Its funny how the little decisions made during training camp can affect the outcome of a season. Who to cut? Who to keep? Decisions like say, to keep 4 TE's and go without a FB. If there is one thing that is for certain for this Bengals team, so far this season. It's that the choice to enter the regular season without a FB, has been to the detriment of the 2013 Bengals. Who have struggled to run the ball in power formations late in games, and have therefore lost the ability to effectively run play action as a consequence. The result has been a 6-4 football team, that should very well be 9-1.
During training camp and preseason, John Connor was playing lights out, and doing everything that an effective blocking FB is supposed to do. Its hard to imagine that Green-Ellis, who has proven the ability to be a serviceable one-cut back, wouldn't be having a more solid season with John Connor blowing people up in front of him. The losses to Chicago, Miami, and Baltimore are all a direct result of the Bengals not being able to pound the ball up the middle. Which moves the chains, sustains drives, sets up the play action pass, and burns the clock late in games. As well as, getting that last 10-15 yards to move the ball into FG range at the end of a game.
In football, like most everything in life, its about the little things. And it's an often used cliche that if you take care of the little things, the big things will take care of themselves. In football, the little things usually refer to giving 100% on every play, playing with your head and using proper technique, just doing your job. This is especially true of blocking. As we saw yesterday, losing the blocking of a guy like Gresham can be devastating to a team and the efficiency of its offense. Adding an all-pro blocker like Connor, would surely have been a valuable commodity for this Bengals offense. And I can't imagine than Alex Smith, or Orson Charles, have added anything intangible to this team. That Connor wouldn't have added more.