Is the Season Over Already?
Kirkendall thinks my remarks on the absence of T.J. Houshmandzadeh and other Bengals veterans from the offseason workouts and OTAs mean that I don’t see this team improving. Well, I wouldn’t go that far…yet. Ask me again in August. But I’m not the only one taking a dim view of all the no-shows.
Now, if you want an example of someone who isn’t on the “NOW” bandwagon, check Doc’s final post on the “old” Enquirer blogs:
"NOW… what?I was doing my job with one heartbeat when I said to myself, “Self, now is the time to recap what the Bengals have done in the offseason.” Here goes:Refused to trade C. Johnson, forcing Ocho either to (1) sit out the season or (2) come in ticked off and immediately begin sharing his displeasure with the world. You think he ran bad routes last year…Kicked off the team their leading tackler from ’05, let go their leading tackler from ’08.Kicked off the team their best deep threat.Let go Madieu Williams and Justin Smith.Target a couple free agent D-linemen, miss on both.Get outmaneuvered for Sedrick Ellis in Round 1 of the draft.Slap a franchise tag on a semi-starter at tackle. Meantime, the guy who arguably should have had that tag earned Pro Bowl alternate status in Cleveland. And the current starter at left tackle wants to be traded.Have lots of important veteran leaders show everyone the Bengal Way, by blowing off team-building activities like offseason practices.Now, I can’t wait for training camp."
Sheesh. Hey, Paul, next time tell us how you really feel! While I can’t argue with any of his points, it’s worth adding that it hasn’t all been gloom ‘n’ doom. In addition to the above, the Bengals have also:
Signed a promising young defensive end coming off an eight-sack season.
Signed a solid young tight end who can both block and catch.
Re-signed arguably the team’s best LB from last season.
Canned an ineffective and off-criricized defensive coordinator.
Gotten healthier — Ethan Kilmer, Ahmad Brooks, Rudi Johnson, Eric Henderson and Chris Perry are all working.
Added talent to the LB, DT and WR positions via the draft.
Of course, some of these plusses might not pan out. Chris Perry could get hurt again, for example, or Antwan Odom’s performance in Tennessee last season could turn out to be a fluke. On the other hand, it’s far from clear that letting Madieu Williams or Justin Smith go were bad moves. How many championships did we win with them again? And if the team had landed either Shaun Rogers or Dwayne Robertson, chances are they wouldn’t have inked Odom. And I definitely disagree that franchising Stacy Andrews was a bad move. Don’t do that and Keith Rivers isn’t here — and in that case the LB corps is a total disaster — because the Bengals used their first round pick on a tackle.
No, the Bengals 2008 season isn’t dead yet. Doc can’t wait for training camp? Neither can I.