Tonight’s Game is the end of the Bengals preseason. That means two things; next week the regular season starts & the roster will be trimmed down to 53 players.
Former NFL HC Herm Edwards describes this week best saying:
The young guys in the NFL, they know this is their game. It’s real important for a young player and a rookie trying to make a team.
And that’s exactly it, week 4 of preseason is the “last hoorah” for many of young Bengals players, last year many remember the hair of CB Johnny Sears, but I’m sure not many readers could tell me what Johnny is up to now. So for guys like Cedric Peerman or RB’s Jay Finely & John Griffin it’s all or nothing tonight.
Expect Dalton and the starters on O get their normal time to learn to gel as a unit, but expect a lot of the younger players to get playing time earlier this week.
Storylines to watch include:
Offensive Line: Can rookie Guard Clint Boling see some significant time this week? Can he do enough to help him see some time during the regular season? Also check out OT Matt O’Donnell it may be his last game as a Bengal, if he performs well enough he may land on PS.
Running Back: With starter Cedric Benson spending some time in the “pokey” it will be opening up playing time to the other running backs. Veteran Cedric Peerman, 7th round pick Jay Finely and UDFA John Griffin are all essentially fighting for the same position. One of them may be able to win the job tonight.
Defensive Line: The Bengals only have 5 DT’s on the Roster Peko, Atkins, Sims, Shirley and the new signee Cornell Banks. Banks is really just an extra body for the game since Sims and Shirley both might not be playing tomorrow. And they sure can’t play their starters and DE’s at DT all night. In all honesty the position seems too shallow, wait for some “Cut day” signing (cap causality) or one last deal before the season (Reggie Nelson).
Defensive Back: With the addition of Taylor Mays and Kelly Jennings it will be a last game effort to see what young players stay with the team. Adam Pacman Jones will be starting the season on PUP, but the Bengals still only have so many roster spots. Look to see some aggressive showing from the young DB’s to try to same themselves from “cut day”.