You have to believe that the Bengals are pouring over sheets of the 704 available NFL players that were released or waived Saturday afternoon. While I believe that the team's roster is better than it was in 2008, I don't believe that the Bengals can afford to sit idle while potential improvements are out there. Two positions that jump out at you are Tight End and Cornerback.
Having two rookies and Daniel Coats man Tight End is risky. While I'm not suggesting they can't do the job, they might not be the best solutions this year. First, let's examine their roles. Coats, while leading all Tight Ends with four receptions for 50 yards receiving, is more likely to become similar to Reggie Kelly; blocking first, receiving second. Several times last year we pointed out where Coats' missed blocks blew up rushing plays as a fullback. It's critical he improves if he's taking on the Reggie Kelly school of blocking Tight Ends. Chase Coffman, on the other hand, is the team's best receiving Tight End. I believed that before Ben Utecht went down and the biggest bump in Coffman's road to become the starter is his ability to block; that's why Utecht was initially ahead of the rookie in the depth chart. See, if the Bengals bring in Tight Ends based on the play (run, pass), then defenses will key off that. They need both Coats and Coffman to deliver on the block and the pass -- which is why Coats is the likely starter against the Broncos.
J.P. Foschi wasn't a surprise to make the squad, simply because of numbers. He made some plays during the preseason, specifically against the St. Louis Rams. However, he's not likely a solid roster spot -- if the Bengals acquire anyone else, he's one of the first to go. He's not a better blocker than Coats and he's not a better receiver than Coffman. Could the Cincinnati Bengals look at the wires to solidify the position; more specifically, a Tight End with veteran experience?
Cornerback is another position that could be a concern. David Jones, the team's third cornerback, isn't likely playing against the Denver Broncos while recovering from a broken foot. Even though he's likely replacing Jones as the team's third cornerback this week, Morgan Trent is an unknown and Geoffrey Pope's biggest appreciation in the world is that the Bengals keep him employed. OK, so he's made some plays, but how comfortable are you with him starting if others are injured. In truth, I believe the Bengals will look at the wires to find their third cornerback. Two University of Cincinnati Bearcats are out there; Mike Mickens and DeAngelo Smith, both of whom were released from the Dallas Cowboys on final cutdown day. You have to think that the Bengals will look at hometown guys, especially the 2008 Bearcats squad that Lewis liked. Maybe a guard like Trevor Canfield, who was released by the Arizona Cardinals.
If the Bengals sign anyone off the wires, I believe that they're likely addressing cornerback and Tight End first. But don't be surprised if they replace other spots to improve their depth.