For the first time this season, the Bengals activated their entire roster of linebackers. Against New England, rookie linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy sat. Against Baltimore, Keith Rivers took the day off due to injury. By activating their entire linebacker roster against Carolina, the Bengals decided that Andre Smith would be of little use to them, announcing that Smith wouldn't dress against the Panthers. Shocked, dismayed and disappointed! Smith's co-agent Jimmy Gould said:
"He was able to practice during the week, he was able to play, and he thought he was going to play, and he was told just before the game that he wouldn't play," Gould said Sunday night. "We're disappointed."
"He's worked very hard to get into shape and he's done what the team has asked him to do," Gould said. "He had the (foot) surgery when they asked him to. It was elective and he's worked hard to get the weight off while he rehabbed from the surgery. He wants very much to be at the center of the team."
Then take the bull by the horns and do it, for Pete's sake. Unfortunately, doing what you're asked to do, along with doing what you're expected to do, doesn't necessarily mean you'll be granted gifts equal to the luxuries contract you signed in 2009. After a while, you tend to be put in a position that you have to justify the cost and, well, roster spot. If Smith is to become a permanent fixture on the offensive line, he needs to win the job. And quite frankly, the coaching staff doesn't believe Smith is any better than Dennis Roland (which is saying a lot). Cincinnati is trying to get Smith to be more useful as a backup offensive lineman at tackle and at guard.
Until then, the severe disappointment that is Andre Smith continues.