TGIF: Youth Being Served
The drumbeat for change is getting louder in Cincinnati. Writes Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson, “It sounds like we’re there and the question that always gets asked after a guy like Pat Sims surfaces and shows he belongs is, ‘What took you so long?'” He’s referring to third-round pick Pat Sims’ debut against the Jets last week, in which he rang up 7 tackles, including a TFL, by the team’s count. Sims looks to go again this Sunday against Pittsburgh, while fellow third-round selection WR Andre Caldwell could be called upon in the kick return role in place of injured WR Glenn Holt. Holt has not practiced all week. Either Caldwell or, more likely, WR Antonio Chatman will see snaps on offense if a gimpy T.J. Houshmandzadeh can’t go either. With LT Levi Jones nursing a back injury and Carson Palmer out, Hobson also hints that fans could see fourth-round OT Anthony Collins.
The Chickster belives that the Bengals’ current defensive ranking, 16th, reprsents a light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t get too excited there, Chick. It’s at least 50/50 that light is an oncoming train. That No. 16 ranking is uses the traditional measure, yards, and the fact is that the Bengals’ incompetent offense has resulted in numerous short fields for opponents. For example, last week the Jets’ longest scoring drive was 47 yards. That said, measured by points per game, the Bengals defense is tied for 21st, which is also better than last year. Given all those short fields, you would think that number would be a lot worse. So, yes, the D is improving, but as defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer says, the defense remains “a long way from where we want to be.”
For those that enjoyed hearing me babble about the Bengals during the preseason, you can now listen to me babble about (while fighting a cold) during the regular season here. Thanks to Matt for the opportunity!