A series of random thoughts and opinions from around the sports world.
+ Speaking of Cobi Hamilton, there's a level of intrigue associated with the rookie receiver that Cincinnati grabbed out of the sixth round.
"Hamilton had his best season as a senior and gouged defenses with big yardage on his crossing routes," writes Robert Boyd with SB Nation's Arkansas Expats. "For his height you don't expect him to burst out of his cuts on the Wes Welker type underneath routes, but Tyler Wilson was able to build a lot of confidence that he'd be open on those routes over the course of the season as they connected 90 times. Hamilton can position himself to make the play even if it's not the best pass over the middle and then earn some extra yards with a strong stiff arm and a quick burst after the catch."
During his final season in college, Hamilton posted 90 receptions for 1,335 yards receiving and five touchdowns. With six seconds remaining in the first half against LSU in 2010, Hamilton broke several tackles (thanks to one side-winder Tiger) to score an 80-yard touchdown to help Arkansas take a 21-14 lead.
Against Texas A&M last year, Hamilton posted a season-high 11 receptions for 162 yards receiving. The prior week he killed Rutgers with 303 yards and three touchdowns.
"We thought highly of Cobi coming off of the Combine and watching game film and when we talked about him, we held him in high regard," said Bengals wide receivers coach James Urban. "We were happy to get him where he is. He's a fine player, he'll come in and compete, he'll fit into our room, work hard, play hard and do everything he can to help us make plays and help us win football games. He's got that mentality, he's a great kid and he proved himself in the SEC this past season."
Another point of intrigue. Having Cobi Hamilton and Mohamed Sanu on the field at the same time.
"You know, there’s some comparisons there," said Urban. "I know Mohamed had 115 catches (his final season at Rutgers) and Cobi had 90 catches this past season. That’s a lot of balls between the two of them when you’re talking about those guys. They both know how to play the game. They both block, they both play hard and they do things that help you win football games and that’s what attracted us to him."
+ If you're instinct is to have Adam Jones return every punt, then we respectfully ask that you hang the clinical insanity certificate higher on your wall. Expect half at most. Beyond that, Jones' primarily responsibility is as a cornerback, not a punt returner. Cobi Hamilton may seem like reasonable alternative, because, well he's a wide receiver so he must be great -- except for having never returned a punt in four years at Arkansas.
Giovani Bernard returned 16 punts in 2012, averaging 16.4 yards per return, including two touchdowns. Being the franchise leader with an average 10.1 yards per punt return, it's Tate's job to lose. Commence moaning and groaning.
+ Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis promoted his program "Learning is Cool" during an appearance at Highview Sixth Grade Center in Middletown on Wednesday.
"Everyone of us aspires to do different things in life, and you can get a great base of fundamentals here in the sixth grade," Lewis said.
Making the "A" Honor Roll twice during a school year earns an opportunity for students to celebrate at the end of the year at Paul Brown Stadium.
+ Ahmad Bradshaw remains a free agent, despite receiving full medical clearance last week. Pittsburgh, once interested, isn't anymore. Several teams used the draft to acquire running backs, vastly drying the market for Bradshaw.
Despite playing with an injured foot last season, Bradshaw still averaged 4.6 yards per rush. He'll find a team, but as a backup initially.
+ The NCAA Football Rules Committee announced on Wednesday a ban on the use of hash tags on the field. Allowed on the field, per the bulletin, is an NCAA, conference, college and team logo, commercial entity with purchased naming rights to the facility and commercial logos in respect to postseason bowl games. No hash tags.
We can breath easier now.
+ Per Jason Cole from Yahoo! Sports on Geno Smith:
"His biggest problem is that he doesn't know what he doesn't know," said a league executive, who spent extensive time assessing Smith before the draft. "I'm not sure he knows how to take instruction because he pretty much wouldn't listen or talk to our coaches … he's talented. He can sling it, he can fit it into tight spots, he can do a lot of things and I think he wants to be good. But you can't tell him anything right now. He's tuned out because he thinks he's got it all down."
You mean to tell me that a 22-year old kid thinks he can do it all? Shocked. Cole cites two sources that when Smith visited with NFL teams during the predraft process, Smith "spent much of his time on his cell phone" rather than interacting with coaches and front-office people.
"All these other players who were in there were talking to the coaches, trying to get to know people and he was over there by himself," one of the sources said. "That's not what you want out of your quarterback."
While Maturity and leadership issues may be genuine concerns, you can't help but feel sorry for him. After following a circus with Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow, Smith is asked to come in and lift a sunken ship? In New York. This won't end well.
+ It's not like the media doesn't dictate the stories. Top headline on Sports Illustrated Wednesday night? "Jerry Jones says Cowboys aren't run like country club." Not even one mention about a hash tag. At least it's not as crazy as the FOUR top headlines stories referencing Tim Tebow on USA Today.