+ The Bengals want to gain momentum through the running game, after generating only 14 yards rushing against the Pittsburgh Steelers, writes Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“We do have to try to establish some kind of running game going into the playoffs. That would be nice,” offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said. “We had some good looks for some runs, we just didn’t quite get the movement or the run lanes we had hoped for.”
During the previous five games, from Week 11 (Chiefs) and Week 15 (Eagles), the Bengals rushing offense had generated games of 189, 221, 128, 146 and 157 yards rushing, setting an average of 168.2 yards, winning all but one.
+ The New York Times praised A.J. Green in an impressive perspective that promotes the superstud receiver as the anti-diva, a humble and hard working receiver that takes nothing for granted -- not even his own talent. It's a great piece.
Choosing his favorite catch as a Bengal would figure to be a strenuous exercise for A. J. Green, what with the one-handed miracle at Kansas City, the double-coverage touchdown against the Steelers and that end-zone fade in Denver all vying with a few other candidates.
Alas, it is not.
His answer tumbles forth without pause: a 21-yarder along the right sideline with eight seconds remaining last Sunday in Pittsburgh. That catch, on “just a simple corner route,” drew Cincinnati within field-goal range for Josh Brown, whose kick secured a 13-10 playoff-clinching victory.
“Doggone it,” said James Urban, the Bengals’ receivers coach, who laughed and shook his head when told of Green’s selection. “That’s him, man. That’s why we love him.”
+ Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis sees the benefits of using an indoor practice facility after the team was forced to use one last week during Wednesday's snowstorm.
"I think going inside did what we needed to do and that was being able to get out and run and do things and the guys didn't have to fight through the elements like we did last week," Lewis said. "I didn’t want to alter our schedule. I thought it was important to keep things the way we were and stay on track. But I thought it was worth the 10-minute ride on Wednesday and it worked out well for us.
"Yesterday I chose to stay here and today was a good day. It keeps our guys in the early schedule, it gets them out of the building a little earlier. We get the physical time and mental time and yet we're able to get out of here an hour and an hour and a half earlier and it's good for the coaches, too."
We're fairly certain that this isn't a new discovery for Lewis. More like a public quote about the benefits for others to hear, such as the Bengals front office?
+ Per Dan Pompei, a Chicago Bears beat writer, newest Bengals receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, who figures to be more of a special teams player in Cincinnati, needs a "short, quick passing game" with an "accurate passer who is a quick decision maker."
+ Michael Silver with Yahoo! Sports talks about the roadblocks facing black offensive assistants becoming head coaches, citing Hue Jackson several times.
+ During his weekly picks, giving the Bengals a 24-16 edge over the Baltimore Ravens, Peter King with Sports Illustrated names the Bengals as of the two most dangerous Wild Card teams this year.
+ If you're a Buckeyes fan, check out this recruitment speech by Bengals DB coach Kerry Coombs.