This hurts me just to write this damn thing. The Bengals have a really good chance to be a top 5 draft pick next year. Cutting Willie Anderson and Deltha O'Neil just adds to this. Here we go...
Carson Palmer is a hell of a starter and really is a victim of a shitty team. With no running game of D to speak of last year, Palmer put the whole damn team on his shoulders and tried to make things happen when no one else would. This led to him forcing a lot of stuff and having a lot of interceptions. It didn't help things that Chris Henry was probably snorting lines of blow off of strippers ass cracks in his free time and Chad Johnson doesn't show up on 3rd downs. Overall he is a pro bowl QB though. Behind him there really is nothing. I have no idea why management is in love with Ryan Fitzpatrick, he really hasn't shown me a damn thing and has shit the bed any opportunity he has received. 3rd string QB is Jordan Palmer who manage to get cut by about 4 other teams and managed to end up here. If Palmer gets hurt, Ill want to kill myself.
First of all, I am glad they cut Rudi Johnson. I was sick and tired of his shitty 2 yard pitter patter while running into the back of the G and then managing to get pushed backwards every fucking down. He couldn't catch the ball worth shit and rarely blocked worth anything. I hope Detroit is thrilled with his 3.2ypc.
I actually like Chris Perry as a starter. Too bad the son of a bitch has played about 14 games total in 5 years. I really don't know how the Bengals trust him to be healthy the whole season. In fact, he has only played one whole season in 9 seasons of both college and pro football. Hes quicker than Rudi and can catch the ball so Ill take him. Kenny Watson will split a lot of time with him which is fine with me as he manages to get the job done even though he really isn't great at anything. Dede Dorsey hopefully will show up and get some long runs here and there. Dan Coats will be the starting fullback even though he has never played the position in his entire career. He was encouraging as a pass catcher last year playing TE. Looks like they will be drafting a RB next year. <3 style="font-style: italic;">O-Line-
This Line could either be really good or really bad depending on how Levi Jones plays. He really hasn't played well since he has a knee arthroscopy 2 years ago. He is really there for only pass blocking purposes and he hasn't done his job at all. He still gets a lot of hype for being elite but he really isn't and maybe never has been. If he gets owned this year, like he did last year, this team is in some deep shit. Palmer got sacked a lot last year and Levi had a lot to do with it. The bad thing there really isn't anyone trust worth behind him. Whitworth will start at LG and is pretty solid at everything. He isnt as good as a run blocker as you think he would be considering his size but hes nimble and can play pretty much any position on the line. Eric Ghiaciuc starts at C and has been slowly and slowly getting better each year. I was used to watching Kelly Gregg and Casey Hampton kick his ass each year but he has been holding his own to some degree as of late. That being said, hes a mid level starter by nfl standards. Bobbie Williams starts at RG and has been occasionally awesome at run blocking but really was pretty much average last year as a whole. Hes a big motherfucker and knocks people around when he wants to. The horribly overrated and inexperienced Stacy Andrews starts at RT. I could really give a shit if hes athletic, he didn't show me a fucking thing last year when he played RT. They franchised him anyway probably knowing that they were trying to cut Willie Anderson. Andrews played much better at G his 3rd year than any other position I have seen him at. He kinda reminds me of Jason Peters in that he gets a lot of hype but really is a big pussy for being such a huge guy. Hes got a lot of prove, IMO. The depth is nothing to really speak of on the team. This line could go anywhere from top 10 to bottom 10 depending on how the Tackles play.
This whole group is overrated. Chad Johnson is very erratic and never shows up when you really need him. He gets a lot of hype because he talks all the time gets a lot of garbage stats. He is generally pretty weak in the red zone as well. TJ is the most reliable on the team but he really isn't much of a deep threat but he does have some of the best hands in the league. Chris Henry should be a Randy Moss-lite considering his skills but the fucking thug likes the break the law and get teenagers drunk. He is truely one of the best wastes of talent you will ever see. This is another example of Mike Browns bargain shopping in the FA market. Cheap asshole. There is a cluster of guys behind these 3 with no one standing out. Jerome Simpson will be probably good for the occasional big play and Andre Caldwell will hopefully do the same.
I really liked the Ben Utech signing. Palmer has never had a pass catching TE and Ben is someone he can look to for short passes along with TJ and Chris Perry. Reggie Kelly is there for blocking and also helping out Levi Jones from getting Palmer killed. He can hold his own against a DE in pass blocking which helps out the team as a whole.
This group could be pretty good if Zimmer lets them cut loose every once in a while. Geathers is a good pass rusher in short bursts but doesnt do much with the run. Odom was probably a large product of playing with Haynesworth but he had a ton of hurries last year which is encouraging. He is OK against the run. The backups behind them are pretty worthless. Frostee Rucker should have never been drafted and is a criminal. Jon Fanene is basically an undersized DT. Injuries could really fuck this whole group up.
Peko and Thronton start and both have chronically below average. Peko has a lot of hustle but doesn't really penetrate or hold the line well. Thronton is basically worthless an would have been cut if anyone stepped up. The backups are all young and have upside which is a plus. Orien Harris, Pat Sims, and Jason Shirley back them up. This group hasn't stopped the run since 1983 and I don't see much change anytime soon.
This group really is shaping up to look like shit even though everyone on the team is acting like its a strong point for them. Rashad Jeanty starts at SLB and is OK against the run and as a pass rusher but is nothing agianst the pass and largely should be a special teamer. Motherfucking Dhani Jones starts at MLB and is team captain. That pretty much sums up the defense as a whole. They cut Ahmad Brooks who is the best athlete on the team when he is healthy but is now probably going to be an all-pro for the 49ers. Keith Rivers is the only starter worth anything at WLB but he is only a rookie and managed to be solid but not make a lot of plays for USC. All the backups are there for purely special teams which happened to be horrible for punt and kickoff coverage. GOD HELP ME
There is actually a lot of talent here with both starting CBs being former 1st round picks. Too bad all that talent has resulted in numerous blown coverages and deep touchdown passes. Jonathan Joseph is probably the best on the team and had a great rookie year but really took a step back last year. Leon Hall really worked his ass off but was abused constantly all year long. Both of these guys should improve this year but how worse could they get? Marvin White starts at FS and is a huge hitter. I haven't really seen enough of him in coverage to make any judgements in that department. He tries to kill recievers which I like. Dexter Jackson is very steady at SS but finds a way to get hurt all the time. The backups at safety are very deep with Corey Lynch and Ndukwe backing up each spot. This should be the bright spot of the D if there is one.
Outside of Shayne Graham, this whole group is the shits. The Bengals never really ever had a punter of any kind during the Marvin Lewis regime. They also never really had a PR or KR worth anything. They used to have very good punt and kickoff coverage in the past but last year it really stunk. I anticipate the coverage units to get much better but I still dont see anyone on the roster to return kicks or punts.
On the surface, Marvin Lewis should be criticized. Its really not his fault at all. He basically has zero say in personnel which could be the reason why the run D and special teams haven't been addressed in the last 6 years. I do believe he hasn't been hands on with the D enough and you can only do so much in the locker room full of criminals you owner has drafted.
This season is going to hurt.