DETROIT - AUGUST 12: Head coach Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals watches the action during the second quarter of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on August 12, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Believe it or not Cincy Jungle has been around since the 2006 season with our sixth regular season approaching this September. Sixth. And of the five seasons before it, we've experienced only one winning season (2009) book-marked with two four-win seasons with an 8-8 and 7-9 season kicking off our young history. Not that we're growing bitter; we're still a chipper folk.
And throughout those years we've had an interest in tracking the 53-man roster, especially when the season kicks off. How close are we with our lock predictions? We've already released our quarterback locks with one open spot remaining. In order to make predictions, we have to have an idea of what the Bengals have done in the past. So we took the data we have since Cincy Jungle has been in existence, rounded up each season and charted how many players the team took at respective spots. And during those five years the Bengals have always taken three quarterbacks, six wide receivers, nine offensive linemen and your standard core special teams players with a punter, place kicker and long snapper. Every other position has been fluid enough, often dictated by the level of talent on that team. If the talent is low at one position, sometimes they'd add another piece to strengthen it. The roster is also dictated on the philosophy employed that year -- hence the four running backs and a full back taken in 2009.
Yet we should also point out that the final roster announcement isn't always the actual roster when the Bengals play their first regular season game. The announcement is made before teams can plunge into the waiver wire, turning coaches into kids in a candy shop. For instance the Bengals signed linebacker Anthony Schlegel days after the final 53-man roster was announced in 2007 to increase their linebacker numbers (which was a sort of premonition that year with the injuries they'd face). In the process they waived lineman Dan Santucci reducing the overall offensive line roster, while also waiving running back Quincy Wilson and defensive back Blue Adams for Clinton Dawson and David Jones respectively. During the 2008 season the team had to place Santucci on Injured Reserve after announcing the 53-man roster and signed Frank Davis to replace him. Defensive tackle Orien Harris, recently waived by the New Orleans Saints, was signed by the Bengals, who released Michael Myers; all of which happened after the 53-man roster was announced. And after the 2010 53-man roster announcement, Cincinnati claimed quarterback Dan LeFevour off waivers and terminated J.T. O'Sullivan's contract (so much for commitment). Yet some years, like in 2009, the Bengals stand firm.
That being said, let's chart the team's final (before the waiver wire) and see what the team has historically taken when forced to make a decision on the 53-man roster.
|* Andre Smith was a roster exemption.|