It's July! That means boating, barbeques, bikinis (not for me), baseball and braining bamp..... I mean training camp... sorry, the alliteration was getting to me. Training camp is a mere 27 days away. I'll be making my yearly trip down to Georgetown College to sit in the heat and watch the Bengals practice and maybe get a few autographs. It's a good time.
Since it's July, it's also time for us to start thinking about the Bengals depth chart. I have my guesses as I'm sure you do too. Joe Reedy made his estimation today about who would be starting at what position. Here's what he had to say.
- QB: Carson Palmer, J.T. O’Sullivan, Jordan Palmer
- RB: Cedric Benson, Bernard Scott, Brian Leonard, Cedric Peerman, Cordera Eason
- FB: Fui Vakapuna, Joe Tronzo
- WR: Chad Ochocinco, Jerome Simpson, Dezmon Briscoe, Freddie Brown
- WR: Antonio Bryant, Andre Caldwell/Jordan Shipley, Quan Cosby, Matt Jones, Maurice Purify
- C: Kyle Cook, Jonathan Luigs, Dan Santucci/Reggie Stephens
- LT: Andrew Whitworth, Anthony Collins
- RT: Dennis Roland, Andre Smith
- LG: Nate Livings, Evan Mathis
- RG: Bobbie Williams, Otis Hudson
- Lineman also in mix: Gabriel Manns (OT), Andrew Mitchell (OT), Isaac Sowells (G/OT); Reserved/injured list or PUP list: Jason Shirley (G)
- TE: Jermaine Gresham, Reggie Kelly, Chase Coffman, Daniel Coats/Darius Hill
The backslash between names signifies a position battle. So, according to Reedy, Caldwell and Shipley are going to battle for a position, probably the slot receiver. What's interesting is that he has Andre Smith listed as a back up right tackle to Dennis Roland which isn't necessarily surprising but it is very disappointing. Hopefully Smith gets on the ball (and on the field) and earns that paycheck. On to the defense.
- LE: Robert Geathers, Frostee Rucker/Carlos Dunlap
- RE: Antwan Odom, Jonathan Fanene
- LDT: Tank Johnson, Pat Sims
- RDT: Domata Peko, Orien Harris/Geno Atkins
- Other lineman in mix: Clinton McDonald (DT), Rahim Alem (DE)
- SLB: Rey Maualuga, Michael Johnson, Rashad Jeanty/Dan Skuta
- MLB: Dhani Jones, Abdul Hodge, Roddrick Muckelroy
- WLB: Keith Rivers, Brandon Johnson, Vincent Rey
- RCB: Leon Hall, Morgan Trent/Adam Jones,
- LCB: Johnathan Joseph, David Jones, Brandon Ghee
- SS: Roy Williams, Chinedum Ndukwe, Kyries Hebert
- FS: Chris Crocker, Gibril Wilson, Tom Nelson, Rico Murray
- Others in secondary in the mix: Johnny Sears (CB), Jeromy Miles (S)
No big surprise. It's basically the same depth chart of last years defense when it was healthy. The only proposed position battles are between back-up defensive backs Trent and Jones and back up strong side linebackers Jeanty and Skuta. What is really interesting to me is where Michael Johnson is going to play. According to Reedy, Johnson will be backing up Maualuga at outside linebacker. It will be cool to see what Johnsons speed can bring to the pass rush from the linebacker position. Finally, we have the special teams guys.
Position battles everywhere. We all know that Nugent and Rayner are duking it out (or kicking it out) to get the starting kicker job. Bernard Scott sealed his fate as a starting kick returner last year but Jones and Caldwell are going to fight for the other kick returner and there is a big battle between Cosby, Shipley, Jones and Nelson to be the punt returner.
The official depth chart comes out on August 2 which is only six days before the Bengals play against the Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game. I can't wait to find out what happens between now and then.