in Cincy.

Getting someone who could step in right away would also go a much longer way to leveraging Palmer from jumping into retirement than would the Bengals rolling into the season with only he and his brother Jordan Palmer as roster options for signal-calling purposes.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: March 9, 2011 11:27 am
 

Cedric Benson open to a return to Cincy

Posted by Andy Benoit

When the Bengals’ 2010 season mercifully came to an end, many assumed that Cedric Benson would not want to return to Cincinnati. A year after rushing for over 1,200 yards, the veteran running back dissolved into somewhat of an afterthought.

Benson’s rushing attempts dropped from 23 per game in ’09 to 20 in ’10. His yards per carry plummetC. Benson (US Presswire)ed from 4.2 to 3.5.

The problem was not Benson so much as the system he was in. After the Bengals signed Terrell Owens, offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski felt compelled to operate a pass-first scheme based on predictable five-and seven-step drops. There was never a rhythm to Cincy’s once-powerful ground attack.

Bratkowski, who had been with the team even longer than head coach Marvin Lewis, was fired in February. That move may ultimately convince Benson, a free agent, to stick around.

Helping matters for Benson is the departure of Terrell Owens and possible departure of Chad Ochocinco, which will trim some passing pages from the playbook. Oh, also trimming passing pages could be the issue of replacing Carson Palmer.

Shortly after the Bratkowski firing, the Bengals hired Jay Gruden to run the offense. Gruden presumably has a predilection for the short-passing West Coast system (Gruden has never worked in the NFL, but that brother of his had some success running a West Coast oriented system in Oakland and Tampa Bay).

Despite Gruden’s passing background, Benson, however, seems eager to play for the new coach.

“We had an interesting conversation about a lot of things,” he told Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We have a lot of things in common as far as the way we see the game.”

NFL Offseason

Gruden said of Benson, “I would love to have him back. He’s the type of guy who wants to do well and that’s what we need. A physical back we can hand the ball to 20 to 25 times a game if we need to if we have the young quarterback.”

That last tidbit – ”if we have the young quarterback” – is interesting. The Bengals are insisting they won’t give in to Palmer’s trade demands. (Palmer is threatening retirement if they don’t.) But it sounds like their new play-caller is at least exploring the possibility of a Palmer-less offense in his head.

Palmer or no Palmer, featuring Benson would be the smart move. For one, the guy is a clever, patient runner with a good burst and underrated lateral agility. He also has the durability to get stronger late in games. For two, the Bengals do not have an athletic offensive line, which is something that can be masked by run-blocking but is exposed in pass protection.

If the Bengals do bring Benson back, it will likely have to be in a multi-year contract.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 21, 2011 3:19 pm
 

Bengals take Eagles QB coach for their WR coach

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The offensive make-over continues in Cincinnati.

A few weeks after releasing former offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski and replacing him with Jay Gruden, the Bengals have hired Eagles QB coach James Urban as the team’s WR coach, which had been vacated by Mike Sheppard (who went to Jacksonville to be the Jaguars QB coach).*

*Does all of that make sense?


Urban had been in Philadelphia the past seven years, and he got much of the credit for Michael Vick’s resurgence this year.

“I am very excited to be able to bring Jim to Cincinnati to work with our receivers,” said head coach Marvin Lewis in a statement. “He brings us a wealth of knowledge in an offensive system very similar to what (new offensive coordinator) Jay Gruden is installing for us. This is a very good fit for our team.”

The move makes sense. Since Gruden plans to install a West Coast attack for the Bengals – and get away from Bratkowski’s vertical attack – it seems like a good idea to bring in a coach like Urban, who has spent so much time in Andy Reid’s system.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: February 8, 2011 12:55 pm
 

Hot Routes 2.8.11: Two sides of Vick



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • Vick didn’t get out of the ceremony unscathed, though. As this YouTube video will attest. To be fair, though, take the video with a grain of salt. It’s hard to tell if Vick even heard the radio guy or looked at him.
  • If you’re thinking new Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden will contact QB Carson Palmer to make a pitch at him to stay in Cincinnati, think again. Gruden will wait until Palmer’s job status is sorted out before making contact.
  • Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post thinks the Super Bowl has become too bloated.
  • If you were driving in the Washington D.C. area Sunday night, there’s a pretty good chance you were given a ticket by Maryland or Virginia police. Forty-two drivers were arrested on DUI suspicion.
  • The Washington City Paper has announced the Washington City Paper Defense Fund so the outlet can fight the multi-million dollar lawsuit leveled at it by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. Apparently, the newspaper is getting plenty of support from its readers.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com