Tag Archives: Cincinnati

Cincinnati Bengals Camp Primer: What Do We Have and What Are We Looking For?

22 Jul

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Quarterback

What we have: Andy Dalton is now an experienced and a productive NFL starter entering his fourth NFL season. He processes information quickly and can make snap decisions when the bullets are flying. Add in a fast release, and Dalton has routinely played the role of a point guard in this offense by distributing the ball to the Bengals talented weapons. He has improved deDunning accuracy and now throws a nice vertical pass with good touch.

What we need to see: Dalton now must start to cut out his mistakes, but how? As I said, he makes quick decisions, but that’s not always a good thing. Dalton must read defenses better after the snap. He gets into trouble when his presnap reads don’t align with his postsnap reads. Defenses have found ways to confuse him with different looks and it only gets worse against common opponents and 34 defenses. I think most of his problems stem from this as you’ll see inaccurate passes and miscommunication as a result of not seeing the field  correctly. I would like to see improvements in Anticipation and Accuracy in the intermediate range. If you don’t have an above average arm, you must be able to compensate by throwing early and having great accuracy. Dalton‘s 2012 pocket presence was horrible, but he has much better in 2011 and 2013. Let’s hope 2012 was an aberration.

Running Backs

What we have: In Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill, the Bengals have two of the three highest drafted runners over the past two years. The talent is there. I think Bernard is an all around back that can run any play and be a legit weapon in the passing game. His vision and deceptiveness makes him very hard to line up and tackle for defenses.
Jeremy Hill is the big bruising back with surprising top speed. He can really run through tackles at full speed. He’s the more physically gifted of the two runners.
The depth chart rounds out with special teams captain Cedric Peerman and a battle for the fourth spot will be between veterans Benjarvus GreenEllis and Rex Burkhead. I expect Rex to win the job and possibly carve out a role in the passing game.

What we need to see: How much has Gio Bernard prepared himself for a larger role? Did he add weight/muscle? Did that slow him down? He has dealt with nagging injuries since college and keeping an eye on his health will be the only thing we can really be cautious of.
In Jeremy Hill, we need to see how he runs without a fullback in front of him. I don’t expect the Bengals to carry one and when watching LSU, he was noticeably different when he could follow his lead blocker and make a move off of him. Hill’s vision, patience and acceleration make him a candidate for losing yardage on many carries. He’s still raw, so he can improve on some of that, but his going to be used by Hue Jackson early in 2014, he needs to progress quickly. If he can improve as a pass blocker, it’ll only help the Bengals disguise their rushing attack more. Hill’s weaknesses are areas where Gio separates himself. Right now, they have two opposites and they could end up telling defenses what they’re doing based on who’s in the game.

Wide Receivers

What we have: This is a talented unit with some depth questions as they lost Andrew Hawkins and didn’t acquire anybody worth noting in free agency or the draft.
A.J. Green is the crown jewel of the offense and as he goes, the passing game and Andy Dalton goes. He can run any route and catch almost any ball thrown his way.
Marvin Jones is very talented and after a breakout year, I believe we still haven’t seen his best football. He has deep speed, can run after the catch, has a knack for the big play and is their best blocking receiver. If this offense ends up passing like last season, expect a big season again.
Mohamed Sanu may have reached his peak already. He’s a very smart player with good hands, concentration and toughness. We know he doesn’t have the athleticism to consistently beat man coverage and most of his catches come from the slot against zone coverage or he ends up make a contested catch. He can be used in many different areas of the field and that’s where he’s most valuable.
The rest of the depth chart yields a group of depth and role players. Dane Sanzenbacher may be able to get playing time in the slot and he offers more speed than Sanu. Brandon Tate plays all three spots and has been a steady return man. Cobi Hamilton has high upside, but needs to run better routes and catch the hard passes.

What we need to see: AJ Green needs to put the finishing touches on his overall game; less concentration drops, communication errors and show the toughness required to run those inside routes and have the QB trust you’re going to be where he expects you to be. If he runs these inside routes with conviction, Green will find more room to run on the outside. I don’t think Corners respect his inside moves.
Marvin Jones needs to continue improving his release off of the line of scrimmage and most of all, his handscatching. He likes to bodycatch and often double clutches passes required to catch with extended arms. This is a confidence thing and can be fixed, but some never do; Chad Johnson never fixed this and it hurt him a few times throughout his career.
If there’s a breakout candidate in the depth chart, it’s Sanzenbacher in the slot.  He has just enough athleticism to beat man coverage with the intelligence and concentration to make tough catches against zone coverage.

Tight Ends

What we have: This is another position where the Bengals have loaded up through the draft. In Jermaine Gresham, you have a tight end with enough athleticism and strength to play all over the field and create mismatches. His raw power after the catch is beautiful and can ignite the team and fan base when he runs through several tacklers. On the flip side, Gresham isn’t a natural hands-catcher and has dealt with his share of drops. This also leads to fumbles as he never looks totally comfortable with the ball in his hands. Throw in the penalties when blocking, and fans have become disenchanted with Gresham in year five. He’s reached his potential.
Tyler Eifert is the shiny new toy. He’s the complete opposite of Gresham. Eifert is as natural catching the ball as AJ Green is. He can make the spectacular catch and really stretch the field from inline or split out wide. He’s an effort blocker that doesn’t have the strength to be more than a nuisance for defenders.
The depth include veteran blocker Alex Smith and two guys that’ll double as H-Backs in Orson Charles and Ryan Hewitt. Charles hasn’t shown the athleticism we saw at Georgia and he needs to mentally find himself before we may ever see that player again.

What we need to see: How does the Eifert and Gresham combination evolve. Does Eifert become the lead guy? I see Eifert more as the move-TE and Gresham will continue to be the Y-TE and consume most of the snaps because of it. If Eifert can show he’s improved his strength and blocking, that’s his key to playing an expanded role and stealing snaps from Gresham.
If Charles mentally takes off in his H-Back role, he can be another weapon for the offense. I think he’s been playing slowly because he’s learning a new position and doesn’t want to make a mistake. It’s do or die time and he needs to go full bore now because rookie Ryan Hewitt could enter this role and run away with it. As all young players do, Hewitt needs to add strength and he can be a serviceable player.

Offensive Line

What we have: This is a veteran group with a lot of experience and talent. The offensive tackles are dependable in Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith. Neither are very athletic, but with the Bengals quick passing, defenders don’t have time to beat them around the corner. That leaves bull rushes and inside moves, and that’s where both OTs are at their best. Behind them, Marshall Newhouse is experienced and can play when needed. Tanner Hawkinson is an athletic backup that can also play inside. He has nice potential.
The interior offensive line is where things get interesting. Kevin Zeitler should be back to speed at RG after a sophomore slump that wasn’t helped by injuries. They say he’s in great shape and I expect a breakout year. At LG, if Clint Boling is healthy (knee), he’s a serviceable NFL starter. He doesn’t make many mental errors but Boling doesn’t create many plays either.
At center, we’re either going to see veteran Mike Pollak, who played very well at guard last season, or rookie Russell Bodine. I think they want Bodine to play and that scares me more than any position on the team. Pollak was probably their best lineman in space last year and without him in the lineup, the offense is missing a vital piece. Bodine needs plenty of work and is a liability in pass protection right now.

What we need to see: Health at OT and in Clint Boling. All three now have an injury history and it’s something with monitoring. I want to see this new body Zeitler has. Adding just a touch more athleticism to him could be the difference in a Pro Bowl year.
If Bodine is the guy at center, we need to see better hand usage, patience and balance. In one on one, he was routinely beaten and these were the reasons why. As a run blocker, we need Bodine to be that guy in the second level that they’ve lacked since Eric Steinbach, but that definitely isn’t Bodine’s strength.

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Defensive Line

What we have: If healthy (knee), Geno Atkins is the best player on the Bengals. He makes the entire defense tick and his play makes everyone around him better. Carlos Dunlap is their best edge rusher now after the departure of Michael Johnson. Wallace Gilberry has become a reliable and versatile tool that seems to make plays he shouldn’t. Domata Peko is a veteran leader at NT and is only used in sub packages to defend the run.
The depth includes a bunch of potential in Margus Hunt, Brandon Thompson, Devon Still and Will Clarke. Veteran Robert Geathers is a coach’s favorite and should find his way onto the team again.

What we need to see: The health of Geno and Can the Bengals replace Michael Johnson? Carlos Dunlap will start playing more RDE in an effort to do so, but will he find the same success? Not only will he now play against the traditionally better OT, he will now play in space more and will need to use his athleticism rather than power. Dunlap is a power-rusher with just enough athleticism to beat Right Tackles. Putting him on the other side creates a whole new situation.
Who plays the other DE spot? Wallace Gilberry will play it on base downs, but he plays DT just as much on passing downs. So is Margus Hunt ready to take this role and become a reliable player? He need to play with better leverage and aggression in order to be that guy. If not, I could see the Bengals falling back on Robert Geathers, and nobody wants to see that.

Linebackers

What we have: Vontaze Burfict has become the heart of the defense with his passion, aggression and motor. He’s an intimidating force, but also has the brains to line everybody up and recognize offensive designs. Rey Maualuga has been relegated to run downs and as expected, we have seen a better player. He’s not who we thought he was going to be, but when we step back and look at him, he’s a serviceable starter that plays the run well. The breakout player of this group will be Emmanuel Lamur, but we’ve been saying that since last year when Lamur suffered a shoulder injury that wiped out his season. He’s their most athletic linebacker and his length only makes him even better in coverage. I can’t wait to see him play.
The depth offers some upside in Jayson Dimanche, Marquise Flowers and Sean Porter. I think Porter could carve himself a role if he shows he can rush the passer and if Margus Hunt doesn’t develop. Like last season, we could see more 3-3-5 Nickel defense with Porter playing the James Harrison role. This was done after the loss of Atkins, but could be used if another edge rusher isn’t found. Veteran Vinny Rey can play all three positions, but his value comes on special teams as he’s the other captain.

What we need to see: We would all love if Burfict could but down the negative plays in the form of penalties, rage-plays and over aggression, but we also love his play style.
Can Lamur stay healthy and is he what we saw in brief flashes in 2012?
If they only keep six linebackers, who’s the odd man out? It may come down to Porter, DiManche and Flowers. I could see any of them getting cut and I can see each one of them becoming role players if they develop. Should be interesting.

Cornerbacks

What we have: If he’s healthy (Achilles 2X), Leon Hall is probably the best Nickel CB in the NFL. On the outside, Adam Jones and Terence Newman have been playing well, but on borrowed time. The career cliff will strike for one of these two this year. That’s where Darqueze Dennard and Dre Kirkpatrick come in. One will need to play in order to replace Leon Hall and the other will need to be ready for when Jones or Newman fall off.

What we need to see: Outside of Hall’s health, the focus is on Dennard and Kirkpatrick. Neither are athletically gifted, but they play physical and aren’t afraid. When healthy, I’ve seen enough in Kirkpatrick to believe he’s not a bust and can be serviceable. Dennard could start as a rookie and probably will see plenty of playing time. If he can walk the line with his hand usage, he should be a solid starter.

Safeties

What we have: Starters Reggie Nelson and George Iloka don’t have to worry about their jobs. Nelson is athletically gifted, but has had his share of mistakes. He plays FS and SS equally and I think he’s better when he’s closer to the LOS. Iloka played the deep FS role mostly and kept his head above water in his first year starting. If he can add some aggression and anticipation to his game, Iloka can start creating turnovers.
The position has quality depth with Daniel Manning, Shawn Williams and Taylor Mays. Williams is a SS with special teams upside. If Williams is to challenge Iloka, it would be because he shows the ability/range to play deep FS. Mays plays the Nickel LB/S role and has found a home there. Manning was signed to backup both spots and play as needed.

What we need to see: Does Iloka take the next step? If he can go from safe option, to impact player, it’ll be because he starts defending the run better and playing the ball in the air better.
As mentioned above, if Williams expects to compete for playing time, I think his best bet is on special teams. He’s a smart player that lacks the athleticism to be a play-maker on defense, but he definitely can lock up a roster spot for his special teams work.

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Breaking Down A Bengals Play: Two TE Seam

4 Sep

While reviewing Cincinnati’s preseason games for the last time, there was a play I noticed being run in every game. It wasn’t always successful, but you could tell they were working on the concept while adding a new wrinkle each time.
I chose the week 2 play against the Titans because it allowed for the best footage to illustrate this design.

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* The Bengals were using 12-personnel (1RB, 2TE) for the majority of this drive as they leaned on the run game.
* This is a balanced formation with both Tight Ends (orange) on the LOS and the Bengals QB in shotgun.

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* Both of the WRs will run 9-routes with outside releases. This is to carry the CBs to the outside and keep both safeties deep.
* With each of the Titans safeties outside of the hash marks and 13+ yards down field, this is an easy pre-snap read for John Skelton. We’re probably looking at a Cover-2 variation.
* The Bengals TEs will be asked to get an outside release and really flare out and “bend” their vertical route just inside the numbers.

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* The Bengals will show run by pulling their LG (red) to the right (your left) and blocking down with the remaining OL.
* The pull, combined with the play-action fake to the RB will help freeze the Titans LBs.

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* You can see both of Tennessee’s OLBs run up to take on their run responsibilities.
* This will leave a huge window (pink) for both TEs and Skelton to throw to.

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* This is as the Bengals’ QB is about to throw. You can see the wide open gap. This is a very quick play from snap to pass and that keeps the LBs from reacting and getting back into coverage.

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* Finally, here’s the catch by Tyler Eifert and you can see just how wide open he is.

After seeing this play run in each preseason game and in some training camp videos/highlights from around the web, I think this is a concept we can expect to see plenty in 2013. With the two-TE set figured to be featured in Cincinnati and A.J. Green forcing a safety deep, look for that same gap to be available after play-action. This also allows Andy Dalton to get into shotgun — where I think he’s best — and Giovani Bernard into the ballgame — because they’ll use him in most passing/shotgun situations.

I especially think this play with be successful against the Chicago Bears and their Cover-2 in week 1.

2013 Bengals Offensive Statistical Projections

27 Aug

If the Cincinnati Bengals want to take the leap from Wild Card losers to AFC contenders, they’ll need more production from an offensive unit that hasn’t cracked the top 20 in two seasons under Jay Gruden. At 332 yards per game in 2012 (ranked 22nd), the Bengals would need to get around 372 yards per game in 2013 to get into the top 8 offensive teams. Five of the top eight made it to the Playoffs in 2012 and with Cincinnati’s defense poised to be another top 10 unit, the Bengals could join the Playoffs again in 2013 for the third straight year.

Using the numbers from this offense from 2011-2012 and projecting the new changes to Gruden’s offense, here’s how I see the Bengals offense playing out in 2013.

Quarterback
Andy Dalton has been very efficient in his first two seasons in the NFL. He’s averaged over 3,500 yards passing and has racked up 53 total touchdowns in two seasons. His yards per attempt increased from 6.6 to 6.9 in his sophomore year and his accuracy jumped from 58.1 to 62.3 this past season. While his touchdown percentage was up in 2012 (3.8% to 5.1%), his interception percentage also increased (2.5% to 3.0%).

The additions of Giovani Bernard, Tyler Eifert and a healthy Mohamed Sanu should increase Dalton’s efficiency and accuracy again in year three, but it also may cap his yards per attempt at 7.0 because we can expect more passes to the running backs and more targets for the slower-type WR in Sanu. Eifert is the wild card because he can make plays on the ball down field. If he and Dalton are in synch early, it could help Dalton’s down field efficiency; an area that has held the offense back.

2013 Projection for Andy Dalton
Attempts: 568
Completions: 356
Percentage: 62.7%

Passing yards: 3,947
Yards per attempt: 6.95
Passing TDs: 30
Interceptions: 17
QB Rating: 88.4

Rush yards: 130
Rush TDs: 2

Fantasy Points: 363

Running Back
The Bengals are notorious for being loyal to their veteran, bell-cow runners and with BenJarvus Green-Ellis returning as the starter many are skeptical about the production of rookie Giovani Bernard.

Bernard and Green-Ellis aren’t even on the same planet in terms of talent and running back isn’t a position that needs time to develop from college to the NFL. I think it will only take a few games before Gio is taking the bulk of the carries and I expect him to get all of the passing game touches from day one.
But what about the Law Firm?
He’ll continue his role as the short yardage back and will often spell Bernard to change the pace. Cincinnati usually gives their top two backs about 87% of the total carries in a season under Gruden and their former RB coach (Anderson). The Bengals haven’t been good with rotating their backs, but Marvin Lewis puts that responsibility on his RB coach and Hue Jackson has that title for the first time in 2013. Remember, he hand-picked Giovani Bernard in the draft before any other back in that class. This is Hue’s guy.

2013 Projection for Giovani Bernard
Carries: 199
Yards: 891
Average: 4.47
Rushing TDs: 4

Receptions: 39
Rec Yards: 323
Rec TDs: 2

Fantasy Points: 196 (PPR)

2013 Projection for BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Carries: 156
Yards: 562
Average: 3.6
Rush TDs: 5

Receptions: 11
Rec Yards: 55

Fantasy Points: 102 (PPR)

Wide Receiver
A.J. Green leads the pack again as the focal point of the offense. They flow through him and as he goes, the rest of the offense goes. I expect second-year players Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones to take steps in relieving pressure from Green. Sanu is listed as the other starter, but he moves into the slot (where he’s much better) and Jones goes outside in 3-WR packages. With Andrew Hawkins expecting to miss most of the first half of 2013, Sanu shouldn’t see a bite into his slot snaps, but veteran backup Brandon Tate works at all three positions and the Bengals like his speed. They’ll find ways to mix him in the game.

Green has averaged about 40% of the total receptions by the team’s wide receivers since 2011. I projected him to be around 44.7% in 2013 after being about 44% in 2012. He should double the next closest receiver’s total receptions.

Sanu and Jones may see a drastic increase in playing time from their rookie years, but they’ll see their production bitten by rookies at RB and TE. With more 2-TE sets, we won’t be able to see Sanu in the slot as much and that will hurt his productivity. Jones needs to be more confident in his hands and catching away from his body, but he offers big-play ability and I could see Jay Gruden designing deep plays for him.

2013 Projection for A.J. Green
Receptions: 88
Rec Yards: 1,241
Average: 14.1
Rec TDs: 10

Rush Yards: 65

Fantasy Points: 278 (PPR)

2013 Projection for Mohamed Sanu
Receptions: 36
Rec Yards: 367
Average: 10.2
Rec TDs: 6

Rush Yards: 60

Fantasy Points: 114 (PPR)

2013 Projection for Marvin Jones
Receptions: 26
Rec Yards: 317
Average: 12.2
Rec TDs: 2

Rush Yards: 35

Fantasy Points: 72 (PPR)

Andrew Hawkins (8 games)
17 Receptions for 178 yards
50 rush yards and 3 total TDs

Brandon Tate
17 Receptions for 198 yards and 1 TD

Tight End
The Bengals dove into the two-tight end craze when they drafted Tyler Eifert 21st overall. They now have the two highest drafted TEs in the last 5-years on the roster with veteran Jermaine Gresham as the other.

This offense already ran over 250 plays with 2-TE on the field in 2012 and we can expect that number to increase. With Gresham, you must look past the initial misevaluation. He isn’t this athletic receiving freak we were expecting. He’s more of a Power Forward (Basketball) playing TE. He’s amazingly strong and stout and plays with a nasty streak when he’s on. He’ll hold down the blocking duties and I look for Gresham to be used underneath as they try to get the ball into his hands early.
Tyler Eifert is more of the natural receiver. His hand-eye coordination and his ability to high-point the football is RARE for a tight end. He’ll play the slot, split out wide and come in motion. Look for Eifert to be another chess piece and challenge defenses down field and up the seam.

The tight end position has caught about 23% of the Bengals passes over the last two seasons and I’m projecting that number to increase to about 30% in 2013.
Gresham has also caught 75-88% of the total receptions by TEs on the Bengals in the last two seasons. I’m decreasing that number to 65% in 2013 with the addition of Eifert.

2013 Projection for Jermaine Gresham
Receptions: 68
Rec Yards: 693
Average: 10.2
Rec TDs: 5

Fantasy Points: 167 (PPR)

2013 Projection for Tyler Eifert
Receptions: 31
Rec Yards: 363
Average: 11.7
Rec TDs: 4

Fantasy Points: 91 (PPR)

***This leaves 23 receptions and 225 yards left to spare. I’m leaving those for the backup RBs, TEs and WRs that we can’t account for. They’ll get some playing time due to inevitable injuries.****

Keys to Bengals Success Against Denver

4 Nov

1) Bengals Defense
By keeping McGahee and rookie Ronnie Hillman in check, the biggest benefit is taking away the play-action fakes. Peyton Manning has the best play-action in the NFL. He makes it look exactly the same between real hand-offs and play-fakes. Linebackers gets sucked in and Safeties hesitate while waiting for the offense to declare their intentions; both reactions will get you killed. Manning is banking on it. He’s also not going to allow Cincinnati to make substitutions like they normally do. Denver will pick up the pace when they get a matchup they like. Mike Zimmer isn’t afraid to throw his nickel package out there even though the offense is only in 2WR packages. This would force the Broncos to run against a “small” Bengals front. On the other hand, if Cincinnati decides to play base defense against Denver’s 3WR looks, Manning will hurry it up and not allow Zimmer to sub players in. Don’t expect to see the backups as much as normal, but look for Cincinnati’s nickel defense to be the primary defense.

2) Bengals Offense
Last year in Denver, the Bengals were in their third game of the season and the offense awoke in the 2nd half behind a vertical passing attack. This year, the Bengals offense has only been aggressive during a 3-game stretch against Cleveland, Washington & Jacksonville. Denver creates a challenge because none of those teams have a Champ Bailey, Elvis Dumerville or Von Miller. Andre Smith in particular must be on his best game against Miller. Smith’s consistent deficiency remains his inside in pass protection. He gets back so quickly, that he can be vulnerable to inside moves. That happens to be Miller’s specialty. He’s so fast vertically that he forces OTs to get back quick and set up quicker, that’s when Miller’s rare agility comes into play. He can plant that left foot and drive inside without losing much speed. This causes QBs to bail early and Andy Dalton has the propensity to do that and cut his field in half as a result.

Bengals Final Roster Prediction

31 Aug

QB (2)
1. Andy Dalton
2. Bruce Gradkowski

RB (5)
3. Benjarvus Green-Ellis
4. Bernard Scott
5. Brian Leonard
6. Cedric Peerman
7. Chris Pressley (FB)

WR (6)
8. A.J.Green
9. Armon Binns
10. Mohamed Sanu
11. Andrew Hawkins
12. Marvin Jones
13. Brandon Tate

TE (3)
14. Jermaine Gresham
15. Orson Charles
16. Donald Lee

OL (9)
17. Andrew Whitworth (OT)
18. Andre Smith (OT)
19. Anthony Collins (T/G)
20. Kevin Zeitler (OG)
21. Clint Boling (G/C)
22. Dennis Roland (T/G)
23. Jeff Faine (OC)
24. Trevor Robinson (OC)
25. Orlando Hudson (OG)

DL (8)
26. Michael Johnson
27. Geno Atkins
28. Domata Peko
29. Robert Geathers
30. Carlos Dunlap
31. Jamaal Anderson
32. Devon Still
33. Brandon Thompson

LB (7)
34. Rey Maualuga
35. Thomas Howard
36. Manny Lawson
37. Dan Skuta
38. Vincent Rey
39. Vontaze Burfict
40. Roddrick Muckelroy

CB (6)
41. Leon Hall
42. Dre Kirkpatrick
43. Jason Allen
44. Nate Clements
45. Pacman Jones
46. Terrence Newman

S (4)
47. Reggie Nelson
48. Taylor Mays
49. Jeromy Miles
50. George Iloka

ST (3)
51. Mike Nugent
52. Kevin Huber
53. Clark Harris

IR: Brandon Ghee
Shaun Prater
Robert Sands
*Kyle Cook*

PUP: Pat Sims

Suspended: Dontay Moch (4 games)

Practice Squad:
1. Zach Robinson (QB)
2. James Develin (FB)
3. Ryan Whalen (WR)
4. Matt O’Donnell (OT)
5. DeQuin Evans (DE)
6. Vaughn Meatoga (DT)
7. Emmanuel Lamur (LB)
8. Tony Dye (S/CB)

Three Positions to Claim:

RB – Delone Carter, Deji Karim (Indianapolis), Bryce Brown, Chris Polk (Philadelphia), Travaris Cadet, Chris Ivory (New Orleans), Anthony Dixon (San Francisco)
G/C
CB

Three Bengals Cuts That Should Be Claimed Elsewhere

WR – Ryan Whalen
DE – DeQuin Evans
TE – Colin Cochart

Week 1 Gameday Inactives:
1. George Iloka
2. Mohamed Sanu
3. Orlando Hudson
4. Bernard Scott
5. Jason Allen
6. Brandon Thompson
7. Adam Jones
8. Orson Charles

Re-setting Free Agent Targets (Defense)

22 Mar

With the #Bengals likely turning to Defense in FA now, I found a few interesting players I’d like to see them bring in for visits.

DTs – Derek Landry (Phi), Amobi Okoye (Chi), Leger Douzable (Jax) and Trevor Laws (Phi) — Smaller, quicker DTs that should help replace J.Fanene.

DEs -Wallace Gilberry (K.C.), William Hayes (Tenn), Victor Abiamiri (Phi) — Role players with success in limited time. VA has injury issues.

OLBs – Antwan Applewhite (Car), Erik Walden (G.B), Quentin Groves (Oak) — All are DE/LB tweener types that could replace Lawson

Bengals Free Agency Updated

15 Mar

***UPDATED 3/14/12 ***
If the Bengals have $49M in cap space as reported, let’s figure they have a $7-8M rookie pool, $3-4M injury fund and they’ve spent about $4M on exclusive free agents. That leaves $35M to spend on about 30 players. Let’s divide that up…

Of their own free agents, here’s what I expect:
GONE: Cedric Benson, Andre Caldwell, Jerome Simpson and Bo Scaife
CHANCE OF RETURNING:
Reggie Nelson, Anthony Collins, Bobbie Williams, Pat Sims, Adam Jones OR Kelly Jennings
EXPECTED TO RETURN (Price):
Nate Livings (1yr – $2M), Mike McGlynn (1yr – $1M), Dennis Roland (1yr – $1M), Donald Lee (1yr – $1.5M), Manny Lawson (3yr – $9M), Brandon Johnson (2yr – $3M) TOTAL = $10M in 2012

That leaves $25M total to spend on 22 players. 8 Draft picks and 8 UDFAs. That leaves 6 free agent signings from other teams, unless Robert Geathers, Chris Crocker and Keith Rivers are released.

Here are the FA targets I could see the Bengals pursuing.

RUNNING BACK
1) Michael Bush – 4yr $18M
2) Mike Tolbert – 3yr $10M
3) Benjarvus Green-Ellis – 3yr $9M
4) Brandon Jacobs – 2yr $5M
OTHERS TO CONSIDER AT RB
Kevin Smith, Ryan Grant, Justin Forsett, Joseph Addai, Tashard Choice

Wide Receiver
1) Mario Manningham – 5yr 32$M
2) Eddie Royal – 3yr $10M
3) Early Doucet – 3yr $10M
4) Braylon Edwards – 1yr $3M
5) Jerome Simpson – 1yr $2M
6) Placico Burress – 1yr $3M
7) Legadu Nanee – 2yr $4M
8) Andre Caldwell – 2yr $4M
9) Chaz Schilens – 2yr $4M
10) TE – Joel Dreessen – 2yr $3M

OFFENSIVE LINE
1) Ben Grubbs – 5yr $35M
2) Geoff Schwartz (RFA) – 4yr $16M
3) Vernon Carey – 3yr $12M
4) Jason Brown – 3yr $12M
5) Chilo Racial – 3yr $9M
6) Robert Gallery – 2yr $6M
*7) Anthony Collins – 3yr $9M*
8) Travelle Wharton – 2yr $6M
9) Barry Richardson – 3yr $8M
10) Samson Satele – 3yr $10M
*11) Bobbie Williams – 1yr $3.5M*
12) Chris Kemoeatu – 2yr $6M
13) Jacob Bell – 2yr $5M

CORNER BACKS
1) Tracy Porter – 5yr $30M
2) Terence Newman – 2yr $8M
3) Jason Allen – 3yr $12M
4) Aaron Ross – 3yr $9M
5) William Gay – 3yr $9M
6) Chris Carr – 3yr $9M
7) William Middleton – 3yr $10M
*8) Adam Jones – 2yr $6M*
*9) Kelly Jennings – 2yr $5M*

SAFETY
*1) Reggie Nelson – 4yr $16M*
2) LaRon Landry – 2yr $8M
3) Jim Leonhard – 3yr $10M
4) O.J. Atagwe – 2yr $8M
5) Haruki Nakamura – 3yr $6M
6) Reggie Smith – 3yr $6M
7) Atari Bibby – 2yr $4M

DL & LB
1) Jason Jones – DL – 4yr $20M
2) Brodrick Bunkley – DT – 4yr $20M
3) Kendall Langford – DL – 3yr $12M
4) Pat Sims – DT – 3yr $10M
5) Derek Landri – DT – 3yr $10M
6) Amobi Okoye – DT – 3yr $8M

1) Curtis Lofton – ILB – 4yr $24M
2) Dan Connor – ILB – 3yr $10M
4) Jonathan Goff – ILB – 2yr $6M
5) Barrett Ruud – ILB – 2 yr $6M

So with $25M to spend, pick 5-7 players to spend it on. Hopefully the player wants to come to the Bengals also. There’s always two sides.

4 Different Scenarios

1) Reggie Nelson ($4M), Aaron Ross ($3M), Michael Bush ($4M), Kendall Langford ($3.33M), Robert Gallery ($3M), Early Doucet ($3.33M) Total = $20.66M

2) Eddie Royal ($3.33M), Bobbie Williams ($3.5M), Terence Newman ($4M), Haruki Nakamura ($2M), Derek Landri ($3.33M) Total = $16.1M

3) Laron Landry ($4M), Samson Satele ($3.33M), Braylon Edwards ($3M), Benjarvus Green-Ellis ($3M), Jonathan Goff ($3M), Jason Jones ($5M), Total = $21.33M

4) Ben Grubbs ($7M), Brandon Jacobs ($2.5M), Pacman ($3M), Nakamura ($2M), Pat Sims ($3.33M), Chaz Schilens ($2M) Total = $19.88