Bengals Banter: Talking Cincy Jungle And How Andrew Whitworth Reminds Of Rudi Johnson

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 12: Andrew Whitworth #77 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on December 12 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

You know what made me laugh from a forum on Bengals.com that called us the "Pro Football Talk" of the Cincinnati Bengals? There's a hint of truth in that. Our goal for the past six years has always maintained the same philosophy, provide as much information from every source we can get our hands on. Set the table of conversation so our insightful readers can debate the merits of the topic. Provide a centralized destination for all available content that we can find, including the perspectives of others. And during the season, offer different perspectives on the team, the games and even the division.

Granted a majority of our posts are sourced from the great beat writers like Joe Reedy and Geoff Hobson right now, but at the same time, we have plenty of original content that's often buried between an average of 10-14 posts every day. Now we can only offer the same original content before turning into a broken record. How many times do you want us to convince you that A.J. Green is great, or that we know how the No. 2 wide receiver situation will pan out, that Taylor Mays is the best answer at strong safety or that the offensive line is vastly improved? Would you like more unrealistic or unsubstantiated theories that's nothing more than dribble of unlikely realities?

Because one Green Eggs and Ham's our site, meaning that they know little of our presentation (nor do they really care), electing to take a somewhat confusing stance of rivalry that doesn't exist, except from the trivial entities of boredom, doesn't really matter.

There are some facts that one should be aware of when analyzing our site however.

  • We're a blog, which is short for "web log", an evolution from "online diary". When something happens, no matter who references or sources it, we're reflecting on it.
  • All of us either have full-time jobs or are full-time students in school. We do this during our free time. We're already stretched thin juggling the website, our personal lives and day jobs (school).
  • Because of other sites dedicated to the Cincinnati Bengals, Cincy Jungle has been grouped and pre-judged which has prevented us from having credentialed access.
  • Original content and our news desk initiative are intermixed without prejudice and if you miss a couple of days, you're going to miss a lot.

All of that being said, we're one of the highest rated websites with one of the most active communities dedicated to an NFL team at SB Nation. Our stories are feed through Sports Illustrated, Google News, CBSSports.com and Yahoo! Sports (among others). So we must be doing something right, despite a mother-like defense from a nonexistent offensive.

In the end it really doesn't matter. I've always viewed Bengals fans are brothers and sisters. Sometimes there's a rivalry that develops into hatred. It's a fact of life, especially within a community at Cincy Jungle that's nearing 10,000 registered members. We've developed something and some people hate that -- maybe because they didn't offer it themselves, or maybe because they hate other Bengals fans presenting an opinion or offering a service to other fans. Who knows. But even if you hate us, it won't stop us from shouting Who Dey at you from across the world.

+ What's interesting this offseason, something we hinted at on Friday, is the Cincinnati Bengals offensive line reduction of weight over the offseason at both offensive tackle positions. Andre Smith is down to 330 pounds while Andrew Whitworth lost nearly 30 pounds, through nutrition and exercise, reaching 325 pounds -- a weight he hasn't seen since being a sophomore at LSU.

Impressive as it might be, there might be some unsubstantiated concern bred from memory. Though he admitted his struggles against the run last year, compounded by muscle loss in his leg and tendinitis, we have to wonder how much losing weight will affect his run blocking. We can assume the design to lose weight with a focus on his health is preventive maintenance, perhaps with a secondary goal of quickness and endurance.

What's troubling is that the story of Rudi Johnson sticks in my head. After back-to-back seasons setting the franchise record for most yards rushing in a single-season, Johnson decided to change his body following the 2005 season, losing weight so he can increase his quickness, turning the corner for outside runs.

The result was unintended. Instead of increasing his quickness, Johnson lost his power, becoming a rather ordinary running back (though some will say he was already ordinary, behind a great offensive line and they're more right than wrong). It didn't help that Richie Braham's career-ending leg injury gave way to Eric Ghiaciuc, but Johnson's declining power meant that he couldn't run through tackles, or even fall forward when his gap was attacked.

We're not saying that Whitworth's path will resemble Johnson's decline. Only that this story reminds us of that.

+ Joe Goodberry offers up an analysis why Armon Binns' potential as the No. 2 receiver could be limited.

+ Former Bengals cornerback Korey Lindsey found a home in Indianapolis.

+ Another former cornerback Morgan Trent, was released from Jacksonville, but claimed off waivers by the Washington Redskins.

+ SB Nation ran an offseason report on the Cincinnati Bengals with a little help from yours truly.

+ Former Bengals wide receiver Glenn Holt will be helping the coaching staff during Cincinnati's mandatory minicamp in mid-June.

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