Tag:Cincinnati Bengals
Posted on: July 9, 2010 5:21 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2010 5:55 pm

Ochocinco has sympathy for Cleveland

Never missing an opportunity to inject himself into the national spotlight – particularly with his reality show on VH1 premiering Sunday – Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco gave his opinion on LeBron James' move to the Miami Heat.

“It’s not the traditional way that players really go about delivering a message, but LeBron being the caliber of player that he is with everyone on pins and needles wanting to find out what would happen, I wouldn’t blame it on LeBron,” said Ochocinco, a Miami native, on the Dan Patrick radio show Friday. “I’d blame it on the media that allowed it to happen. If you weren’t going to like it, don’t watch it. LeBron did what was best for him and his career. I feel bad for the fans of Cleveland because he invested his time and his heart with him and did all he could to help them win a championship and I feel it’s the owner’s job to build the team around him to make that possible and it didn’t happen. He honored his contract and he went elsewhere.”

He also asked this question of the sports fans in Ohio: “Shouldn’t the people of Ohio not feel that bad that LeBron is gone when you still have me to watch every Sunday?”

Then, Ochocinco made a bold prediction.

“I just talked to Pat Riley,” Ochocinco said after predicting the Bengals would win the Super Bowl. “When I see the ends, I’ll be coming off the bench for the Heat. I can average 10 points per game. I might be the first player to get two rings in one year.”

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Posted on: June 29, 2010 7:24 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2010 7:25 pm

Cedric Benson tells his side

Earlier in the day, we told you about the arrest of Bengals RB Cedric Benson . Benson since has enlisted the services of attorney David Cornwell, who represented Ben Roethlisberger in his case this past summer.

A quick reminder on what happened:

The alleged assault in Austin occurred May 30, but Benson wasn’t arrested until today. According to the police affidavit, Benson was involved in an altercation with another patron at Annie’s West bar, and after a bar manager separated them, Benson shoved him and tried to restart the fight. Benson then spit blood from an injured lip at a bartender. The bartender told Benson to stop, and Benson replied, “I don’t give a f---.” Eventually, he was escorted from the bar, but before he left, he punched the bartender in the face. Austin police then responded by gathering statements and video evidence.

Sounds bad for Benson, right? Especially since he’s been arrested twice before for alcohol-related incidents, though he was cleared of all charges. But he’s got another side to the story.

Here’s the statement released by Cornwell:

Late last month at a nightclub, Cedric Benson was asked to take pictures with some female fans.

A man approached Cedric and objected to him posing for pictures with the women. Cedric explained that he had been asked to pose with the women and the man punched Cedric.

An altercation followed and while Cedric was leaving the club, he was approached by another man aggressively.

Believing this man was a friend of the man who had punched him; Cedric attempted to protect himself and continued out of the club.

Immediately upon leaving the club, Cedric called the police. He was interviewed by the police and left the area.

Two weeks ago while he was in Cincinnati, Cedric was contacted by a detective investigating the incident in Texas.

Apparently, the second man who approached Cedric is an employee of the night club and claimed that Cedric punched him.

Cedric agreed to be interviewed upon his return to Texas and provided his return date. Cedric was not contacted by the detective upon his return.

This morning Cedric received a telephone call advising him that a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

Cedric voluntarily made himself available, was taken into custody, and was released earlier today after posting bond.

Upon his release, Cedric contacted Coach Marvin Lewis and the Commissioner’s office to notify the Cincinnati Bengals and the NFL of these events.

Though we adamantly dispute that Cedric committed a crime, Cedric will continue to cooperate with law enforcement, the Bengals and the NFL in their investigation of these events.

Stay tuned. This could get really interesting for Benson and the Bengals.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Posted on: June 29, 2010 1:04 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2010 1:08 pm

Cedric Benson Arrested

In a way, you're not a true Bengal until you get arrested while under contract with the team. Consider running back Cedric Benson part of the team, now. Benson was arrested and charged with assault for an incident at a downtown Austin bar. Statesman.com has the info:

Former University of Texas football player Cedric Benson was arrested and charged with assault with injury early today after an incident last month at Annie’s West at 706 West Sixth Street, where officials said he punched a bar employee in the face.

The 27-year-old current running back for the Cincinnati Bengals had been involved in an altercation at the establishment and was being escorted out when he punched an employee, according to an arrest affidavit.

The affidavit said the May 30 incident began at 1:50 a.m. when a fight began between Benson and an unknown person inside the bar. Club staff separated them, at which time Benson shoved a manager “in an attempt to continue the fight he was previously engaged in,” the affidavit said.

The affidavit said Benson spit blood from his injured lip at a bar employee.

Workers then asked Benson several times to leave.

“Benson refused, and was escorted out of the bar,” the affidavit said.

Outside, the affidavit said employees tried to prevent him from going back in. At that point, he punched “with his right fist to the left side” of an employee’s face, causing the employee to stumble backwards.

--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Category: NFL
Posted on: June 28, 2010 1:31 pm

Henry's brain shows trauma

An interesting – and a disheartening – story here about the brain analysis of late Bengals WR Chris Henry. As detailed in this Peter Keating piece on ESPN.com , West Virginia University researchers showed Henry had traumatic injuries to his brain before he died last year.

Henry, only 26 years old who had a five-year career in the NFL, died last December when he fell (or jumped) off the back of a pick-up truck while in a verbal altercation with his fiancé. When researchers analyzed his brain, they found degenerative brain damage, also known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

From Keating’s article:

Researchers have now discovered CTE in the brains of more than 50 deceased former athletes, including more than a dozen NFL and college players, pro wrestler Chris Benoit and NHL player Reggie Fleming.

Repeated blows to the head are the only known cause of CTE, researchers say. Concussive hits can trigger a buildup of toxic tau protein within the brain, which in turn can create damaging tangles and threads in the neural fibers that connect brain tissue. Victims can lose control of their impulses, suffer depression and memory loss, and ultimately develop dementia.

Henry, who had been in trouble with the law on multiple occasions, seemed to have turned around his life before breaking his arm last season. The Bengals placed him on the Injured Reserve list, and that was the reason he was in Charlotte that day in December instead in the Cincinnati locker room.

CTE has affected many athletes – not just in football – and, according to the researchers, it might have impacted Henry’s emotional life.

"Superimposed on the acute brain injuries Chris suffered when he died, there was fairly extensive damage throughout his brain that was fully consistent with CTE,” said Julian Bailes, director of the Brain Injury Research Institute, which got permission from Henry’s mother to study Henry’s brain. “This syndrome is expressed not only as changes in the brain, but clinically, as behavioral changes. And starting with Mike Webster, we have seen common threads in these cases: emotional disturbances, depression, failed personal relationships and businesses, suicidal thoughts, sometimes alcohol or drug use."

Scary, scary stuff that, hopefully, will be addressed during the labor negotiations between the NFL Players Association and the owners.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Posted on: June 23, 2010 11:01 pm

Willie Anderson thinking about a return

As ESPN.com’s Len Pasquarelli writes, former Bengals/Ravens OT Willie Anderson is thinking about making a return to the game. He’s interested in playing, but he’s also interested in mentoring.

As he told Pasquarelli, “There is no manual for playing in the NFL, no book that explains to a young guy everything you're going to go through, all the ups and downs you'll experience in a career … and how to prepare for life (after football). I think someone who has been through it all, has seen all the sides on and off the field, has a better chance to (impart) all of those things. And I think that's basically a part of what I have to offer either as a player or as a former player.

"There's no (camouflaging) that I would like to play again. But if not, I feel I owe it to the game and to players to help them prepare for things."

Aside from the fact that Anderson is a four-time Pro Bowler and, from 1997-2006, started all 158 games he played (he missed two contests in 1999), he’s an interesting guy. He owns a couple Fatburger hamburger joints in Cincinnati and Atlanta, and he’s a big believer in helping others.

A few years back I wrote a feature on him for the NFL Players Association web site (a feature I can no longer find online), but I wanted to give a small sampling of what Anderson is like.
He grew up in Mobile, Ala., attending the Boys & Girls Club, so he knows the value of other people caring about him and his education. Which is why he started a scholarship program out of his church in Cincinnati, and in the offseason, he’s made donations to an arts enrichment program for young people in Atlanta.

Anderson wants young people to learn about the aspect of life they couldn’t experience without a little bit of help.   

All of his charitable work is the result of a promise he made many years ago.

“It sounds kind of corny, but it’s a promise I made to God when I was a teenager,” Anderson said. “He put me in the position of success, and I promised I would go back and reach out and help as many people as I could in the right way. I want to be used as a tool to go back and help out wherever I can.”

He takes that promise seriously today.

“All my stuff deals with kids,” Anderson said. “Anything involving kids and helping their education and getting out of their neighborhoods and seeing a different view of the world. It’s helping change their mentality. A lot of guys do stuff around the league, and a lot of it is showing the kids that, ‘Hey, somebody who doesn’t know me, cares about me.’ That changes the mentality right there. So many kids have the mentality that the people that know me don’t care about me.”

Anderson doesn’t want anybody feeling that way. So, in between the time when he pounds on defensive linemen, he gives back to society.

“The charity stuff is something you do so you can give back to the community,” Anderson said. “We all are in a position to be able to take our resources that come to us from being professional athletes and give it to our community. It’s only right. We’re blessed in so many ways. To be a blessing for other people, I personally think it’s my duty.”

It’s doubtful that Anderson's creaky 34-year-old body could last long in the NFL if he somehow could find a starting job. But it sounds like he doesn’t need to start. He just wants to teach.

"I've seen and learned an awful lot," Anderson told ESPN. "If I could pass that knowledge on to people, on the field and off it, that would be great. I don't want to be a coach; that has never interested me. And I don't want to impose myself on people, because that isn't my nature. But I definitely feel I've got something to offer."

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.
Posted on: June 23, 2010 10:46 am

RT Willie Anderson Aiming to Return to NFL

Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com has an interesting piece on former Bengal and Raven Willie Anderson today. The four-time Pro Bowler spent 13 years in the NFL before retiring last season. For many of those years, he was the best right tackle in the league. Now, Anderson wants to play again. But it’s not just about being on the field. The 34-year-old wants to mentor young players. An excerpt from Pasquarelli's piece:

"There is no manual for playing in the NFL, no book that explains to a young guy everything you're going to go through, all the ups and downs you'll experience in a career … and how to prepare for life,” Anderson said. "I think someone who has been through it all, has seen all the sides on and off the field, has a better chance to [impart] all of those things. And I think that's basically a part of what I have to offer either as a player or as a former player.

"There's no [camouflaging] that I would like to play again. But if not, I feel I owe it to the game and to players to help them prepare for things."

The article gets into Anderson’s relationship with Baltimore's young offensive linemen, and the respect and admiration he garners from former teammates. It’s worth reading if you have a few spare minutes.

--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Posted on: June 22, 2010 11:50 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2010 12:03 am

Breaking down Bengals receivers

CINCINNATI The Bengals on Tuesday released WR Chris Davis, and though the team had signed him to a free agent deal in March, the transaction was not surprising. Not surprising in the least.

Cincinnatis receiving room, after all, is awfully crowded and awfully loaded with talent. Some deserving players will not make the 53-man roster, and after the final offseason workout of the year, Bengals receivers coach Mike Sheppard glowed with the anticipation of who hell work with when the season begins.

Theyve been challenged, Sheppard said. Its always fun to see how a group responds to a challenge.

Without Davis around, 10 receivers will vie for what should be six spots when the team breaks camp for the regular season its not impossible the Bengals would take seven receivers, but its highly unlikely. Of those 10, four are most likely locks Chad Ochocinco, free agent signee Antonio Bryant, third-round draft pick Jordan Shipley (perhaps the most impressive player during last weeks mini-camp) and Andre Caldwell who Sheppard pointed out was faster than anybody else at the position and who was invaluable at times last season.

That leaves Matt Jones, Quan Cosby, Jerome Simpson, Dezmon Briscoe, Maurice Purify, and Freddie Brown battling for the other two spots. Lets rank their chances of making this squad.

Jones: Hes tall, and he seems to have good hands. Plus, hes a former college QB, so when you want to pull out a trick play or two, hed be a good candidate. But his feet have been slow, and hes been out of the NFL for a year. Hes been solid, but not spectacular.

Cosby: His biggest strength at least, last year is his punt returning ability, as evidenced by his 11.9 yard return average and the fact he led the league in return yards (he also led the league, it should be noted, in punts returned). He began to have an impact in the passing game late in the season, but his height (5-foot-9) doesnt help. Plus, hell have competition at punt return with Adam Jones and Shipley on the squad.

Simpson: The second-round pick from 2008 has been a big disappointment for the Bengals hes been active for only eight of his 32 career games while making one measly catch for two yards. Simpson, knowing hell have a tough time making the squad this year, had a fantastic offseason, but there are still questions about how well he knows the playbook.

Briscoe: Until he missed much of the offseason with a groin injury, the coaching staff was really high on the sixth-round pick. His former receiver coach at Kansas called him the best receiver hed ever mentored, and his leaping ability is tops on the Bengals squad. Hes got some ridiculous highlights from college, but hes missed out by being absent for so many practices.

Purify: We dont know much about Purify, because hes only played five games in his two NFL seasons (hes spent most of his time on the Bengals practice squad). But hes a special teams stalwart, and last season, he provided the highlight of training camp by dominating SS Roy Williams quite a hard hitter himself in the Oklahoma drill.

Brown: If we dont know much about Purify, we know even less about Brown, except that the local scribes enjoy calling him Downtown Freddie Brown. Id be shocked if Brown made the roster.

So, my prediction for who makes the squad? Well, its tough to say before training camp, but the Facts & Rumors blog aims to please. Im thinking Briscoe and Cosby will make it. I could see Simpson making a run at a spot, but hed have to have an outstanding camp to have a shot. I don't think he'll play well enough to manage it.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Posted on: June 21, 2010 5:40 pm

Dillon charged with two misdemeanors

Former NFL RB Corey Dillon – a four-time Pro Bowler who amassed more than 11,000 rushing yards in 10 seasons with the Bengals and the Patriots – has been charged with two misdemeanors pertaining to his April arrest on the suspicion of drunk driving.

As the L.A. Times writes , Dillon later was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, though he was never actually charged. Here’s what the Times wrote about that incident:

Dillon and his wife were arguing over their pending divorce and child custody when she called 911, saying she had been assaulted by her husband, according to a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

(Desiree) Antoine-Dillon alleged that Dillon "poured milk over her head, threw water on her and poured soy sauce on her" during the dispute, according to the filing rejection released Thursday. She also told authorities she suffered "a superficial cut on her thumb."

She later told authorities that her husband never hit her and her injury was not caused by physical contact with Dillon.

In another sign that Dillon might not have been the greatest dude in the world, here’s a story from his playing days. One day, a well-respected, well-established TV sports anchor approached Dillon from behind as he sat on his stool in the locker room.

“Hey Corey,” the newsman asked. “Do you have a minute to talk to us?”

Dillon, without saying a word, raised both arms and flipped him the double-bird.

Said the newsman: “I guess that means ‘no.’”

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com