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Tag:Cincinnati Bengals
Posted on: August 8, 2010 6:23 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2010 6:52 pm
 

2010 Hall of Fame Game Preview: 10 to watch

Posted by Will Brinson


All due respect to Christmas, this is the most wonderful time of the year. Why? Because, well, football's here people. Hope springs eternal right now for nearly every team in the league, and for everyone who loves Sundays the way they should be enjoyed.

And though tonight's game between Cincinnati and Dallas isn't a regular season game, it's still the metaphorical starter waving his proverbial flag for us to get pumped for football. As such, let's run through 10 things to watch for tonight.

First things first, though: make sure to follow us on Twitter , so you can discuss all things NFL as the football season kicks off.

1. Terrell Owens' interaction with the Bengals
Obviously, Bengals fans are going to be interested to see how he fits in with the team. Certainly, timing between Carson Palmer and Owens will be of tantamount importance, but there's no reason to discount watching the defense as well; the Cowboys have a good idea of the damage that TO can do, and seeing the initial schemes that they throw at Chad Ochocinco -- based on Owens' presence on the other side -- will probably give a reasonable indication as to what he should see all season long (provided Owens doesn't prove to be a total non-factor throughout the year).

"I'm a playmaker," Owens said. "I know Michael Irvin has adopted that title, but that's what I do and have done throughout my career is make plays. The coaches know what I'm capable of once the ball is in my hands. They're going to get all of Terrell on the field."

Andy also makes an excellent point about Owens -- how will his demeanor be towards Tony Romo and the rest of the Cowboys throughout the game? More on this in just a second.

2. Who's carrying the Cowboys' weight?

As we detailed previously, Jones bulked up in the offseason, while Marion Barber lost a few pounds. There's a certain school of thought, expressed quite nicely by Will Carroll at SI.com , that adding pounds to certain body frames can actually be a bad thing.

"Health is a skill, one that linebackers try to take away with every hit. Jones' problem hasn't really been those kind of hits, but in holding together his own body. Bulk often is accompanied by a reduction in flexibility and any additional tightness is going to be even more risky for the tightly-wound Jones. It also isn't going to keep him on the field for his pass blocking either. (It's still bad.)"

Personally, I'm still high on Jones, but concern over someone who traditionally hasn't been able to stay healthy changing his body style (potentially for the worse in terms of health) is certainly understandable. Also understandable: wanting Tashard Choice to look good on Sunday night. He's definitely the third option for the Cowboys, but because of, well, Jones' health he's seen plenty of playing time in the past few years.

3. Cincy's other new weapons
Lost -- somewhat -- in the hype that is Batman and Robin are the signings of Antonio Bryant and Jermaine Gresham since the Bengals last took the field for meaningful football. Bryant won't likely be playing for the Bengals, but Gresham should. And considering that he's supposed to provide the high-end receiving option from the tight end position, well, Bengals fans should be curious to see how he performs, especially with a recent report that he "looked lost" not offering immediate enthusiasm.

Also of interest is the possibility of seeing double tight end sets out of Cincy -- 2009 third-rounder Chase Coffman (who won the John Mackey Award for the best tight end in college his senior year) will likely get some action tonight -- which, given the receiving talent at the position, could provide for some very interesting formations during the season.

4. Trickeration time?
It's fairly obvious that Owens and Ochocinco like attention. So do the Dallas Cowboys, duh. And since this is the first game of the 2010 season, it seems like a reasonably awesome moment to bust out some first quarter fanciness. If I had to put money on one thing, it would involve Ochocinco throwing a pass to Owens on some sort of end-around. If you've got better ideas, leave them in the comments.

5. Terrell Owens' interaction with the Cowboys
Yeah, I know. Giving the VH1 star TWO of 10 bullet points is kind of feeding the monster. So we'll add Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson too. Since, you know, all three are former Cowboys. That's not to say that we should expect TO to try and extract revenge on his former team. Or do we ?

"Do I think I probably should still be there?" Owens said about his time in Dallas. "Yeah. But that's not the case. You deal with that situation as it comes. I think a lot of people know there are some unfortunate things that happened there ... Again, I still stand by the things I said and what was done and I know it wasn't my fault.''

You may recall that Owens shamed the entire state of Texas by mocking the glory of the Cowboys' star. They temporarily forgave him when he joined the 'Boys for his run there, but considering how many Cowboys fans were in attendance to see Emmitt Smith's spectacular speech last night, would it be surprising to hear some boos for Owens? Of course not.

The only thing less surprising would be Owens abstaining from some action designed to rib Dallas' fans and players a little bit.

6. What do you know about pressure ?
Kickers are considered an afterthought for many people (and "idiots" by folks like Peyton Manning), but the reality of the NFL is that they matter. A lot.

Mike Nugent and Dave Rayner are battling it out in Cincinnati, while the unproven -- but quite brash -- David Buehler should be the guy to take the Cowboys through the season. However, kicking in practice and kicking in an actual game situation are two completely different things. And while preseason games might not matter much for first-stringers or guaranteed starters, for someone looking to lock down a job with an NFL team for pushing an oblong ball between two poles, performing well before the regular season starts is an absolute  must. (Quick update: Looks like THE NUGE isn't bringing his leg to the field today, so it's up to Rayner to try and not look stupid in kicking action for the Bengals tonight.)

7. Will Doug B. Free?
To not worry about his job stability, that is. Doug Free takes over for Flozell Adams on the left side of the line in Dallas, and the reason Adams is gone is that Wade Phillips (and presumably Jerry Jones as well) was confident enough in Free's ability as a blind-side protector to make the move.

Whether Free wants it or not, that's an ample amount of pressure on him. And while Alex Barron wasn't signed in the offseason to compete with Free, he's still there, which only adds to the pressure. Free's been very good in camp thus far (his first two snaps excepted), but that performance would be worthless if Tony Romo got decapitated on the first play from scrimmage.

8. The Big Backup D
Wade Phillips has already said that Jason Hatcher "needs to play anyway" while calling Marcus Spears' 4-6 week injury a "good opportunity" for Hatcher. That's true, and with 8.5 of the Cowboys' 42 sacks from 2009 on the mend, it'll be interesting to see how Hatcher can step in and play. Optimistically, the Cowboys won't need him immediately, but optimism isn't always warranted.

Additionally, Sean Lee won't see time tonight, which means that Jason Williams and Victor Butler should get plenty of backup-LB action behind DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer. Again, you don't WANT to use them, but finding out that your team is deep at an already strong position isn't exactly a bad thing. If they actually are.

9. Sack lunch
The Bengals defense was superb last year, with one exception: putting the quarterback on the ground before he throws the ball. They ranked 16th in the NFL with 34 sacks, but this year should be different. As Pete Prisco noted in his love/hate for the Bengals camp tour , the line has a lot of depth heading into 2010. The return of Antwan Odom, who was leading the NFL in sacks before he tore his Achilles' last season, is particularly beneficial. If they can generate more pressure on the quarterback than they did last year, it won't be hard to duplicate it. We just need to see that the depth is there.

10. Emmitt Smith's Interview
Another excellent suggestion from Andy -- who tweeted about it earlier -- because, if you recall Emmitt's speech from last night, he was wonderful. Shockingly wonderful, in fact, having memorized the entire lengthy speech, which he delivered without any of his trademark bumbling.

If you're Norby Williamson or George Bodenheimer, are you wondering "Where was that guy when he worked for us?" Because you should be. Smith's time as a commentator was a bit rough and he was an absolute gem as a speaker last night ... with a little preparation. It's worth seeing how he does when he steps back into the booth.

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

Posted on: August 8, 2010 4:58 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2010 5:02 pm
 

Owens discusses Jerry Jones, Romo relationships

Posted by Will Brinson

Terrell Owens, as is typical of the wide receiver, didn't leave Dallas on a good note.

Fortunately -- for the media anyway -- he's playing Dallas tonight in the 2010 Hall of Fame game, this time as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. (Quick aside: Um, football's here. YEEEESSS.) So, naturally, Owens was asked about his run with the Cowboys. From David Moore of the Dallas Morning-News :

"I think it was short-lived,'' Owens said. "I was prematurely let go. Things like that happen. You have to take the bitter with the sweet and you move on.

"Do I think I probably should still be there? Yeah. But that's not the case. You deal with that situation as it comes. I think a lot of people know there are some unfortunate things that happened there.

"Again, I still stand by the things I said and what was done and I know it wasn't my fault.''

That's not necessarily unfair -- Owens was plenty productive with Dallas, but it became clear that things weren't working out between the player and the organization.

Or, at least, some in the organization, because Owens feels like if Jerry Jones had "the ultimate decision" he would still be a Cowboy. Which is silly. Because, newsflash, Jones DOES have the final call on all things Cowboys.

Perhaps instead, a "more favorite" Cowboy wasn't a big Owens fan? His response to a question about his relationship with Tony Romo -- "I don't know ... I certainly don't have much to say about that" -- opens that possibility, though.

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


Posted on: August 4, 2010 6:27 pm
 

Terrell Owens realistic about his incentives

Terrell Owens is realistic about some of the incentives in his one-year contract with the Bengals. Take the $333,333 bonus for 100 catches, for example. “I know that’s an unreachable goal,” Owens said in a surprisingly in-depth and hard-cutting interview with the Bengals website.” It is what it is. Malcontent? Check my statistics. I’ve had 100 catches one time in my career. One. So go figure.”T. Owens (US Presswire)

It was a risky move for the Bengals to lace Owens’s contract with $2 million in incentives. Is there any player in the league who needs less encouragement to dwell on his own numbers than T.O.? Owens was asked if it bothered him that so much of his contract was incentive-based:

“No, it is what it is at this point. I know I’m very skillful. I know I’m very productive. I definitely took a pay cut to grasp the opportunity to win a Super Bowl. Like I said I know I’m worth more than what I’m being paid. But I’m here playing with my good friend Chad and playing with a team that definitely has an opportunity to win the Super Bowl.”

Owens also said he is cool with Donovan McNabb now. But he doesn’t regret the stuff that led to his exile from Philadelphia:

“No I don’t. I probably could have done some things differently. I guess had I been more mature there would have been a better way to go about some things. Maybe not being so vocal. As far as my stance, my situation and things that were said from where I stood, I wasn’t at fault. I can honestly say it because there was some staff that even know it wasn’t my fault. What can they do? Again, everybody knew the situation, but you’re only going to know what’s being reported.”

These are just minor snippets of the interview. Click here if you’d like to read the whole thing.

--Andy Benoit

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

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 4, 2010 5:16 pm
 

AFC North Preview, Podcast Style

Just like Monday, it's preview time, podcast style. Wednesday's edition features the AFC North.

Anyway, Josh and I run through the division, asking the hard questions: Has the Ravens dominant side of the ball shifted? What will happen with the circus in Cincinnati? Can the Steelers contend with Big Ben suspended? And why does Cleveland still have sports teams?

That's, right: all that and more, all for the low, low price of clicking a play button. Got a question you want answered on the show? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL ) or email will.brinson [at] cbs [dot] com .

We'll be running out a few of these a week, so there's plenty of time. Oh, and also, be a friend and subscribe either by RSS or iTunes below.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Or, make it easy on yourself and  Subscribe via iTunes .


-- Will Brinson

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



Posted on: August 2, 2010 5:30 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2010 6:49 pm
 

Jermaine Gresham agrees with Bengals

And then there were three ... unsigned first-rounders, that is, since Jermaine Gresham and the Cincinnati Bengals agreed to a five-year contract.

The news was broken by the ever-vigilant OchoCinco News Network , which in no way uses its connections with the Bengals and the NFL to get the scoop on stories.

Sarcasm aside, OchoCinco is correct in calling Gresham "another weapon" -- the Oklahoma product won't be the No. 1 option (or the No. 2, for that matter) on the Bengals, and his stats may not be obscene during his rookie season, but he's going to be a spectacular bailout target for Carson Palmer.

Say whatever you want about the nature of the personalities on the Bengals, but their offensive output should be improved this year, as teams are more likely to be punished if they double Chad Ochocinco.

Update (6:00 PM): Joe Reedy reports via Twitter that the deal is worth $15.85 million (and a max of $18.5 million) with $9.6 million guaranteed.

-- Will Brinson

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



Posted on: July 31, 2010 6:35 pm
 

Score one for T.O.

You hate to say it, but today, new Bengals WR Terrell Owens made a pretty good point. True, he, like Chad Ochocinco, is a WR diva – moreso than most (OK, he didn’t say that; that’s just my interjection), but (and this he did say) he doesn’t understand all the criticism, particularly when he’s never been in trouble with the law.

Here’s what he told reporters, as transcribed by the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Joe Reedy:

“If you’re doing something good, nine times out of 10 they’re not going to say anything good about you,” Owens said. “I pride myself with the fact that my grandmother raised me right and taught me right from wrong. You see guys that had DUIs, domestic violence, club altercations and rape violations and then myself I get thrown into the same category as those guys and I can’t see how that is. Again, it’s ignorance if you ask me. I’ve had no off the field problems and it’s mind boggling.

“If you look at some of the things on the sideline they have been blown out of proportion. You can’t hear the audio but the commentators they seem to know what I’m thinking but if it’s somebody else doing those sideline tirades then it’s all them being positive, them lifting the team and being a team leader. But if it’s myself it’s a total opposite.

“If you see other quarterbacks or team leaders doing that, then that is what they say. They’re being team leaders. But if it’s me I’m being a distraction and they want to throw me off the team. They want to call me a cancer. It’s unfair, but it’s something I have to deal with and I’ve dealt with it over the years and it is what it is.”


Perhaps, we’d have more sympathy for Owens if he hasn’t acted like such an ass for much of his career – publicly bitching to and at his quarterbacks, slamming the ball on the Cowboys star, doing sit-ups in his driveway, etc. – but yeah, he’s right. He shouldn’t be treated like a criminal.

--Josh Katzowitz

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





Posted on: July 30, 2010 3:30 pm
 

No suspension for Cedric Benson

In a somewhat surprising move, Roger Goodell has chosen not suspend Bengals running back Cedric Benson for violatiC. Benson (US Presswire)ng the league’s Personal Conduct Policy. Adam Schefter first reported the story. Benson was arrested in Austin, TX and charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly punching an employee of Annie's West bar in the face. Goodell met with Benson last week and, apparently, came away sold on Benson’s side of the story. (Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis backed Benson days earlier.)

Many people believe Benson is a previous offender of the conduct policy because of his BWI (boating while intoxicated) and DWI arrests in the summer of 2008. But those charges were both dropped. Thus, Goodell may have simply viewed Benson as a player with no prior record.

-- Andy Benoit

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

Category: NFL
Posted on: July 29, 2010 12:35 pm
 

Five questions (or more) with Mike Brown

Bengals owner Mike Brown is an elusive interview. For the most part, he does one Bengals on-the-record session per year. It occurs at the Bengals media preseason luncheon, and it’s there that reporters gather to ask all the questions they’ve saved up for the year. This season, we had plenty of fodder to discuss: Terrell Owens (this was before Owens actually signed), the potential for a lockout, and a possible Marvin Lewis contract extension.

The following is part of the exchange that reporters, including CBSSports.com, had with Brown.

1. Reporters: What are you most excited about coming into the season?

Mike Brown: I thought last year we had a successful season. We just didn’t end on the note we wanted to end on. And that rankles. We’ve proved we have a good team. If we’re healthy, we’re a team that can play with anyone. We have ambitions to have that one golden year. This year, more than most in recent times, I think we have a better shot at it.

2. Reporters (after talking with Brown about why he likes Owens so much): Are you one of those guys who always sees the good in people? You saw good in other people that maybe other people didn’t.

MB: I don’t profess to do anything but judge people the way I see them. I’m not going to defend that. I have the right to do it, and I choose to do it. Do I see good in people? I think most people have good in them. I don’t think there are many that don’t. Our job is to get that out of them.

3. Reporters: How are things progressing with Marvin? Do you guys hope to have an extension by the end of the season?

MB: The deal with Marvin is an internal matter. We’ve had discussions. He knows I hold him in the highest regard. I’m not going to get in a public conversation about that. He’s done an excellent job here. When we have something to say about it, I’ll be pleased to do it. That isn’t now.

4. CBSSports.com: With the CBA coming to an end, where do you see that going? The probability of a lockout, do you see that happening?

MB: Things will be unsettled for the league once (the CBA expires). I just think we have to be patient. Both sides want the same thing. They want an agreement. I think there will be an agreement. But those are hands other than mine. I have to be just like you – sit and watch and wait.

Reporters: In what ways has the potential for a work stoppage affected the way you do business?

MB: We’re aware there’s a threat. We have tailored certain things to meet that possibility. In my heart of hearts, I just think we’re going to be out there playing. I will believe it when I see if we aren’t.

5. Reporters: Is there any need for a first-round draft pick to have an agent? A lawyer, yes. An accountant, maybe.

MB: In my position, I don’t know why we pay two or three percent – whatever it is – to somebody who tells players it’s ok to sign. That never made a lot of sense to me. I’ve been in this business when there were no agents. I’ve been in this business where there have been different systems. The people who are skeptical may doubt it, but I can tell you my honest belief is, no matter if there are agents or not, we paid out as much as we could afford to the players.

--Josh Katzowitz

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