TGIF: Chad Happy, Simpson Unsigned

Reasons I hate the sports media, part XVII: Last evening, Pod Johnson emerged from his leafy duplication chamber. Ocho Opposito was humble, contrite, focused on winning and helping the team, and even went so far as to admit he never had any intention of sitting out. Now, believe what you will, but as of mid-morning today, was there any mention of this sudden change of heart anywhere? Sportsline? ESPN.com? Even The Cincinnati Enquirer? Nope. Not a word.

Now, let’s conduct a thought experiement. Imagine that instead, the real Chad had spoken up, blasting the team, the front office and his quarterback, as he’s done all through the offseason. You think that would go unremarked? On the contrary, I think it would be blasted on front pages around the intertubes.

Just noted for future reference.

Moving on, unsigned second-round pick WR Jerome Simpson says there have not been any contract talks yet with the Bengals. Hello, front office, anyone home? You have 10 guys to sign and all sorts of questions — especially at wideout, where we still don’t have a No. 3 and our Nos. 1 and 2 may be gone in ’09. Get a move on!

In a smart piece, BengalsBlog exercises the power of positive thinking.

Football Outsiders give NFL writers a hand with its first Write-It Yourself Template for busy sports editors. First up, the undrafted rookie template. I think they had Bengals.com writer Geoff Hobson’s help on this one…

Headline: ROOKIE Shows off his moves

Copy: It was a routine short pass over the middle. ROOKIE caught the ball in stride for what looked like a four-yard gain. But then he made a move, juking out VETERAN DEFENDER and cutting upfield for an extra 20 yards.

It was only a minicamp drill, but the move opened eyes and turned heads. That catch wasn’t the first time in camp that ROOKIE left a defender tackling thin air. “We didn’t know what we had with this kid,” said POSITION COACH after practice. “He really makes things happen.”

ROOKIE has been making things happen for his entire football career. He broke every rushing record at TINY RURAL HIGH SCHOOL but wasn’t highly recruited because he was just REALLY SHORT feet tall and weighed REALLY LIGHT pounds. After a year in juco, he transferred to UNHEARD OF UNIVERSITY where he overwhelmed the competition, rushing for OBSCENELY GREAT STATS while doing it all for the RIDICULOUSLY NON-THREATINING TEAM NICKNAMEs: rushing, catching passes, returning punts and kicks, and even throwing some option passes.

Still, pro scouts were skeptical of his size and the level of competition. ROOKIE didn’t hear his name called on draft day, but several teams contacted him as a free agent. “I knew my size would be a liability. It has been all through my career,” ROOKIE said. “I came here because I believe coach HEAD COACH will give me the best opportunity to show what I can do.”

So far, HEAD COACH has been singing ROOKIE’s praises. “That kid gives us a lot of flexibility. He can do a lot of things as a rusher, receiver, and a return man. I also like his effort and intensity.” Still, ROOKIE faces an uphill battle to make the roster. FEATURED BACK and VETERAN THIRD DOWN GUY are locks to make the roster, and THIRD-ROUND PICK is ahead of ROOKIE on the depth chart. The team may keep four running backs, so ROOKIE’s best chance to make the roster is to beat out DISAPPOINTING FORMER NO. 1 PICK WITH TWO DUI’S ON HIS RECORD and OBSCURE PRACTICE SQUAD GUY.

ROOKIE remains optimistic despite the odds. “I like being the underdog. It motivates me,” he said. “This camp has showed me that I can play in the NFL.” ROOKIE has faked and juked his way through an impressive college career. His next fancy move could fake him right onto the roster.

Site News: Busy, busy, busy around fansided these days. After an exhaustive search, The Management has finally managed to locate a Jaguars fan! Welcome to Jeanne, our new Jacksonville blogger.

Topics: Bengals, Cincinnati, NFL

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