We know that lists are designed to generate conversation and will always be subject to interrogation.
Developed in acknowledgement of the rookie seasons that quarterback Andy Dalton and A.J. Green are having, the Cincinnati Enquirer provided a list of the great rookie performances in professional sports in Cincinnati (i.e., Bengals and the Reds). The list is basically a who's who in Bengals and Reds history. And generally speaking the players mentioned deserve every acknowledgement.
But there is an area we have an issue with:
There's no defensive players on the list.
Of the ten Bengals players listed, six are wide receivers, three running backs and a quarterback. During Lemar Parrish's rookie season, the cornerback returned a punt and a kickoff back for a touchdown on special teams and then you factor in the five interceptions and two fumble recoveries. James Francis posted eight quarterback sacks in 1990, a safety and a pick-six. Justin Smith posted 8.5 quarterback sacks and two interceptions.
Carlos Dunlap breaks a franchise record for most quarterback sacks by a Bengals rookie, posting 9.5 sacks within an eight-game stretch last season. He fell one short of tying Ndamukong Suh, who went on to win the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Perhaps their rookie seasons weren't as good as the one's the Enquirer listed. Well. Tim McGee, listed as one six wide receivers, only recorded 16 receptions for 276 yards receiving and a touchdown. Jordan Shipley nearly tripled McGee's production in their respective rookie seasons.
Like we said, most of the guys on the list should be recognized for their contributions. But it's hard to believe that 43 years of Bengals football didn't turn in one noteworthy defensive rookie performance.
Bengals: RB Corey Dillon, WR Darnay Scott, WR Carl Pickens, RB Ickey Woods, WR Tim McGee, WR Eddie Brown, WR Cris Collinsworth, WR Isaac Curtis, QB Greg Cook, RB Paul Robinson
Reds: Joey Votto, Scott Williamson, Chris Sabo, Tom Browning, Pat Zachry, Rawly Eastwick, Johnny Bench, Tommy Helms, Pete Rose, Frank Robinson.