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Old 11-02-2006, 09:26 AM   #1
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Default It's all peachy in Cinci, isn't it?!

Palmer blames himself for Bengals' struggles

By JOE KAY, AP Sports Writer
November 1, 2006

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A running back criticizes the play-calling. A Pro Bowl tackle questions the team's toughness. Fans grumble about the offensive coordinator's decisions.

Things aren't pleasant these days in Cincinnati, where the Bengals' subpar offense has created a lot of grumbling. Quarterback Carson Palmer tried to end it Wednesday by putting the problem in perspective.

He blamed himself.

Although Palmer defied expectations by returning only seven months after reconstructive knee surgery, he hasn't been as good as he was before the injury. His numbers are down, his form is off, and his offense is struggling.

"If the quarterback plays great and he goes out there and does his job and doesn't miss everything and is 100 percent on everything, you're going to win your football games," Palmer said. "We're 4-3. I haven't been 100 percent, I haven't been perfect, I haven't played great football. You can put all the blame you want on me."

Palmer wasn't being sarcastic. He expects near perfection from himself, in part because he achieved it for much of last season. Palmer led the NFL with 32 touchdown passes and tied the league record by finishing 11 games with a passer rating over 100.

When he beat the odds and made an unusually quick recovery from torn knee ligaments suffered during a playoff loss to Pittsburgh, the Bengals expected their offense to pick up where it left off.

So far, it's not even close.

Palmer ranks seventh in the league with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions. He had his first triple-digit passer rating Sunday in a 29-27 loss to Atlanta that brought the frustrations bubbling out.

Running back Rudi Johnson said afterward that the Bengals need to run the ball more -- he carried only 12 times. Johnson hasn't made himself available to the media since he went public with his second-guessing.

Right tackle Willie Anderson seemed to suggest the same thing after the game, and challenged his teammates to toughen up. He explained himself on Wednesday to offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski.

"I told him this morning in front of everybody: Hey, I'm not trying to criticize the offense because I've seen us do what we do, whether it be passing or running," Anderson said. "That's not my gripe.

"In order for us to win these upcoming football games and be the team we want to be when it comes to December and to fix all these problems, its going to take us going into these games playing tough, physical football. We can't run from that."

The Cardinals, Ravens and Browns have fired their offensive coordinators this season. Coach Marvin Lewis was bemused when asked if he plans to keep Bratkowski around.

"Yes," he said. "Was that at the bottom of the useless-question list?"

Palmer also took up for Bratkowski, who gives him options at the line of scrimmage when the Bengals run their no-huddle offense. Palmer makes the final decision on which play to run.

"A lot of people want to point their fingers at Brat, but if you're looking for somebody to point your finger at, you can point it at me because I'm calling a large percentage of the plays," Palmer said. "He's taken a lot of unfair criticism, and a lot of that should be pointed at me because with the no-huddle we run, I do end up calling most of the plays."

Not only has Palmer been off his game, his supporting cast has been subpar as well.

Center Rich Braham and left tackle Levi Jones are out with knee injuries, forcing a shuffle in the offensive line that led to breakdowns. No. 3 receiver Chris Henry missed three games as punishment for misbehavior. Running back Chris Perry missed the first five games because of injury.

Add to that the rust from Palmer's months-long rehabilitation, and it's understandable why the offense isn't where it was last year, when the Bengals averaged 34 points over the last six regular-season games. They're averaging 22 per game this year.

"I more than anybody would love to be putting up some of the same numbers, and we haven't offensively," Palmer said. "But that's why this game is such a challenge. That's why people get fired and rehired every year. That's why there's so much turnover in this league, because it's difficult to be consistent."

They're learning that the hard way.

"It's not going to be perfect all the time," said receiver Chad Johnson, who has only two touchdowns. "We know that. But you want to be right most of the time. That's the point we're trying to get to, where we were last year. We were right most of the time."
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Old 11-02-2006, 07:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: It's all peachy in Cinci, isn't it?!

...and now the Cincy media and Players cant play nice!

WLW fires Furman

BY JOHN KIESEWETTER | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER

After 18 years on WLW-AM (700), in which he offended many listeners with his bombastic comments, a public dispute with a Bengals player cost Andy Furman his job.

Furman, 56, was fired Wednesday, nearly three weeks after being suspended with pay on Oct. 13 for calling wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh a “racist” during the station’s weeknight “SportsTalk” show on Oct. 6.

The remark came a day after Furman had ripped the player on the air for missing a paid appearance on “SportsTalk” that night during the team’s bye week.


The decision came from Clear Channel’s corporate headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, and not at the Kenwood station, says Janet Abary, Furman’s attorney.

Houshmandzadeh’s attorney had contacted the San Antonio office after Furman’s remarks.

Karrie Sudbrack, general manager for the eight Clear Channel stations, would not say why Furman was fired.

“We have decided to make a change, and that’s about all I can comment on the situation. I can’t talk about the specifics,” Sudbrack said.

Sudbrack said Furman’s termination likely would not likely change the brash, in-your-face tone of the station, which has made it No. 1 in ratings here for 6? years.
“That’s not necessarily the case. We’ve just decided to make a change as it pertains to ‘SportsTalk’ in the evening,” she said.

Clear Channel employees had been told by Darryl Parks, AM operations director, not to speak about Furman “to the press or on the air on our various stations.”

Furman, of Florence, declined to comment, his attorney said.

One possible reason for firing Furman was the announcement last week that Clear Channel, the nation’s largest radio company, is for sale, said Bruce Drushel, a Miami University assistant professor of communications. The founding Mays family is negotiating for the company to be taken private by a consortium of investors for more than $18.5 billion. A possible lawsuit by Houshmandzadeh could be problematic, Drushel said.

“If you’re for sale, or if you’re buying a company, you don’t want to have any liability on the horizon,” he said.

Furman’s attack on Houshmandzadeh was the latest in Furman’s controversial career, during which he angered Reds and Bengals management and players, university coaches and presidents, and his listeners.

On Oct. 6, Furman said on the air that Houshmandzadeh had called him a “punk a-- white boy.” Houshmandzadeh denied making the remark.

“I told him, ‘Andy Furman, you can ---- yourself.’ That’s the bottom line. And he twisted it into all whatever he wants to,” Houshmandzadeh said several days after the broadcast. “What he did was wrong…. This time he took it too far.”

Mike Honold was listening to Furman on his drive home from work on Oct. 6 – as he has for 18 years – and thought the host was “particularly over the top” on Houshmandzadeh.

“If he was lying about it, he should be fired – particularly since he said it about such a big customer on the station, the Bengals,” said Honold, 44, of Cheviot.

Furman’s firing was cheered by Sheri Edmundson-Wood, 32, of Anderson Township, who called it “a very, very long time coming.” She has disliked him since 1990, when Furman called her a “****.” He made the remark when Edmundson-Wood, then 16, had called to wish Furman’s co-host at the time, Cris Collinsworth, a belated happy birthday.

Bob Burgett of Fairfield Township also supported WLW-AM’s decision. He was shocked to hear Furman on Oct. 5 encourage listeners to spit on Houshmandzadeh’s jerseys because he failed to appear on “SportsTalk” that night.
“That was more than just talking smack. It was hateful and unprofessional,” said Burgett, 43.

But longtime friend Tom Dinkel – a former broadcast partner and former Bengals linebacker – said he was disappointed by Wednesday’s news.

“Bill Cunningham says stuff twice as bad (on WLW-AM) on a daily basis – he had offended almost every ethnic group in this city – and he doesn’t get touched,” said Dinkel, who co-hosted “Sunday Morning SportsTalk” with Furman for 15 years.
“Andy Furman chose a member of the wrong organization to go after, a member of the Bengals,” Dinkel said.

Dinkel said WLW-AM management encourages talk hosts to push the envelope and be entertaining to light up the talk-radio phone lines.

“Andy Furman was paid to give an opinion, and to make you think about stuff,” Dinkel said. “In that business, you’re going to offend everybody. You might not like him, but you’d listen to him every night.”

Miami University’s Drushel says WLW-AM and Clear Channel managers “reward, if not encourage, fairly extreme views that will elicit a response” from the audience
.
“The question is how far do you go raising controversy, or saying outrageous things, before you cross the line into the impermissible or insensitive?” said Drushel, a Colerain Township resident who worked in radio before joining the Miami faculty 19 years ago. “Evidently, the station didn’t make clear where the line was.”

Where is that line?

Cunningham, in an interview about talk radio philosophy after Furman’s suspension, described it this way:

“The goal is to never go over the line. You go up to the line, and put your toe across the line and see how it is, and then you respond appropriately,” Cunningham said. He declined to discuss Furman’s situation.

Drushel said AM talk radio stations must have attitude because of the increasing competition from satellite and syndicated shows. Cunningham said his competition includes the Internet, blogs, and all-news cable channels.

“You can’t be normal. You have to stick out like a sore thumb,” Cunningham said.

The primary objective of any talk radio host is to maximize ratings – and therefore revenues – by being as entertaining as possible, Cunningham said. “If you’re boring and dull, you’re not going to be successful in talk radio,” he said.

In his memo to Clear Channel staffers, Parks said Bill “Seg” Dennison would continue to host “SportsTalk” 6-9 p.m. weekdays until a new host is hired. Employees at WLW-AM and sister station WCKY-AM (HOMER 1530) would be considered for the job, as well as outside candidates, Sudbrack said.
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Old 11-02-2006, 07:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: It's all peachy in Cinci, isn't it?!

Sign of bad things to come in Cincy.
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Old 11-02-2006, 08:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: It's all peachy in Cinci, isn't it?!

Finally, someone else in sissynatti realizing what type of players the organization retains other than the Steelers fans that live there!
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Old 11-02-2006, 09:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: It's all peachy in Cinci, isn't it?!

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Originally Posted by stlrtruck View Post
Finally, someone else in sissynatti realizing what type of players the organization retains other than the Steelers fans that live there!
I never thought I'd see the day
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Old 11-03-2006, 07:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: It's all peachy in Cinci, isn't it?!

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Coach Marvin Lewis was bemused when asked if he anticipates more Bengals players landing themselves in the big house this season.

"Yes," he said. "Was that at the bottom of the useless-question list?"
My heart just bleeds for those Bungles. Boo frickity HOO.
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Old 11-04-2006, 12:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: It's all peachy in Cinci, isn't it?!

You think our players are bad, you guys had consecutive unsportsmanlike conduct penalties against Oakland, one of the worst teams, and you didn't even beat them. Coach Cowturd lost control?

Like you should talk at all, you have enough problems of your own at 2-5!
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Old 11-04-2006, 01:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: It's all peachy in Cinci, isn't it?!

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You think our players are bad, you guys had consecutive unsportsmanlike conduct penalties against Oakland, one of the worst teams, and you didn't even beat them. Coach Cowturd lost control?

Like you should talk at all, you have enough problems of your own at 2-5!
Um... Consecutive unsportmanlike penalties is the moral equivelant of Jail time for Cincy players? Wow. I didn't know the bar was set that low for Cincy players.
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Old 11-04-2006, 02:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: It's all peachy in Cinci, isn't it?!

2-5

Nuff said
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Old 11-04-2006, 02:42 AM   #10
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Default Re: It's all peachy in Cinci, isn't it?!

Ok a couple players were idiots, I'll admit that. It doesn't matter though, you guys are making fun of us when you should be looking at your own 2-5 record. Your team is soon to be surpassed by the lowly Brownies, and you'll be the cellar dwellars of the AFC North.

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