Predicting the Cincinnati Bengals' 53-man roster. A look into the minds of CincyJungle writers

On Friday, Josh (Kirkendall), Craig (A Pragmatic Bengals Fan), Chris (IFChris) and Jake (jsl413) sat in a room and decided to take on the task filling out the 53-man roster. While initially our intended goal was based on prediction, we also set the roster with players that we think makes the team stronger. For example, our more radical idea that might not be on the mind of the Bengals brass, is to take four running backs, two fullbacks and only two tight ends. We thought that keeping four good running backs and two good full backs would make the team far more stronger than simply adding a third tight end that's currently on the roster; or some tight end that another team released. Even if Dorsey is the fourth running back, he's a strong contributor on special teams. So he makes the team stronger, in our minds. Anyway.

Let's get right to it. Here's our 53-man roster.

Quarterback (3) Carson Palmer Defensive End (4) Antwan Odom
  J.T. O'Sullivan   Robert Geathers
  Jordan Palmer   Michael Johnson
      Jonathan Fanene
Running back (4) Cedric Benson    
  Bernard Scott Defensive Tackle (4) Pat Sims
  Brian Leonard   Domata Peko
  DeDe Dorsey   Tank Johnson
      Langston Moore
Fullbacks (2) Jeremi Johnson    
  Fui Vakapuna Linebackers (7) Keith Rivers
      Dhani Jones
Tight Ends (2) Daniel Coats   Rey Maualuga
  Chase Coffman   Rashad Jeanty
      Brandon Johnson
Wide Receiver (6) Chad Ochocinco   Abdul Hodge
  Laveranues Coles   Darryl Blackstock
  Chris Henry    
  Andre Caldwell Secondary (9) Johnathan Joseph
  Jerome Simpson   Leon Hall
  Quan Cosby   Chris Crocker
      Chinedum Ndukwe
Offensive Line (9) Andrew Whitworth   Roy Williams
  Bobbie Williams   Kyries Hebert
  Nate Livings   Tom Nelson
  Kyle Cook   Morgan Trent
  Anthony Collins   David Jones
  Andre Smith    
  Scott Kooistra Special Teams (3) Shayne Graham
  Jonathan Luigs   Kevin Huber
  Dennis Roland   Brad St. Louis
       

There's several notable players missing. For example, after some debate, we elected to keep Jason Shirley off the roster, thinking he could be a Marvin Lewis project; which could force him on the practice squad if he clears waivers. In our minds, he's just not ready yet. Marvin White missed the cut; not because of anything he did, but we felt others were surpassing him. However, we shouldn't be surprised if he makes the team. Antonio Chatman's history is too much for a roster spot and a debate broke out between keeping Cosby and Maurice Purify. And we all loved Dan Stuka.

Stay with us all day as we analyze the team's roster cuts as they come through.

Here's a transcript of our entire conversation, or round table, that shows how we came to the conclusion on our 53-man roster.

TRANSCRIPT

Josh Kirkendall: We have 75 players and 53 spots. So by the end of the day, we'll be eliminating 22 players. I know you guys agree that quarterback is relatively easy enough. So let's get to the meat and potatoes of the topic. Running back.
Craig: Wow, diving right in.
Jake: Well running back, to me, is going to be Cedric Benson, Brian Leonard, and Bernard Scott. Just a question of if they keep four. They will want to protect Scott, and they went out and traded for Leonard, so they must see something in him
Craig: I agree with Jake, but not on the order. I think it'll be Benson, Scott, and Leonard. If they keep 4, obviously DeDe Dorsey will stick. Odd man out is James Johnson.
Jake: I honestly think we'll see Scott/Leonard split 2nd string duties. They're both pretty good.
Josh: I agree. I think Cedric and Scott are locks. And Scott and Dorsey have the same skillset. So if the team goes with three running backs, then Dorsey is the odd man out. However, if they go four, then do the Bengals only keep Jeremi Johnson at full back? Many, including the coaches, have high praise with Chris Pressley.
Jake: I don't think they'll risk just keeping Johnson at FB. If they do, they'll definitely put Pressley on the practice squad.
Josh: Last year, the Bengals took three running backs and 2 fullbacks.
Craig: As much as I like Vakapuna's ceiling, you can't let go of a guy who bent a friggin' facemask. Pressley has to stay if at all possible.
Josh: Do you think there's a chance that they keep Johnson and Vakapuna, but put Pressley on the practice squad. In terms of exposure, or notoriety, more people recognize Vakapuna's name more than Pressley's.
Craig: I think Hard Knocks may make it tough to sneak Pressley through to the PS, honestly.
Josh: Good point.

(Chris wakes from his slumber)

Chris: So is Kenny Watson done?
Jake: He was cut a while ago.
Chris: (sigh)
Josh: If the Bengals go four running backs, then who is the fullback?
Chris: Fui
Craig: I think, unfortunate as it is, that JJ is the first FB on the roster. Redeemer and all.
Jake: I think Jeremi Johnson is completely capable as long as he keeps in shape. He had a couple of excellent seasons, remember.
Josh: I agree there. JJ makes the squad as the starting fullback.
Chris: From the limited stuff I've seen, I like what Fui brings.
Josh: Now, if the Bengals take three running backs, who is your backup fullback?
Craig: At this point, I think that Pressley is the second man on the roster. The coaches in the meetings said, point blank, that Pressley is the best blocker.
Josh: You've seen on Hard Knocks how much the coaches play his tough style. Didn't Mike Brown ask what a fullback does?
Chris: Wow
Jake: They love physicality. They want to compete with Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
Craig: That's why I hate Johnson being around. There's no reason to not keep Fui and Pressley around. Jake hits it on the head. Pressley gives them the best chance at pancaking the linebacking corps of the AFC North.
Chris: So who's the starter?
Craig: Johnson.
Chris: Gotcha
Josh: An interesting thought is keeping Johnson and Vakapuna and sneak Pressley through Waivers for the practice squad. How many squads are looking for a FB anyway? He might not be that well known. Though I think Craig is right about Hard Knocks documenting him so much. Damned Hard Knocks.

Josh: I had an interesting thought. What if the Bengals go with four running backs, two fullbacks and only two tight ends? And you know that Coats and Chase make the squad. It's a weakened position anyway and I don't expect signing someone that make us instantly better. Plus the offense has never really utilized the TE position.
Jake: When was the last time they carried only 2 tight ends?
Josh: Actually, they only kept two last year and in 2006.
Craig: That's actually a good though, Josh. I like that.
Jake: Interesting. Well, given how shallow it is, I guess two isn't a bad idea. They can use Andre Smith at a TE in goalline packages.
Craig: They can toss that around, if he ever gets in shape.
Chris: I was going more for fullback for Andre
Jake: No way a 350 pounder can play anywhere but on the line of scrimmage.
Craig: Again...did you see the fat guy waddle he was rocking in last week's Hard Knocks? Dude looked terrrrrible.
Josh: The thought is that you keep the running back and fullback position strong, while keeping TE status quo. The question at this point is who will be available after cut down day that the team could sign that would make the tight ends better. And does Foschi really make your squad better than, say, Dorsey and/or Pressley?
Craig: Absolutely not would be the answer to your question, Josh.
Jake: Does Pressley have the ability to learn TE?
Josh: Like a hybrid?
Jake: Yeah, like Coats. Except better.
Josh: I will make another prediction that Foschi makes the practice squad. Of the things he's shown, he's not bad. Needs some refinement; could he could be a decent third TE in this league.
Chris: I like the two tight ends and it keeps a space in off chance Utecht ever gets healthy. Which is doubtful
Josh: Utecht is out for the year. On IR.
Craig: I doubt we see him ever again.
Chris: Me too
Josh: That could depend on Coats.
Craig: I don't mind Coats, but I don't think anyone sees him as a long term answer to anything? Pressley wouldn't be a bad option as a RB/FB hybrid. How are his hands?
Josh: To be honest, I'm not sure. He didn't have a catch this preseason.
Chris: Coffman is obviously being groomed here.
Chris: Keep in mind, Kelly might be healthy next season too
Josh: I'm not sure he'll be back either. He's UFA after this year
Craig: I look for big things from Coffman, just not this year. Not early, anyway. I wouldn't mind seeing Kelly come back as a coach in some capacity.
Josh: Yea, he's a strong lockerroom presence. The team respects him alot.
Chris: If he still wants to play, I'd sign to a one-year at least
Craig: Absolutely.
Chris: Make him Chase's personal coach
Jake: Chase isn't going be anything like Kelly was though. He's not the blocking type. Although if he developed strength, that's something he could work on this year, that would be a bonus.
Josh: There's a lot of interesting thoughts here. But the question is, what do we do? Do we keep 3RB/2FB/3TE or 4 RB/1FB/3TB or 4RB/2FB/2TE?  I like the latter. The 4RB/2FB/2TE.
Chris: The latter
Craig: I say 4/2/2. I think that's the best way to keep the most talent on the squad.
Jake: I'd say 4 2 2
Josh: Sweet.

Josh: So who is the second fullback? I favor Pressley. Though I believe the team will go with Vakapuna.
Craig: I really think its Pressley, which means we'll lose Fui.
Chris: If the staff says Pressley is the better blocker...
Craig: Although, check that; Mike Brown is in the equation. The coaches want Pressley, but I bet dollars to doughnuts that Mike goes with the draft pick.
Josh: I wouldn't doubt that.
Craig: So are we agreed on Vakapuna then, even reluctantly?
Chris: I want the best blocker
Josh: I'm honestly not sure.
Jake: I'd assume we keep the draft pick. Pressley to the practice squad.
Chris: Then yeah, the draft pick
Craig: If he makes it there
Josh: I think I favor Pressley, but I see the team taking Fui.
Chris: Fui is supposed to be a good pass-catcher

(Josh departs momentarily)

Craig: What are your guys' plans for the holiday weekend?
Chris: I cannot wait for tomorrow. College football overdose.
Jake: Party?
Craig: I know! I have a wedding to attend tomorrow, then I'll be at the Canfield Fair all day on Sunday. Performing in a big show Sunday night.
Chris: Yes, absolutely a party
Jake: All my friends are away.
Craig: It's all right, you'll have several college athletes to keep you company!
Chris: Beer and college football. That'll be all the friends we need.

Josh: I believe the top four wide receivers are set: Chad Ochocinco, Laveranues Coles, Chris Henry, and Andre Caldwell. I think the team keeps Jerome Simpson simply because he was the team's second round pick last year. There are four wide receivers competing for that last spot. Now, do you guys believe Simpson makes the squad? If so, then who will be the sixth? I believe Quan Cosby makes it.
Jake: I think Simpson definitely makes it. He's flashed some skills.
Craig: It's down to Purify or Cosby for me if Simpson stays; which I think he does also.
Jake: I didn't see enough of the game last night to make the call if Cosby makes it
Craig: Cosby didn't do much if anything last night, but neither did Purify; if I recall correctly, anyway. Again, I missed the first half.
Chris: Simpson stays.
Josh: What about Antonio Chatman? He could be a Marvin Lewis favorite, making the squad by default. Purify's only advantage is that he has more receptions than Cosby. Cosby has none on offense, by the way.
Jake: How could Chatman possibly make it at this point?
Craig: Man. Forgot about Chatman, completely.
Josh: I don't see it either.
Craig: I think I agree. Chatman has to be out.
Jake: I mean, I guess I see that he's Marvin’s boy, but man, please, no.
Josh: Then you have Freddie Brown.
Chris: He can't stay over Cosby or Purify? Or won't I guess
Craig: Ocho, Coles, Henry, Caldwell, Simpson, Purify for Craig. Tom Nelson makes Cosby expendable/PS candidate.
Josh: They could justify that Chatman, when healthy, is the better receiver on offense. And to be honest, I would agree. However, the durability issue makes it impossible for me to keep.
Craig: I don't see Chatman outplaying Purify at this point. Not even close. Although, when healthy, yeah. I suppose.
Chris: Ocho, Coles, Henry, Simpson, Caldwell, Chatman
Josh: Wow. We're totally split on this one. I predict Cosby, only because of his punt return potential. Chris has Chatman, Craig has Purify and Jake just hates Chatman.
Chris: I have Chatman because he's Marvin's boy and has experience with the team.
Jake: I don't like any of the options at number six.
Josh: I honestly can see that, Chris.
Craig: I'd like to see Cosby stick, I really would. Maybe they practice squad Purify again if Chatman doesn't stick.
Jake: He hasn't played or practiced. No way Chatman makes it
Chris: Yeah, that's true too. If not Chatman, Cosby. But Purify is damn physical for his size.
Jake: Cosby has some good special teams utility, but I don't think he has enough to stick. Bernard Scott looked great in that kick return.
Craig: I just hate to see them maybe lose Purify. The guy's a beast physically.
Chris: That's true. More so than Cosby
Josh: So it's between Cosby and Purify. Let's take a vote.
Chris: I'm changing my vote again
Craig: He made Roy Williams look like a fool in the Oklahoma.
Chris: Damn persuasive up in here
Josh: That was embarrassing as hell for Roy.
Craig: That said, first punt return for touchdown in, what, five years?
Josh: Who was also trying to cop out of the drills with Coles.
Jake: Purify is my vote.
Chris: I voted for Cosby for punt return. But the Scott point made perfect sense.
Craig: I'm so glad I'm not making this decision for the team! Don't forget Tom Nelson's 44-yard return last week either.
Josh: Alright, Purify?
Craig: The more they're going to want to use Scott in the offense the less they're going to use him in the return game, remember.
Josh: Good point, Craig.
Chris: I hate that concept
Josh: I think Scott would be kickoff return anyway, not punt return.
Jake: If they keep four running backs, Scott won't get much playing time. We think they keep 4 RB, so Scott can return kicks and play on some third downs.
Josh: Dorsey could too.
Craig: Ah! Okay. Ocho. Coles. Henry. Caldwell. Simpson. Cosby. That's my final answer.
Josh: But the issue is punt return; Scott hasn't returned a punt yet. Cosby, in the preseason, returned seven punts and Nelson got six.
Craig: Purify to the practice squad for the second year running.
Chris: I’m back on Cosby again
Josh: OK, time for final vote.
Chris: Cosby
Craig: Cosby
Jake: I think Cosby will make it. Sorry. I want Purify.
Josh: I can see why. You're right. He is a beast.
Craig: I'd be okay with Cosby, really. We have enough talent on offense that I think the 6th WR has to contribute in other ways anyway, so Cosby is the better call the more I think about it.
Josh: I just think that Cosby brings more immediate contributions. Purify isn't a returner and I highly doubt he gets any playing time with Chad, Coles, Henry and Caldwell in front.

Josh: In 2006 and 2008, the Bengals took nine offensive linemen. In 2007, they kept eight. We can assume they're keeping Andre Whitworth, Bobbie Williams, Kyle Cook, Nate Livings, Anthony Collins, Andre Smith, Jonathan Luigs and Scott Kooistra. So we're left with one spot left.
Jake: Jason Shirley
Josh: OK, there's two thoughts here. We could go with eight and be done.
Craig: Well, if we do keep nine including Shirley or someone else, which position is left to suffer?
Josh: The issue with a ninth is that we could be cutting into the defensive roster -- which might not be a bad idea because they seem like the stronger of the two units.
Chris: Or keep eight and keep Purify. But yeah, I see the point about not hurting the defense as bad
Josh: And I disagree with Shirley. While he's literally throwing guys when blocking, I just don't think he's ready to make the roster. He's the typical Marvin Lewis project guy. I think he's still eligible for the practice squad. I think Dennis Roland has a better shot.
Chris: "literally throwing guys when blocking" Is a hard talent to ignore, even if he is a little raw.
Craig: Shirley should be eligible for the practice squad, but I'd bet good money that we'd lose him in the process, especially with him being such a mauler at guard.
Josh: I agree, Chris. That's why I think they'll hope he clears waivers. It wasn't so long ago that Marvin Lewis said flatly on Hard Knocks that Shirley's last chance to make the squad at all was to convert to the offense. In reality, the question is do you want to keep a fourth guard, or a fourth tackle.
Craig: Fourth tackle, for my money. How are we looking at Andre Smith in this equation? Are we actually talking about a fifth tackle?
Josh: That's why I think Roland's the better choice right now. Think of it this way. If Smith doesn't return soon, and god forbid, Whitworth or Collins goes down, we're out of tackles.
Chris: I need a beer
Josh: Sure, Kooistra can play the position, but he's been working mostly guard too.
Craig: I agree with you, Josh. Roland is the smart choice here.
Josh: For now at least. If Shirley passes waivers and I believe he will, and then he's signed to the practice squad, that would be the best scenario for him.
Craig: I'm cool with that. I might be overestimating, but I do worry that he won't clear waivers.
Josh: We also have Evan Mathis and Andrew Crummey. Think those two have a shot?
Craig: I'd say Mathis more than Crummey.
Josh: Alright, full vote. Between Roland and Shirley.
Chris: Roland
Craig: 2. Reluctantly.
Jake: Humph. Roland, I guess. I'd like Shirley.
Josh: I think we all would, to be honest.
Chris: Yep. Tackle will win out, however
Josh: Alright. The offense is set. SWEET!

Craig: Sidebar: Any kind of wishing we could keep Swank?
Josh: He proved that franchising Graham was kind of redonkulous. I love that word.
Jake: Swank hasn't been that impressive. But he made what Josh said true
Craig: Makes me think of Koothrapali in Big Bang Theory.

Josh: Now, historically, the Bengals have taken eight defensive linemen. Mostly it's four defensive ends and four defensive tackles. Here's what I think are locks; Antwan Odom, Robert Geathers, Michael Johnson, Pat Sims, Tank Johnson and Domata Peko. That leaves two guys.
Craig: Rucker should be in the equation probably.
Josh: Well, you got Fanene and Rucker at defensive end. Harrington too.
Craig: Right, Fanene and Harrington the tight end.
Josh: Then you have Clinton McDonald, Langston Moore and Vernell Jenkins at DT.
Chris: I'm voting Jenkins. And you all already know that
Josh: A little UK love?
Jake: Moore's gotta make it.
Craig: Moore is a good pick too.
Chris: Absolutely
Craig: So we really need one end and one tackle. Rucker and Moore?
Josh: I think Moore is the more likely pick. Does that leave McDonald on the practice squad? As for Rucker, I think Fanene beats him out. And the only reason I say that is Rucker's durability. He has none.
Chris: True
Craig: Yeah, you're right. For some reason I always forget about Fanene.
Jake: Might be hard to deny Rucker a spot though, he has quite a bit of talent and has played well.
Craig: He's one of those guys that's just solid and makes plays.
Josh: In three seasons, Rucker has only played 16 games.
Chris: Sterling
Craig: Ouch.
Josh: I like Rucker too. I mean, the dude will catch on with easily another team.
Chris: And be healthy
Craig: And be a perennial All-Pro and eventual HoF inductee.
Chris: You got it
Josh: Cincinnati karma.
Jake: Fanene has been pretty solid though when he gets playing time.
Craig: I like Fanene for his DE/DT versatility. Similar to Bryan Robinson in that regard.
Josh: Fanene has only missed two games in the past two seasons, though he hasn't been flashy. I like his versatility too.
Craig: I think this team is at the point where they need to (at least on the defensive side of the ball) put guys in place who make plays, not guys who might make plays. This defensive unit is CLOSE.
So for his solid play and durability/versatility, my vote goes to Fanene I think.
Josh: I agree. And if Rucker stays healthy, he fits that bill. But you have to depend on the guy too.
Craig: Right. That was my primary point.
Josh: On the other hand, Harrington has two sacks this preseason.
Craig: Yeah. Crap.
Chris: That's big
Josh: Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Craig: What string was he playing against?
Josh: Not much against the first team. Not really sure if he had many first half snaps.
Craig: So that's in the equation too, kind of, sorta.
Josh: Agreed. So the question between Rucker and Fanene is health. Harrington, if he passes waivers, can be the team's starting tight end and join the practice squad.
Craig: So Rucker=out. Another third round pick down the tubes (3rd?). Guys? Fanene or Harrington? All considered I think it has to be Fanene.
Josh : I'm picking Fanene, only because of the question about Rucker's health.
Chris: Didn't we establish Mike Brown likes draft picks?
Craig: lol @ the TE comment. That'll never get old.
Josh: I've cried every night in my sleep after that.
Craig: So we agree that WE want Fanene. Thoughts on what will actually happen?
Josh: I actually think it'll be Fanene. He's on his second contract right now anyway. So you know the team likes him, and Jake is right, Fanene is solid.
Craig: I'm good with that, Josh.
Jake: I think Fanene will stick.
Josh : So we went with Langston Moore and Jonathan Fanene.


Josh: In respect to linebackers, the Bengals took eight in 2006, seven in 2007, and six in 2008. The locks, I think, are Keith Rivers, Dhani Jones, Rey Maualuga, Rashad Jeanty and Brandon Johnson.
Craig: Yep.
Josh: I really liked Hodge during preseason and he's a special teams contributor. I think he backs up Dhani.
Jake: Hodge absolutely sticks. Simmons will be sure of it.
Craig: Right.
Chris: That's six.
Craig: So. Maxwell? In or out?
Jake: I dunno about Maxwell.
Josh: I think Blackstock makes it, if for any reason, he can play defensive end also.
Craig: I was going to say I think Blackstock sticks. His career-ending hit on Utecht has to count for something other than wasting another of my Bengals jerseys.
Josh: Then you have Dan Stuka.
Chris: I vote for him on name alone. That's just a badass name
Craig: We need to bring back Bjork.
Jake: Reminds me too much of Ditka
Josh: There's another issue we need to consider. Do we just keep six backers and 10 in the secondary? Or seven backers and 9 in the secondary.
Craig: Got to be 7 and 9, I think.
Chris: "What's your name, punk?" "Dan STUKA." "Oh, damn. Don't mess w/that guy." "Damn right.
Chris: I'm sorry
Josh: It's a sweet football name. Then the seventh linebacker has to be Blackstock.
Craig: Absolutely. Blackstock at #7 backer.
Chris: Yes, Blackstock
Josh: Alright, we'll go with Blackstock.

Craig: So we're on to the secondary then?
Josh : Now this will be the toughest one of the night -- and the last.
Craig: Josh, locks?
Chris: (whispers) Dan Stuka will be watching us. Remember that.
Josh: I got Johnathan Joseph, Leon Hall, Chris Crocker, Chinedum Ndukwe and Roy Williams. Now, I think Tom Nelson is a close lock -- like most everyone else, I loved his play.
Craig: Hall, Joseph, Jones, Crocker, Ndukwe, Williams, Nelson would be my locks. Personally.
Josh: I agree, so Nelson makes the team?
Chris: Who's that kid that made that huge sack against the Pats?
Craig: I don't see how he can't make the team. The guy's a beast.
Josh: Chris likes Nelson too.
Chris: Yeah, him
Craig: Nelson brings versatility as I think he could be a nickel corner also.
Chris: He's certainly got the speed for nickel
Josh: I question David Jones. Is the talent in the secondary deep enough? Is Jones worth keeping, though he didn't make any preseason games?
Craig: It depends on how confident they are with either trying Nelson there or Geoff Pope.
Josh: No thanks on Pope.
Craig: Just sayin'.
Josh: Kyries Hebert is another I like that doesn't much notice, because his strength is his special teams play.
Craig: I'm glad Fletcher is already gone so we don't have to factor him in.
Josh: No doubt
Craig: Yeah, Hebert's got to stay. Led in teams tackles last year, didn't he?
Josh: Yea. We're up to seven. What about Morgan Trent? We need to start looking at cornerbacks. We've listed five safeties already.
Craig: Okay. I think Trent sticks.
Josh: Trent makes the team. You agree?
Chris: Absolutely. Haven't seen much, but what I've read.
Josh : He hasn't been bad.
Craig: So one more. Lynch? That's another safety so maybe Lynch goes.
Josh: I don't know. This is where I think David Jones squeezes in.
Craig: Yeah, more than likely.
Josh: You could also go Pope or Rico Murray.
Craig: Jones improved over last season. No. Jones is better than either of them. Practice squad Pope again, he may be ready next year.
Josh: Jones was placed on the depth chart as the third CB at the start of training camp. Do we reluctantly agree with Jones, or do you guys think we should go with six safeties and keep Lynch?
Craig: That probably depends on Nelson's cover skills.
Chris: Three cornerbacks?
Craig: I wouldn't mind keeping Lynch around, but we definitely need another corner.
Josh: What about Marvin White. We're completely excluding him.
Craig: I'm getting a headache.
Josh: We could swap out Hebert for White.
Craig: Crap, I didn't even realize that White wasn't on our list. I think that says enough about him, though. I think White goes.
Josh: Axe White?
Craig: How do you keep him over your number one special teams guy?
Josh: I'm just not sure where he'd fit in. It would be a numbers game. On the other hand, would the Bengals elect to keep White over Nelson?
Craig: A couple of years ago our special teams squad was decimated and it took over a year to shore it back up. I don't want to see that happen again.
Chris: Better not
Craig: White/Nelson. That's actually probably the best battle happening right now on defense.
Josh: Or, we could dump a running back for another guy in the secondary.
Craig: Dump Dorsey if we want to go that route.
Josh: Dump the oft-injured Dorsey for White. Now we're getting interesting.
Craig: For me? No question. None at all.
Chris: See ya
Craig: What will Mike Brown do, though?
Josh: Exactly.
Chris: Suck. That's what he'll do
Josh: I can see that.
Craig: Son of a gun. I'm stressing about this like we have any say in the matter right now, rubbing my temples and such.
Josh: LOL. We're on the last roster spot. Here's something else to consider. Dating back to 2006, the Bengals have always taken ten or more defensive backs.
Chris: STUKA. Sorry
Craig: So we're short unless we knock off Dorsey, which throws us back into the Dorsey/Leonard discussion. I really wish he hadn't have blocked/returned that punt.
Josh: In regards to Dorsey, I'm not sure if we should use a spot on him for blocking a punt. While it's nice, it's never a certainty. And with Dorsey's skillset, we have Scott.
Craig: I know that. You know that. Bratkowski talked on this week's Hard Knocks about him blocking the field goal two years ago.
Josh: Yea, it just goes to show how fickle the coaches are on the competition.
Craig: Right. I mean, I like a punt block and touchdown as much as the next guy, but...
Josh: On another note, think about it this time last year. You know who we were discussing? Perry, Watson, Dorsey. So you're starting to favor cutting Dorsey for a 10th defensive back?
Craig: Wow. What a difference a year makes. Yes. Yes, I am. Dorsey goes, White stays for me.
Chris: I don't see them dumping a four-year player for a 10th defensive back. Just sayin'
Josh: I think it's a valid point. Do you get rid of Dorsey, who played redonkulous this preseason, for sheer numbers in the secondary? Instead of White, we could keep Lynch. Or we could keep Pope However, here's another point. How much playing time do we really expect Dorsey to get with Cedric, Scott and Leonard in front of him.
Chris: What if Cedric goes back to sucking?
Craig: Dorsey is just going to get hurt. Again.
Chris: Maybe more than it would first seem.
Craig: Chris, that's when Scott takes over.
Chris: Every down?
Craig: Leonard will share. I'm not worried about Cedric, though.
Chris: I am.
Josh: Honestly, if Benson goes down, then I think Leonard becomes the feature back and then Dorsey would be the team's third-down back. And if Benson sucks, then Palmer throws for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns. No problem.
Chris: Over Scott? Leonard.
Josh: I think Leonard has the build and style to be a feature back. Scott needs to be that change of pace guy. I would be surprised if he ever gets 15 carries this year.
Craig: LT, Josh?
Josh: You're comparing Scott to LT?
Craig: No. Just sayin'.
Chris: He's got mad skill
Josh: Hey, who knows what happens. I just don't think takes over a feature back role this year.
Craig: Okay. Does DeDe stay or go?
Chris: Stay.

Josh: Here's where we are. We have 52 players set now. We have only 9 defensive backs. The Bengals have historically taken 10 or more. We're thinking of freeing up a spot to give us a 10th, and we instinctively went right to DeDe.
Jake: I have company.
Craig: Nice.
Chris: Pics?
Josh: iPhone?

Josh: We're so close! One more... we... can... do... it... We just need to make a decision. Do we take someone out in favor of a 10th defensive back?
Craig: Okay. DeDe is long past practice squad-eligible, right? Not that it would matter, someone would snatch him up like the Colts did anyway.
Josh: You guys know that the Bengals coaches are right now talking about this.
Chris: I'm keeping Dorsey.

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