53 Picked Up – JT out, Lefevour in


A few rapid-fire thoughts on the Bengals 53-man roster, which is complete unless any waiver claims are made.

I fully support the Bengals acquisition of rookie quarterback Dan Lefevour (which comes at the expense of J.T. O’ Sullivan). Lefevour is mighty accurate and has thrown a lot of passes coming out of the super-spread Central Michigan program. He could become a great backup to Carson Palmer. Now, let’s have some fun.

“I got a Lefevour – and the only prescription is more cowbell.”

Okay, moving on. I like the David Jones-Reggie Nelson trade. Jones never impressed me as a Bengal and Nelson is a former first-round pick. Mike Zimmer has done well with talented players who need some tweaking. Here’s what ESPN’s ScoutsInc. has to say about Nelson.

“Nelson has decent size for the position with excellent speed, quickness and agility. He has always been a playmaker but struggled a bit in 2009 as he was learning to play within the defensive scheme rather than just relying on raw natural talent. He has a tendency to jump on the first thing he sees rather than let the play develop and can be led away from the point of attack by play-action fakes or pump fakes. He should continue to develop into one of the top safeties in the league over time as he can be physical against the run and a ball-hawk against the pass.”

I’m not one to take the Scouts’ evaluation as gospel, but Nelson sure seems like a worthwhile addition. Especially considering Jones may have been getting cut anyway. So the Bengals got a former first-round draft pick for a player who was either getting cut or being placed near the bottom of the defensive back depth chart. Good move, in my opinion.

Chase Coffman’s exit was a surprise. I know he probably wasn’t going to be a huge asset on special teams, but he could have helped in the red zone. I’d rather have seen Dan Coats get the ax, even if he can play fullback.Thankfully, Coffman cleared waivers, so he’s not lost yet. But that could change.

I was glad to see Quan Cosby make the team. Yes, he’s undersized, but he’s also a playmaker. And I’m sure if he was cut, he would have beaten the Bengals for a return touchdown at some point this season.

With a gun to my head, I think I’d rather have T.J. Houshmanzadeh back than Matt Leinart in tiger stripes. I think Leinart is a better fit for a West-Coast offense than a vertical passing offense (and I’m thinking the Bengals will go deep a lot this year). Houshmanzadeh knows the offense and is the slot receiver everyone hopes Jordan Shipley will become. However, I also understand why Marvin Lewis might be a little gun-shy about bringing in another diva-ish receiver into the locker room.

Cedric Peerman is an exciting player at RB3. I just watched the replay of his 90-yard touchdown run against Indianapolis. He showed some great cuts in addition to outstanding speed. And he might be able to give Cedric Benson a breather or two when Cincinnati is trying to run out the clock this season.

Having also just watched a few of Jerome Simpson’s preseason catches, I think there’s still hope for him as well.

I’m glad Mike Nugent made the team. Cincinnati never had an accurate long-range kicker during the Shayne Graham years. It’s nice to have that weapon now, but Nugent needs to be accurate on the shorter field goals as well. I think he’ll do just fine. I’m feeling the return of his Buckeye magic.

Overall, this might be the best Bengals roster in a long time. Let’s hope it stays intact.

Now, less than one week until the season kicks off in New England!

Who Dey.

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