In Mark Curnutte's blog, notes about OTA, he points out that there's an "emphasis on throwing the ball to the tight ends." We couldn't be more thrilled, and relieved that they'd pay Ben Utecht a three-year, nine million dollar deal and actually implement a method to use him.
For the past two seasons, Carson Palmer's touchdown/interception ratio has shown degradation. After Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Palmer's third option became Kenny Watson after a 52-reception performance in 2007. Combined, twelve receivers behind Chad (8) and T.J. (12), caught six total touchdowns. Chris Henry, when he was allowed to play, caught 36 passes, 25% going for touchdown (9) during the team's 8-8 2006 season.
Chris Henry is gone and if this team hopes for any success in the passing game, they can't have Watson as the team's third-most productive receiver.
Throughout OTAs, the Bengals have been playing with the idea of Daniel Coats in the backfield making fans wonder if Jeremi Johnson is on the "hot seat". No, Coats himself won't unseat Jeremi. But the combination of Reggie Kelly and Coats in the backfield, while Utecht (and possibly Matt Sherry) lines up at tight end or even the slot, really promotes the idea.
Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, themselves, won't win us playoff games. They have yet to prove that. But the Bengals supporting cast, with guys like Utecht and Chris Perry gives this team a big chance at being the most dominating passing game in the NFL.