After every game there are winners and losers. That's what preseason football is. These are hardcore auditions for most guys to sell themselves to the coaching staff. Now one can argue that practice is the biggest audition because the production and performance during those sessions will put players into a position to perform well earlier in the game. However every play is scrutinized; one play during the preseason can be the difference between making the team and finding work in early September. Keep in mind that this isn't a posting entirely devoted to making the roster, or losing a spot on the roster. We included some veterans that we've put on our loser list -- especially a personal favorite of mine.
Roddrick Muckelroy: Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis admitted that they weren't sure about Muckelroy heading into training camp after coming off a major injury last year. All he's done is lead the team with 17 tackles this preseason, along with a quarterback sack. Though Vontaze Burfict has won over the Bengals coaches and the fans, Muckelroy is Rey Maualuga's backup -- though Burfict is coming hard.
Dontay Moch: We conjectured earlier that one surprise roster decision could be that the team releases Robert Geathers with the intension of having Moch as a pass rushing specialist. Admittedly it puts things in a sort of bind, especially with Carlos Dunlap questionable against the Ravens and having a very weak defensive end roster against the run. That being said Moch has recorded at least one quarterback sack in every preseason game this year and the last Bengals defensive lineman to do that was Geno Atkins. Alright, the connection is a stretch. But Moch hasn't had an opportunity to fully blossom with injuries in previous seasons. He's doing what he can this year to be given that shot.
Marvin Jones: The leading receiver with 111 yards receiving and one of three players that's generated a receiving touchdown during the preseason. He's played well enough to a roster lock, giving the team confidence to abandon Jordan Shipley. We wonder if he shouldn't be given some first-team opportunities this week during practice.
Jeromy Miles: Fantastic preseason, done everything he possibly could to make a solid argument to be the team's starting safety opposite Reggie Nelson.
Trevor Robinson: An undrafted free agent signing a couple of days after the NFL draft, Robinson may have earned himself a spot on the 53-man roster for his versatility. For the second consecutive week, the natural guard came into the game with the second-team unit as the backup center. Probably one of the more quiet roster locks this entire preseason.
Honorable Mention: Would be seen as blasphemy if we didn't include Dan Skuta and Vontaze Burfict, and even Vincent Rey (second on the team with 16 tackles). Wait. We just did.
Andrew Whitworth: I'm going there. Hey. We never said anything about this being a list regarding the overall status of the roster; think of it more like trends. And if Whitworth has become anything, he appears to be continuing his slide in the running game. Notice that most of the time they're running away from him.
Leon Hall: We're sure he's still working on getting the rust out of his system after such a long recovery. But there's a little disappointment that he's not matching up well against the opposing team's better receivers. That being said he's starting to trend upward lately by making a few plays. But Hall has to do better than "making a few plays." That's not what he's paid for.
Colin Cochart: Watched the backup tight end primarily as a blocker and he was often placed in difficult situations, clearly taking on players that would be deemed a mismatch. However with the No. 3 tight end battle between he and rookie Orson Charles, we don't see how Cochart makes the team at this point.
Dan Herron: Even with BenJarvus-Green Ellis and Bernard Scott on the sidelines during the past two games, Herron has done little to rise his stock. I'm not even sure that the Bengals will waive him with the intension of signing him to the practice squad. He's run the ball 10 times for 13 yards rushing; statistics that hardly say to the coaching staff, "look at me."
Matthew O'Donnell: He's a towering beast, built much like Dennis Roland. However O'Donnell appears to require more "project time". He's a little slow-footed and appears stiff at times.