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Friday Notes

Here are a few interesting Bengal tidbits and my take on them as we head to Sunday’s game: 

-Apparently Chad Ochocinco tweeted that he has a cracked rib, which sent the intergoogle into a frenzy. It has since been removed.  With Ocho, you never if he’s joking or serious with these types of things. For what its worth, the tweet has been removed, and Chad did not appear on Wednesday’s injury report. Either Robin is full of crap or Marvin Lewis is… 

-Cedric “The Entertainer” Benson, who we generally love and admire around here at the Gab, went rogue  like Sarah Palin today on SIRIUS satellite radio.  Benson feels the Bengals should continue to be a run first, run second, and (if at all possible) run third team—just like last year. “Being that type of team got us where we ultimately wanted to be, which was in the playoffs.” Ced said. “I don’t know what would be the reason the team would want to change their identity, unless in the past season it didn’t work. But that’s not the case here.”  He conveniently forgot a couple of important points: 

  • Where “we wanted to be” was THE SUPER BOWL.  NOT just the playoffs.
  • Believe it or not, the forward pass is still a prominent part of the NFL
  • The Bengals stunk up the field on 3rd downs last year—you know, when passing really helps
  • They ranked near the bottom in total offense and points scored.  Points scored, of course, is a key stat in winning. 

He seems awfully premature to be acting diva-ish only two weeks into the season too.  After all, he wasn’t going to get many carries against New England because it was 24-0 before they realized it wasn’t preseason.  He got 23 carries against Baltimore—a good number—and he managed just 73 yards against the Raven front seven.  Ced, we love you, but shut the hell up and play. 

-Speaking of Bengal backs, the Redskins released Larry Johnson, who made some nice contributions to the Bengals’ playoff run last year.  There’s virtually no chance the team brings him in, particularly with Brian Leonard coming back off of injury and the emergence of Cedric Peerman.  I realize all that, but my inner Steinbrenner wouldn’t mind bringing him in. 

-Dhani Jones, Chad, and T.O. all got high marks from sports agent Jack Bechta for their marketing and self-promoting skills.  Bechta reasons that they’ll be able to sustain their marketability and continue to find promotional deals and celebrity gigs even after they retire.  If so, they’d follow in the footsteps of several other former Bengals that made names for themselves in television and entertainment like Boomer Esiason, Bob Trumpy, Anthony Munoz, Cris Collinsworth, Solomon Wilcots, and the late Brian Pillman.

-Apparently the coaching staff has discovered that penalty flags are bad.  It’s true.  As it turns out, it seems they help stall drives and hurt your chances of scoring points.  No kidding.  Well, I for one am glad we got that figured out…

-Lastly, Carolina coach (and Marvin Lewis BFF apparently) John Fox has named rookie QB Jimmy Clausen the starter for Sunday’s tilt with Cincinnati.  Much has been made of the Bengals’ mediocre success against rookie QB’s in the Lewis era.  All told, Cincy is 6-7 facing rookie quarterbacks in that time, which to some spells possible doom.  Call me an optimist, but I don’t think so.  First of all, this isn’t just a game against a rookie QB, its Clausen’s FIRST START too.  And if you look at the seven games the Bengals lost, you have to put an asterisk by some of them.  For example, in 2004 they lost both games to Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers.  Is this a surprise? The Steelers were competing for a super bowl and the Bengals were struggling to 8-8.  The Tampa game they lost to Bruce Gradkowski will forever be questionable at best thanks to some horrendous officiating.  One of the 08 losses to Joe Flacco was legit because Carson Palmer played, but the second one was against Ryan Fitzpatrick in a lost season of doldrums.  And the 2009 regular season finale against Mark Sanchez really shouldn’t count since no starters played any significant time.

Factoring all that in by removing those games, the record is 6-2.  I like that number better.  Of course, the Bengals have made years of misery for us fans by allowing retreads and no-names to torch them in new and inexplicable ways.  So who knows?  As for me, I’ll be hoping for a game from Clausen that reminds me of a young Brock Berlin or Charlie Frye, and not a Flacco or Roethlisberger.

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