Aug 17, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden in the third quarter of a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
It’s so close, possibly the start of something special, maybe the start of a season where this team wins one and maybe more playoff games. But first you have to win regular season games, before the Bengals prepare for Chicago, some cuts have to be made. Here is a look at how I believe, not how I would like, the final 53 will play out.
Do they go with only two QB’s? I think so and Josh Johnson seems to still be ahead of John Skelton. He offers too much with his legs and knowledge of the offense. Also don’t be fooled, they are going to do some read option with Johnson this year, and why not.
Running back (4): BJGE, Giovani Bernard, Cedric Peerman, Rex Burkhead,
It’s not that BJGE isn’t a good guy or effective short yardage back, but the days of a RB who doesn’t play special teams, catch the ball out of the backfield, or average more than 3.9 YPC have to be numbered, right? With that said, BJGE sticks for this year. Giovani Bernard is as advertised and is exactly what this team has been looking for during the Marvin Lewis era. He has to improve on his pass blocking and you know that running backs coach Hue Jackson isn’t going to let up.
The hardest cut on the Bengals roster this year, will be Boom Herron. He has done nothing to not earn a spot and is becoming an asset on ST. Rex Burkhead offers just enough more versatility though to stick in my opinion.
If you look at how the snap distribution went during last night’s preseason finale vs. the Colts, Peerman got 14 snaps, Burkhead w/ 27, and Herron notched 20.
The top three guys we know, but Brandon Tate has had an excellent camp and preseason. He had made his case to be more involved in the offense and might be in the mix to come off the bench ahead of Marvin Jones. The question with Tate is can he translate a solid preseason into more than the 13 catches he had last year after a solid preseason? Andrew Hawkins is headed to the injured designated to return spot, and while he is gone Dane Sazenbacher will make for a nice replacement.
I also hope they continue Sanzenbacher in the return game as well. For a late round rookie Cobi Hamilton has shown up in my opinion and has a nice toughness about him. He beats out Ryan Whalen who would probably be around if they needed him.