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lamberts-lost-tooth
09-29-2007, 04:54 AM
Bengals paying for draft miseries
Column by The Post's Lonnie Wheeler


At this point, I don't know whether to sympathize with the Bengals or stick it to them.

This is not the week in which they want to be measured against the New England Patriots. The Men, as we call them, are pretty much depleted - uncommonly so, for so early in the season. And the Patriots, well, they're not.

The Patriots lead the NFL in offense. They also lead the league in defense. And the Bengals, well, they don't.

In the offseason, the Patriots signed Adalius Thomas, the ferocious linebacker from Baltimore, as a free agent. The Bengals, in spite of many helpful suggestions along those lines, didn't. They went instead for Ed Hartwell. And cut him.

The Patriots, who by the way came within five points of the Super Bowl last year, also signed Randy Moss, the controversial and good-as-it-gets receiver. Nobody suggested that the Bengals, who didn't make the playoffs last year, should do that, because, in Chad Johnson, they already have a controversial superstar at the same position. For pass-catching purposes, the Patriots also signed Donte Stallworth and traded for Wes Welker. The Bengals lost Chris Henry to a half-season suspension. And miss him.

They miss a lot of people.

They miss their second, third and fourth draft choices from 2003. Eric Steinbach is in Cleveland, Kelley Washington is in New England, Dennis Weathersby is out of the game.

They miss their first and second draft choices from 2004. Chris Perry is hurt again. Keiwan Ratliff was released this week.

They miss their first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth draft choices from 2005. David Pollack had the neck injury. Odell Thurman is on his second year of suspension. Henry is unavailable for five more games. Eric Ghiaciuc has a chance to return to the lineup this week. Adam Kieft doesn't. Neither does Tab Perry.

They miss their second draft choice from this year. Kenny Irons is on crutches.

That makes two injured running backs bearing heavy investments. Rudi Johnson could make three if his hamstring doesn't heal up fast.

There are those, however, who feel that his likely replacement, Kenny Watson, could be a better choice anyway. Carson Palmer wouldn't say that, but he loves Watson. He campaigned for the Bengals to hold onto Watson in the offseason.

"We lose some things with Rudi, of course," Palmer said Thursday, between questions about Tom Brady, his famous Patriots counterpart, "but I think we also gain some things with Kenny. Kenny's great out of the backfield (catching passes). He understands the hots (reads), he's quick in and out of his breaks.

"We keep drafting players and trying to replace Kenny, and he hasn't looked at that negatively. There's a second-rounder (Irons) in front of him, there's a first-rounder (Perry) in front of him, and he just kept his head down and kept working."

All that work meant, mostly, that he could play on special teams. But the more that guys like him get their chances on offense or defense, the less Darrin Simmons has to work with on fourth down. The Bengals' special teams have stunk this year. The Patriots' have come up roses.

You could sympathize with the Bengals by pointing out that there are only a couple of position groups on the entire roster that haven't been somehow disadvantaged. Palmer is practically a position group unto himself. The defensive line has been relatively healthy, as well. But the linebackers - unless Ahmad Brooks makes it back this week, which he probably won't - are down five guys (Brooks, Pollack, Thurman, Rashad Jeanty and Caleb Miller) who would be starting if they were able to. The secondary is beset by inexperience at cornerback. The offensive line is a tag team. The No. 3 receiver spot is down to the fourth option. So's running back.

The problem is that Cincinnati's recent drafts, for various reasons - among them, a lack of wisdom and luck - haven't enriched the inventory very much. When that happens, a team needs to acquire good players other ways.

Like New England.

For their failure to do that, you could stick it to the Bengals.

Come Monday night, the Patriots probably will.

stillers4me
09-29-2007, 08:37 AM
:bowdown: All hail the saviour Marvin...........

Livinginthe past
09-29-2007, 08:44 AM
Cincy have definitely had a tough time with injuries - im not one who particularly agree's with the 'everybody gets 'em you just have to deal with 'em' clich?.

Fact is, they are pretty short handed for this game - not that i'm looking past them at all - they have two very high quality WR's in TJ and Chad and excellent QB in Carson but they will struggle to run the ball and that is bound to have an impact on their offensive production.

I think we have enough on D to slow them down.

I don't know if the Bengals were ever in with a shout of getting AD - apparently he chose the teams he was willing to go to (New England and Washington are the only two I know of) so you can't really put that one their FO.

CantStop85
09-29-2007, 05:17 PM
The Patriots, who by the way came within five points of the Super Bowl last year, also signed Randy Moss, the controversial and good-as-it-gets receiver. Nobody suggested that the Bengals, who didn't make the playoffs last year, should do that, because, in Chad Johnson, they already have a controversial superstar at the same position. For pass-catching purposes, the Patriots also signed Donte Stallworth and traded for Wes Welker. The Bengals lost Chris Henry to a half-season suspension. And miss him.

Shame on the Bengals for not signing Randy Moss...shame. :dang:

stillers4me
09-29-2007, 05:27 PM
Shame on the Bengals for not signing Randy Moss...shame. :dang:

Randy Moss wouldn't have done a daggum thing for the Bengals defense.

revefsreleets
09-29-2007, 07:48 PM
I don't feel the least bit sorry for the Bungling Bengals. I don't like the Patriots much, but I wouldn't mind if they won 100-0 Monday Night. It would be worth it just to see what kind of unpredictable violence THAT would bring out of Chad Johnson.

Elvis
09-29-2007, 08:29 PM
Here We Go Bungholes...
Here We Go!!
:tt02:

stlrtruck
09-29-2007, 11:20 PM
Shouldn't this be in the 1492 thread (LOL)!!!

Nice read!!!

Mosca
09-30-2007, 01:10 PM
That is one pretty darn good analysis.

I like the Bengals to be good for one reason, and one reason only: it means that when we meet the game will be much better, and it will be much more satisfying to beat them. If the Bengals suck, I might decide to skip the 52-3 pasting that I know we'll give them, plain and simple. I might decide to do household chores, for example.

So, go Bengals, for the increased satisfaction of cutting the pins out from under them when they think they're getting good.

As for the Pats, I don't think about them at all, unless they are the next game on the schedule. What they do against other teams is irrelevant, all that matters to me is what happens when we play them. I think that both we and they know that anything less than the "A" game will bring a loss. Like a tropical depression forming in the Caribbean forms into a major hurricane, Steelers-Patriots is starting to look like it will shape up into the premier game of the 2007 regular season.

Tom