Historically speaking the Bengals often divide equally the number of players on both sides of the football. There are circumstances that makes sense to take an additional offensive player at the expense of the defense; like in 2009 when the defense was expected to outperform the offense, so the team took 26 offensive players. Vice versa in 2006 where the offense was expected to outperform the defense, so the defense had a 26th player when the final roster was announced before the league's deadline to reduce the roster inside the 53-man limit.
And through our first week announcing roster locks -- which is more about confidence on which player makes the 2011 roster than predictions -- we've already targeted 17 players on the offensive roster. That gives us eight players to play with and if we're that bold, we could take a 26th for the offense due to the same reasons outlined above when the divide between the offense and defense wasn't so equal.
In the meantime we'll aim for 25 players on offense, with positions that still need to be filled at third-string quarterback, fourth-string running back, a starting full back (yes, yes, Chris Pressley), two backup offensive linemen, two backup wide receivers and two backup tight ends. Wait, that gives us 26. So do the Bengals take a fourth running back? Now this gets fun.
Quarterback (2): Andy Dalton, Bruce Gradkowski [Link]
Running Back (3): Cedric Benson, Bernard Scott, Brian Leonard [Link]
Full Back (0): [Link]
Offensive Line (7): Andrew Whitworth, Bobbie Williams, Kyle Cook, Andre Smith, Anthony Collins, Clint Boling, Nate Livings [Link]
Wide Receiver (4): A.J. Green, Jerome Simpson, Jordan Shipley, Andre Caldwell [Link]
Tight End (1): Jermaine Gresham [Link]