Watson is NOT Rudi Johnson's Backup

Sometimes ESPN personalities just don't make sense to me. It's why people just don't care for them. Several weeks ago, NASCAR driver, Tony Stewart blasted ESPN media saying they only promote controversy -- if you watch the post-race interviews, he's not far from the truth. Then this morning, filling in for Mike and Mike on the Mike and Mike in the Morning show, a guy with the first name of Josh, after mentioning that Tiger Woods won the PGA Championship, went into a rant that Golf should have drug testing. Michael Smith countered furiously -- when he had a moment to speak, saying that most players don't even look like athletes -- much less looks like there's a steroids epidemic in golf. And just because you can hit the golf ball a mile, doesn't mean you're any good. Or an elite player. So how would 'roids even come close to benefiting you in golf? Would it help you drive better? Would it put more acceleration through your swing to have the ball spin back? Would it help you with endurance? Does it even really matter to you? Do you think this is ESPN just being ESPN or is there a sound point to instigate trival talking points?

This draws my ire because it's so difficult for ESPN, among others I'm sure, to simply accept a dynastical personality. Ironically, it's difficult for some fans to accept personalities like Chris Berman who tries his best to provide a light side of sports without needing his controversy talking points -- unlike Mike Tirico. Anyway, that's all I'm going to say about that. It's just more nonsense from ESPN to demonize a truly monumental icon. And yes, their constant questioning on Bonds is annoying. Either state your opinion or just leave the matter be. Quit beating around the burning bush.

Running around

Now that Kenny Irons is down for the year, the Cincinnati Bengals are back to 2006 with Rudi Johnson expected to take the workload. In 2006, Rudi Johnson finished with 341 rush attempts -- Kenny Watson had 25. I'm not here to degrade anything that Kenny Watson has done. He's been a fine outlet receiver and a good pass protector. However, I wouldn't classify him as the typical backup running back. He's a situational guy that provides little to no relief for Rudi. My point? This team, as of right now, is void a backup running back.

Here's a breakdown and the situation on Kenny Watson's runs.

Rush Opp. Situation Results
1 KC 3-7-KC44 with 3:38 left in 4Q 1-yard loss (shotgun)
2 KC 1-8-KC8 with 1:11 left in 4Q 8-yard gain TD
3 CLE 2-15-CLE29 with :21 left in 2Q 10-yard gain
4 PIT 2-10-PIT21 with :25 left in 2Q 18-yard gain *
5 PIT 3-17-CIN24 with 12:16 left in 3Q 6-yard gain
6 PIT 3-13-CIN25 with 3:02 left in 4Q 11-yard gain
7 NE 3-5-CIN34 with 14:15 left in 2Q 4-yard gain
8 CAR 3-2-CIN26 with 12:27 left in 2Q 1-yard gain (shotgun)
9 ATL 1-10-CIN20 with 1:54 left in 2Q 3-yard gain
10 CLE 1-10-CIN23 with 7:15 left in 4Q 3-yard gain
11 CLE 2-7-CIN26 with 6:31 left in 4Q 1-yard gain
12 CLE 1-10-CLE29 with 1:51 left in 4Q No gain
13 CLE 2-10-CLE29 with 1:07 left in 4Q 4-yard gain
14 CLE 3-6-CLE25 with :21 left in 4Q 4-yard gain
15 OAK 1-10-CIN33 with :17 left in 2Q 7-yard gain
16 OAK 1-10-OAK26 with 3:46 left in 4Q 9-yard gain
17 OAK 2-1-OAK17 with 3:22 left in 4Q 5-yard gain
18 OAK 1-10-OAK12 with 2:36 left in 4Q 3-yard gain
19 OAK 2-7-OAK9 with 2:26 left in 4Q 2-yard loss
20 IND 1-10-CIN36 with :08 left in 2Q 13-yard gain
21 IND 1-10-CIN24 with 3:24 left in 4Q 4-yard gain
22 IND 1-5-CIN42 with 2:29 left in 4Q 3-yard gain
23 IND 2-10-IND27 with :05 left in 4Q 10-yard gain
24 DEN 3-1-CIN43 with 13:34 left in 3Q 7-yard gain
25 DEN 1-10-DEN24 with 1:25 left in 4Q 7-yard gain

* 18-yard run put the Bengals in position for a touchdown putting the team up 14-7 against Pittsburgh.
Zero rush attempts against Tampa Bay, Baltimore I, San Diego, New Orleans and Baltimore II.
All attempts in Cleveland II and Oakland included all second team offensive players.
Chris Perry became backup running back against Carolina, Atlanta, Baltimore I, San Diego, New Orleans and Cleveland II.

Things to take from this...

Kenny Watson had 11 rushes inside the two minute warning of either half. Had no rushes in the first quarter and only two rushes in the third quarter. Five rushes were on 3rd and 5 or more -- meaning the team is running the sneaky 3rd down draw. Ten rush attempts were with the second team offense blowing out Cleveland (game II) and Oakland.

Again, I'm far from degrading the guy. I'm a fan of his for his situational performances, outlet receiver skills and blocking. But like 2006, Rudi Johnson will not get much relief because both of his primary backups will be on the shelf to start the season.

With all that said...

What does that mean? Does it mean that Quincy Wilson will get a shot? Perhaps. Wilson's size and style is very similar to Rudi.

Wilson, I think, hit the nail on the head.

"The fresher we can keep Rudi, the fresher we can keep Kenny (Watson), that's the idea because it's a long season," Wilson said. "I think a lot of people get caught up in what other teams do. Reggie Bush. Deuce McAlister (in New Orleans). Everybody wants a home run. If you go out and get five, six yards every time you're getting the ball, that's moving the chains, too. Our offense is a little different than a lot of people but what we've got here works. We take our shots (down the field) and we have to run the ball."
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