The Bengals are coming off a successful playoff run in large part due to the stellar play of two rookies, QB Andy Dalton and wideout A.J. Green. This is a young team clearly on the rise, and another successful draft like last year’s could inch the Bengals closer to the elite teams of the league.
Tiger Eats Crow
By: Joe Catalano
The Cincinnati Bengals are the team of both the present and the future with Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. I'm not thrilled with the addition of Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis, but he should do enough for this offense to be very effective.
You have Baltimore, on the other hand, with a veteran defense with the likes of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. The question is, "How many more years can Ray Lewis play at a high level?" The Ravens have a solid quarterback in Joe Flacco and one of the best all-purpose backs in football in Ray Rice. At this point, Flacco has the experience on Dalton but he's still not that much better a QB and Dalton is very young.
Look for Cincinnati to build off of last year. Yet again, I like the dog. Take the Bengals.
Pick: Cincinnati Bengals +7
Rich Pacman, Poor Pacman
By: Joe Catalano
The hot topic at Bengals camp this week is the civil suit against Cincinnati cornerback and notorious trouble maker Adam "Pacman" Jones.
We all know him as "Pacman Jones" when he was one of the leaders of the Tennessee Tians. Nowadays, he's simply referred to as Adam Jones in fear of causing more trouble and being kicked out of the NFL.
Adam Jones' skills are diminshing slightly as he gets older and he needs to keep earning a respectable salary as an NFL football player. Unfortunately for the Bengals cornerback, his financial situation is in dire straits as he was just ordered to pay $11 million dollars for an incident that happened in 2007 in which two Las Vegas strip club employees were injured in a shooting that happened outside the establishment.
Jones wasn't the shooterand wasn't charged for any part of the situation in which the injuries occured. It's a pure matter of convenience to extract money from the most notable name and wealthy person present.
Stepping up his game
Most players that are broke have no way of getting back into the pros; Michael Vick is the exception to the rule. Adam Jones is in major trouble financially. He surely can't pay the $11 million dollars and isn't producing like he did in the past. Last season, Jones had 28 tackles in 8 games.
Maybe the lawsuit will be a big motivator to dig himself out of the hole, or maybe Jones just doesn't have it anymore. Regardless, he has the opportunity to keep playing, and I expect Jones to come strong this season and this will benefit the Bengals secondary.
Moch suspended for 4 weeks
We know whenever there's a Bengal around, there's usually an arrest, a lawsuit, or a suspension pending. In this case, linebacker Dontay Moch is the culprit. Moch is being suspended for violating the NFL's policy for using performance enhancing drugs. Will they ever learn?
Thus far, Moch has been a 3rd round bust from the 2011 NFL Draft. He had a foot injury last year and then had an undisclosed illness. Moch didn't play a game all season. Cincinnati was disappointed with his progress in practice.
Moch can participate in offseason workouts, training camps and preseason games. This is the time for Dontay Moch to make an impression because he's definitely expendable.
Can we borrow your stadium?
The Ohio State Buckeyes are in need of borrowing Paul Brown Stadium as "The Horseshoe" will be going through minor upgrades. This will take place in 2013 for the highly touted OSU Spring Football Game.
Not much good news to pass along from Bengals camp, but the Bengals will be a much improved team, and we'll have to see if Adam Jones plays like a desperate man he most certainly is. Stay tuned.
Cincinnati Police Blotter
By: Joe Catalano
Lots of activity surrounding the Cincinnati Bengals camp as they prepare for the upcoming season. There are some signings, players fighting for playing time, and players in legal trouble.
Kevin Zeitler signs a 4 Year Deal
Let's start off with the positives as this is a team that can sometimes be filled with troubled players.
First round pick and offensive guard Kevin Zeitler has been signed by Cincinnati to a 4 year contract. With the Bengals already signing their other first round pick Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick; the Bengals have completed the most difficult task, as they're two of the most valuable players from the NFL Draft, and Cincy is happy to have them locked in.
As an organization, the Bengals have signed 8 of their 10 draft picks.
A.J. Green's counterpart
We all know that the Cincinnati landed two spectacular picks two years ago with Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. The Bengals are now looking for the right fit to compliment Green at the receiver position, and there are many of young players to choose from.
Brandon Tate who possesses great speed is considered a viable candidate. Tate participated with the 1st team during the OTA and he seems to be the likely favorite.
Marvin Lewis is expecting big things out of 3rd round draft pick Mohamed Sanu out of Rutgers. Lewis likes what he sees out of Sanu from workouts and claims that the former Rutgers star will get plenty of playing time. Catching 115 passes in his final season at Rutgers would make any team seek the services of Mohamed Sanu.
5th round draft pick Marvin Jones is not to be left out of the equation but the only negative to his game is that he struggles to get separation from defenders.
This should be a good battle as Cincinnati has drafted well in looking to take their squad into a double digit winning team.
The Bengals are known for having the most players that get into off the field trouble; whether it be drugs, DUI's, assault; you name it, they've done it.
This season is no different as linebacker Brandon Joiner was sentenced to 3 years in prison for assault. The Bengals plan to keep Joiner as the crime was committed in 2007 and he's been a model citizen ever since (yeah right....). Joiner's lawyer claims that he could be out on parole in just 6 short months.
This young man sounds like a real winner. Kudos to Marvin Lewis and the management for sticking with the Bengals’ tradition for supporting thugs. Sorry folks, I call it as I see it.
I'm surprised that the Bengals didn't ask Terrell Owens to return to the team.....
Stay tuned for more Cincinnati Bengals weekly updates as the news appears.
For Whom the 'Bell' Tolls
By: Joe Catalano
The Cincinnati Bengals have a problem as we record this week's NFL blog - and that's the after effects of the untimely passing of all-world linebacker and future hall of famer Junior Seau.
The NFL has a problem that they already knew that they had but the problem was reinforced with the loss of Seau. This man was one of the all-time greats with an unblemished record. He was loved by his family, and a hero to both his community and to all the fans who watched him throughout his time in the NFL.
The problem is, players like Seau don't always report it every time they get a concussion. Studies indicate that repeated concussions can cause early-onset dementia, suicidal ideation, and other adverse effects.
I hesitate being too graphic, but players, like former Bear Dave Duerson, have shot themselves in the chest so that their brains could be available for research. We don't know if that's what happened in Seau's case, but it's certainly a possibility; his brain will indeed be examined by to see if he suffered from the effects of repeated concussions.
The Bengal effect from the loss of Junior Seau
Veteran guard Jacob Bell has decided to retire from football just 32 days after signing with Cincinnati. Formerly with Rams, Bell has decided not to play with the Bengals, thus eliminating the chance of his "bell getting rung.” The NFL will have to take a deeper look into this or there will be more cases like Jacob Bell’s. I have heard that there's been talk of providing more protection on the inside of the helmet.
Wide receiver Jerome Simpson has been suspended for 3 weeks by the NFL, stemming from a drug conviction last year. The Bengals remain interested in the free agent.
Although the Bengals lose Bell, they pickup guard Chris Riley and defensive end Vaughan Meatoga off waivers. Waived by the Bengals last season during final cuts, Riley played on the Tampa Bay Buccanneers practice squad. Meatoga is an undrafted free agent out of Hawaii whom the Washington Redskins signed, but the ‘Skins waived him just a few days later.
Undrafted inside linebacker Vontaze Burflict has impressed coach Marvin Lewis and doesn't seem to lack for confidence, claiming that he should've been a 1st or 2nd round draft pick and that Cincy is getting a steal. Burflict accounted for 228 tackles, 7 sacks and 4 forced fumbles in 3 years with Arizona State. He said that he's looking forward to working with linebacker Ray Maualuga. Maualuga and Burflict will be two players to keep an eye on, because Maualuga was a USC Trojan and is taking the Seau’s loss hard.
That's all from Bengals camp. Stay tuned for the next installment and hopefully on a happier note.
2012 NFL Draft
By: Joe Catalano
Where their needs for the 2012 season are concerned, the Cincinnati Bengals went all over the map as they covered several positions. One need was cornerback with all of the great receivers in their division and they took cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick out of Alabama with the number 17th pick overall.The Next Deion Sanders?
Kirkpatrick is coming off a National Championship season with Bama and is known to be a "cocky, aggressive, stick cover" but not a physical player. This has Deion Sanders, a.k.a "Primetime" written all over it but if Kirkpatrick could be half the player that Sanders was, the Bengals would be in business.
Cincy also has the added burden of having their top coverman Leon Hall, coming off of an achilles injury. Kirkpatrick could either be a superstar or a disaster. Time will tell.Dan Herron a 6th round steal?
I tend to go out on a limb with my predictions but I think that Cincinnati landed a very underrated running back (according to his draft spot) in Dan Herron out of Ohio State. Herron was picked up in the 6th round and is coming off a year where he was suspended at the beginning of the season due to the "tattoo scandal" when a bunch of Buckeye players were suspended for the first third of the season
This is totally the writer's opinion but if Herron get's a decent amount of playing time, he can be a star. The Bengals just signed second-tier running back Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis and the door is open for Herron, who accrued 1114 yards and 16 TD's in 2010.The rest
Cincy picked up offensive guard Kevin Zeitler out of Wisconsin. We know the kind of running game and protection that Wisky has. This is a great 2nd round pick and I'm sure that Andy Dalton agrees.
Two other key offensive players that could make a mark are 3rd round pick Mohamed Sanu out of Rutgers and 4th round pick Orson Charles out of Georgia. Sanu has great size for a receiver and although most people discount players from Rutgers, this is happening less since Ray Rice. Sanu caught for 1206 yards and 7 TD's in his junior season and could possibly help out A.J. Green and the receiving core.
Orson Charles lit up Boise State for 109 yards and 1 TD as a tight end in the season opener last year. He's also a keeper with potential after playing with Aaron Murray.
There you have it; Kirkpatrick is the main player with these picks and he can go big or we might forget his name. Stay tuned for more updates on this team on the rise.
Bengals To Face Palmer And Oakland In Week 12
By: Joe Catalano
Cincinnati Bengals were a surprise last year, with 2nd rounder Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green making an immediate impact with this football team. This is definitely a team on the rise. Let's look at their schedule and see if it’s kind or unfriendly to them.
1 @ Baltimore
3 @ Washington
4 @ Jacksonville
6 @ Cleveland
11 @ Kansas City
13 @ San Diego
15 @ Philadelphia
16 @ Pittsburgh
Mark week 12 (November 25th) on your calender!!!
This is the type of week that hardcore football fans look forward to as Carson Palmer and the Oakland Raiders visit Cincinnati. Palmer used and abused the Bengals franchise, stating that he’d rather retire than continue to play for them.
Last season we all watched as rookie sensation Andy Dalton did exactly what Palmer never could. There will be some bad blood in this game as I look for Cincinnati to eke out a win at home. Palmer won’t want to be embarrassed and will put forth a good showing.
As for the rest of the schedule, the Bengals are on the road for 4 out of the first 6 weeks and, in week 7, they face a tough Pittsburgh Steelers team at home. All of the games are definitely winnable except the opener when they travel to Baltimore and face off against Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and a tough Ravens defense.
The New York Giants will be a good measuring stick when the Bengals host the champs in week 10. From week 13 till the end of the season, Cincinnati will have a similar experience as last year in that they will face some tough teams. They travel to San Diego, Pittsburgh and Phladelphia while they have a lot to handle at home, facing the Cowboys and Ravens to close out the season.
This is a season during which the Bengals must get out of the gate fast, as the latter half of the season can match any team in the NFL when it comes to level of difficulty.
Stay tuned as week update you on the progress of the rising Cincinnati Bengals throughout the season.
Has Dalton Earned His Stripes?12
By: Joe Catalano
Where the Cincinnati Bengals are concerned, a lack of respect for the rule of law seems always to be an issue. This time the lawbreaker in question happens to be the former captain of the cheerleading squad. Yes, you heard that right; former Bengals cheerleading captain Sarah Jones, now gainfully employed as a school teacher, finds herself in court accused of having had sexual relations with a minor. (Ms. Jones is known to have had encounters with several Bengals players.) Worse yet, her mother Cheryl Jones, principal of a middle school, stands accused of tampering with evidence. We'll be keeping an eye on this story as news breaks.
Wideout Jerome Simpson was arrested when a large amount of marijuana was discovered at his residence. Having pleaded guilty, he now faces up to 60 days in the cooler. It’s a good thing for him that they didn’t find a powdery substance as well; otherwise, Mr. Simpson would be trading in his tiger stripes for prison stripes.
As it stands now, NFL odds have the Bengals a 40/1 shot to win the Super Bowl in 2013. Anything is possible, of course, as the G-Men amply demonstrated last season, but with teams like the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos - and their new starting quarterback Peyton Manning - standing in their way, the Bengals will have some tall mountains to climb to get to the big game. Remember: this is a franchise that's only won 2 conference championships in its entire history. Then again, the Bengals shocked the world in 2011.
Cincinnati has fared well in free agency this off-season, losing only two starters while signing five unrestricted free agents and resigning four free agents. Coach Marvin Lewis is probably stoked about the pick-up of former New England Patriots running back Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis, who signed for three years; this could very well mean the exit of running back Cedric Benson, who has fallen out of favor with offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.
The draft was very kind to the Bengals in 2011. And this year’s NFL draft, they have not just one but two 1st round picks.
With guard Nate Livings signing with Dallas and Bobbie Williams a free agent, look for Cincinnati to use one of its 1st round draft picks to fill the void on the offensive line. The Bengals have never used a 1st pick to plug a hole on the OL before, but they almost certainly will this season.
The receiving corps could certainly do with a playmaker, a solid possession receiver capable of fighting for essential first downs, to complement star A. J. Green. Look for Cincy to address this need in the draft, where a number of good receivers will be available.
Just as the Bengals got Green-Ellis, a former Patriot, the Patriots picked up former Bengals defensive linemen Jonathan Fanene and Frostee Rucker. The Bengals will be looking to shore up their defensive line come draft time.
The Good News
Nearly 100% of season ticket holders have renewed for the upcoming season; this is the first time this has happened in four years. So, expect the blackout situation to clear up as this is a team on the rise, and the fans know it. While Dalton might turn out to be a bonafide franchise QB, the team still lacks key parts to be truly considered a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Will they answer these questions in this year’s NFL draft, or should bettors think twice before adding them to their NFL Picks?
Stay tuned for Cincinnati Bengals related updates as the year progresses.