O’Donnell is also down on Marvin Jones citing a “lack of chemistry” so far with quarterback, Andy Dalton. He criticizes Margus Hunt, the rookie D-Lineman from SMU, for his poor technique. He indicates that Ryan Whalen has been shadowed by Dana Sanzenbacher’s bright performance. And he has no love for the would-be back-up quarterbacks, Josh Johnson and John Skelton. Both, he says, have been hot and cold and he looks for one or the other to “step up and show a consistent effort.”
Finally, O’Donnell gives a thumbs down to George Iloka for his self-inflicted injury. Bengal’s web editor, Geoff Hobson reports that Iloka expects to return for the season opener at Chicago but will not be back before then.
Maybe these downers amount to a reach to be critical. Jones is a number two receiver getting number one coverage so his numbers might suffer accordingly while the rest of the league leading offense shines. Behind Iloka on the depth chart at safety, Taylor Mays, has asserted that he’s “Good enough to start.” In addition, he adds that one phrase that savvy veterans use frequently, that, with experience, the game “slows down.” The Bengals also have the highly touted Georgia Bulldog rookie, Shawn Williams at Safety who will obviously not stay so far down the depth chart for long.
These other criticisms focus on non-starters and low experience guys. If the brightest NFL analysts look for preseason problems in stripes and have to talk about weaknesses at backup quarterback and third string D-linemen, then, perhaps Bengals fans might actually have something to feel positive about. Covering the spread in Dallas with a convincing win might provide an indication that their approach in this 2013 preseason has been a success.