Over the five minicamp practices, Caldwell earned many rave reviews from coaches. He caught passes deep over the middle but also showed improvement on other routes.
"There's going to be some real competition which I love," Caldwell said. "The best guy is going to win and but all of us are going to be in the rotation."
Caldwell has been the best of both worlds.
Last year Caldwell caught not one, but two game-winning touchdowns. Against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Caldwell caught a four-yard touchdown with 0:18 seconds remaining to give the Bengals an eventual 23-20 win. Against Baltimore, Caldwell caught a 20-yard touchdown pass with 0:22 seconds left to give Cincinnati a 17-14 win. Without these touchdowns, the Bengals do not go undefeated in the division and it goes with good reason to believe that they miss the playoffs entirely.
To say he wasn't a big part of the team's success in 2009 is short-sighted.
On the other hand, Caldwell displayed one of the most frustrating disappearing acts last year. After recording 57 yards receiving on six receptions against the Houston Texans on October 18, Caldwell didn't record more than 35 yards receiving for the remainder of the year -- a streak of nine consecutive regular season games. Against the New York Jets during the Wild Card round in the 2009 NFL Playoffs, Caldwell caught two passes for 25 yards receiving.
We know that the kid has talent. But Caldwell runs the risk of being demoted as a fourth-string receiver with Jordan Shipley breathing down his neck. To his benefit, he knows this, working towards preventing any demotions. This is just one of the many stories we'll here with the super-anxious battle for wide receivers to make the 2010 Cincinnati Bengals squad.