Bengals Shake Up Depth Chart


As week 2 of training camp gets underway, the Bengals have made some changes to their depth chart.

"Fullback Jeremi Johnson, still not on the field because of weight-related issues, has been demoted from starter to fourth string. Daniel Coats is the new No. 1 fullback, with former Elder star Bradley Glatthar moving up to No. 2."

Coats, the No. 2 tight end last season, appears to be succeeding in his bid to hang on to a roster spot after the Bengals signed TE Ben Utecht away from the Colts in the offseason. FB Jeremi Johnson has had perennial weight issues, and it looks like the team may have finally run out of patience with him. The Bengals are extremely unlikely to keep more than one FB, so ticket Glatthar to the practice squad.

"At strong-side linebacker, Ahmad Brooks has dropped from No. 2 to third, with Darryl Blackstock moving up from third to second."

Ahmad Brooks’ struggles continue. He was limited earlier this offseason by lingering soreness from surgery to repair the torn groin that knocked him out all of last season. Still, he also knows the MLB spot, having been groomed for it before last year, and as a third-round pick in the 2006 supplemental draft, I doubt the Bengals give up on him this quickly.

"At weak-side linebacker rookie Keith Rivers has dropped from the starter’s position to No. 3. Brandon Johnson is listed as the new starter with Jim Maxwell running second."

I expect Rivers to work his way back to No. 1 in short order once he’s signed. The Bengals aren’t known for paying guys to sit.

"At punt returner, cornerback Deltha O’Neal has assumed the first position, ahead of wide receiver Antonio Chatman."

That could be a function of the fact that Chatman is emerging as the lead candidate for the No. 3 wideout slot so far, while O’Neal is getting passed up by younger DBs on the roster, if reports out of Georgetown are to be believed. If he can’t win the job as punt returner, O’Neal could end up on the outside looking in come September.