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Mid-Week News and Opinions: Crashin’ and Burnin’ (Again)

Ok…so where do we begin here? 

Starting with the “easy stuff” 

The Bengals brought back a couple of friends, and by friends I mean “failed former draft picks” in CB/S Keiwan Ratliff and S Marvin “Gator” White. Ratliff was a 2004 second-round bust, and White was a 2007 sixth-rounder. Ratliff has spent some time with the Colts, Steelers, and the UFL since then, and White had stints in Dallas and Detroit.  The moves were precipitated by the ongoing devastation in the secondary, as safety Tom Nelson was added to the injured reserve list as the 9th defensive back shelved for the year. Yes, NINTH

On the bright side, these two guys have some knowledge of the organization (term used loosely) and some NFL experience (also loosely).

They also added S Cary Harris to the practice squad. I’m sure he’ll be called up after Sunday, when another DB will suffer a hangnail or the sniffles.

Speaking of safeties, Cleveland safety T.J. Ward was quoted as saying he will try to make amends with WR Jordan Shipley before Sunday’s game.  Ward famously contributed to the uproar about concussions this year, as his ferocious hit on Shipley caused the rookie to suffer a concussion.  The NFL gave Ward a $15,000 fine for the hit. “If I get the opportunity, I might just tell him it wasn’t my intent to hurt him or do anything like that, I was just playing the game,” Ward was quoted as saying.

Would you have ever thought that going into this game the Browns would be 5-8? Maybe. That Cincy would be 2-11 and three games behind them?  No way.

Andrew Whitworth still leads all pro-bowl voting for offensive tackles, nearly doubling the next guy, “Blind Side” Michael Oher of the Ravens.

And now for the surreal “typical bungles stuff”

We saw it with Carl Pickens. We saw it with Corey Dillon. We saw it with Takeo Spikes. The big three of Carson Palmer, Chad Ochocinco, and Terrell Owens are all going through the emotional roller coaster that is playing in Cincinnati, and the all-too-familiar angry frustrations and shell-shocked comas have begun.

Chad Ochocinco cried about losing before the Pittsburgh game to…wait for it…Steeler DB Ryan Clark.  I certainly appreciate Chad’s emotions, and believe me I can relate.  But whining to the opponent prior to the game is not exactly professional or appropriate.

He followed that up by saying he’s “numb” from losing.

When asked if he could see himself playing for another team next year, Carson Palmer (The FRANCHISE and leader of the team) said in a mellow tone, “Yeah. It could happen. It’s a business.” Again, an inappropriate reaction for the franchise player.  Palmer’s greatest weakness is his inability to show any emotion. There is no fire in his belly.  If Peyton Manning was asked this question—or Boomer Esiason for historical perspective—the reporter would have gotten an earful.  Palmer made no effort to assert his position or reaffirm his desire to lead an NFL franchise, and that was a major miscalculation.  It was a window into his psyche and not good.  Perhaps he’s ready for a change of scenery, but he lost some more points with me.

Then there’s T.O., who successfully called out Mike Brown, Marvin Lewis, and Bob Bratkowski on the T.Ocho show and created a storm of media attention this week as a result.  He’s gotten mixed reviews to date, with many pointing out that he’s destroying yet another team, and others applauding his courage to tell it like it is. Marvin Lewis and teammates have given him public support, and to his credit he’s tried to backtrack on the comments and make the blame game more all-inclusive.

Meanwhile the Titanic continues careening towards disaster, with Marvin Lewis likely coaching his last three games, and players like Ced Benson, Jonathan Joseph, T.O., and Chad all potentially gone in the offseason.

As the perpetual rebuilding tour rolls into year TWENTY, we currently hold the second overall pick in April’s draft.

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