Cincinnati Bengals fans looking for reasons back off the building excitement about the 2009 season can always count on Peter “Buzzkill” King, who predicts fewer than seven wins because the defense will stink and Carson Palmer may not return at 100%. But despite the fact that he thinks they’ll blow, King “likes what the Bengals have done in the offseason.” He even gives the Bengals props for the Brian Leonard trade.
In short, great work in the “CYA” department today, Peter. When you make up your mind about the Bengals (my prediction: about week 10 of the regular season) let us know. Of course, either way you’ll be able to say you were right all along.
Meanwhile, over at KFFL, blogger Ilan Mochari takes the over on Vegas’ prediction of 5.5 wins for the Bengals in 2009. Mochari doesn’t see them as playoff-bound, but thinks they’re an 8-8 team. That’s about where I see them myself, right now.
Speaking of odds, the spread on the Cincinnati Bengals’ home opener against the Denver Broncos in week 1 won’t settle down. Generally speaking, the Bengals opened as home dogs, getting from one to three points, but early betting has pushed the game to a coin flip. Of course, since the host team typically gets three points for home field advantage, even a pick ‘em points to the Broncos as favorites.
PFW whispers that the leading candidates for the Bengals’ punt return job are undrafted free agents WR Quan Cosby and S Tom Nelson. With the signing of S Roy Williams, the Bengals are stuffed at that position, and would no doubt prefer Cosby to emerge. Either way, it’s bad news for oft-injured incumbent returner WR Antonio Chatman. In three years in Cincinnati, Chatman has missed 22 games and, as a result, caught just 43 balls for 365 yards and one TD. He has also returned 47 punts for 304 yards, a 6.5 yard average.
John Thornton singles out Keith Rivers, Chris Crocker and Anthony Collins as key players to watch in 2009. Collins “wants to be great,” JT writes, “and he is a big trash talker on the field. That’s unusual for an OL, but it’s fun to watch.”
Roy Williams’ new deal with the Bengals is a one-year contract with a base $750k salary.
Matt’s not buying the “Chad is motivated” story. My take: it actually wouldn’t surprise me. I know if I were him, I would be a bit ticked off, if only because my desire to stay in the spotlight 24/7/365 is being thwarted by my alleged “buddies” in the media who throw me under the bus at every opportunity. So the only way to shut everyone up is to produce on the field. But that said, I suspect that Chad’s attitude will largely depend on how the team performs. If the Bengals win a few out of the gate, he’ll perk up. On the other hand, if they stumble early, it’ll be thousand-yard-stare time.
The Chickster gives his impressions of the Bengals’ rookie class.