Thursday Links and Notes

The News Record, an "independent student newspaper at the University of Cincinnati", specifically wants to set Bengals fans straight, who were excited about the team's 2009 draft class, that the team is NOT, in fact, headed in the right direction.

The bottom line is, the Bengals don’t have a running game, their wide receivers are getting old, their offensive line is mediocre, their defense is young and inexperienced and Palmer isn’t getting any younger. So do me a favor Cincinnati: Don’t do what you do every year and get your hopes up. You are and will always be the Bungals.

NFL.com's Pat Kirwin thinks that the Bengals addressed their needs in the draft.

I really liked the Bengals' draft. Offensive tackle Andre Smith can run block with the best of them, LB Rey Maualuga will take over the image of the defense, DE Michael Johnson is an athlete who can be schemed into the pass rush and TE Chase Coffman could become to Carson Palmer what Jason Witten is to Tony Romo. They still need a solid defensive tackle and should pursue one if he comes available this spring.

Speaking of Michael Johnson, he's getting a lot of praise, evident from Bengals.com's quotes from draft experts and former general managers.

Newest Bengals running back, Bernard Scott, finished his two-year Abilene Christian career with "4,321 rushing yards for 63 TDs, plus 1,391 receiving yards for 10 TDs."

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