Round Table: Roster Battles

Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

The Cincy Jungle crew sits down and discusses possible roster battles to take place this offseason.

What talented player do you see getting cut when the Bengals come out with their 53-man roster at this point in the offseason?

Josh K. You have to account for players recovering from significant injuries last year. Travelle Wharton suffered a major injury, plus the team drafted backup-level interior offensive lineman. Has to be at considerable risk, but not for his talent or the lack of room, rather his ACL.

Anthony C.
I see some of the recent "project" and/or "reclamation" guys getting the axe--namely Aaron Maybin and/or Dontay Moch. With the additions of fourth-rounder Sean Porter and veteran James Harrison, as well as the possible addition of Thomas Howard, that makes for a crowded LB corps. I know that Moch is also looking to latch on as a defensive end (which I think he's a better fit for), that's a crowded position as well. You could see other guys like Jamaal Anderson, Bernard Scott and maybe Robert Sands on the outside looking in.

Josh K. Jamaal Anderson is a good one, Anthony. Can't see him making the roster, especially if they're trying so desperately to keep Dontay Moch on the roster.

Jason G. I personally see Bernard Scott on the outside looking in. Selecting Giovani Bernard, who can be a change-of-pace back and a third-down back may have sealed Scott's fate. If he had been able to produce more over the last few years, that may not have been the case, but I'm thinking the Bengals may have re-signed him just in case they didn't get their guy in the draft. As far as defense, I could see Jamaal Anderson, Dontay Moch and Aaron Maybin as well as Jeromy Miles getting cut.

Josh K. I wouldn't discount Scott so quickly. He only has to out-perform Daniel Herron and Rex Burkhead; not necessarily an impossible task

Anthony C. I have a question for you guys: do you see Devon Still and Brandon Thompson as able to adequately fill the void left by big Pat Sims. I know I get killed for being a Sims apologist, but he was an effective part of the defensive line rotation and the two second-year tackles have big shoes to fill (literally and figuratively).

Josh K. When Sims was healthy and playing, the Bengals held opposing rushing offenses to nearly a full-yard average (per carry) less than when he was out, while the team also won 14 of the 20 games he played over the last two years. Hard to dispute one way or the other, though indirectly of course.

Anthony C. Right. I'd argue that that's pretty hard evidence, though others have routinely dismissed it. Regardless, I think he's going to be missed as their run-stopping specialist. I don't have a ton of confidence built up in Still or Thompson yet, as they barely saw the field in 2012 as high draft picks.

Josh K. Nor would you really. They're not going to replace Domata Peko nor Geno Atkins and guys like Robert Geathers and Wallace Gilberry slide inside during rush situations.

Jason G.
To answer AC's question: I'm not so sure quite yet. I think Still and Thompson have the potential to fill Sims' shoes, especially if they stay healthy, but losing Sims as a run stopper could hurt the Bengals. Hopefully the young guys are up for the task.

Josh K. Thompson weights .95 units of an Andre Smith.

Anthony C. Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com echoed my sentiments when we hosted him on last week's "Who Dey Weekly" that he wasn't sure (nor am I) that the Bengals will keep a fullback in 2013. thoughts?

Jason G.
With both Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert as well as Orson Charles and maybe even another tight end, they could move to a one-back system with a lot of double tight end sets. I would prefer they keep a fullback, though, because they don't a great blocking tight end like Reggie Kelly anymore.

Josh K.
They're raging hard-on to revamp the rushing offense again suggests that they will. Why would they lessen the position with an H-back-type tight end?

Anthony C.
I personally can see them using Alex Smith and/or Orson Charles in an H-Back/Fullback role. Charles filled in at the end of the year when Pressley went down. Why do you think it would lessen it, per se?

Josh K.
Maybe, but they still signed John Conner. It's a natural order of things. The last time they went without a full back was a disaster.

Mickey M.
I hope they keep the fullback

Josh K. If you put all of the tight ends and Chris Pressley in a lineup, Pressley is the best blocker by far.

Mickey M. I would like to know thoughts on the receiver position. Who makes the cut and who starts opposite AJ?

Josh K. Mohamed Sanu.

Mickey M.
That is my hope, kid is good

Josh K. I could see a rotation too. Maybe a Marvin Jones between-the-20s scenario with Sanu the opposite red zone threat.

Anthony C. I wish it was a more established veteran opposite A.J. with them mixing in Sanu, but it will be Sanu. I also think that they'll split out Eifert wide opposite Green and mix Hawkins and Sanu in the slot.

Nick S. Eifert will be your wideout on the goalline opposite of AJ Green is my guess

Jason G.
I also think Sanu will be the team's No. 2 receiver as long as he's healthy. I could also see them moving Green around, though, with both Gresham and Eifert on the field. I think Jay Gruden has the potential to get really creative this year. Whether he will or not remains to be seen.

Nick S.
Sanu can play the slot in the redzone

Josh K.
Just keep in mind how effective this offense was before, during and after the Mohamed Sanu experience. When he went down for the season, Andy Dalton was an upset stomach away from throwing up the season.

Jason G.
Yeah, luckily Marvin Jones was able to fill in and play well enough to move the ball down the field. But I don't think Jones is a No. 2 receiver.

Josh K.
I think there's a misconception too. Just because you're the flanking wide receiver opposite of A.J. Green, doesn't make you the No. 2 either.

Nick S.
agreed

Jason G. Here's a question, do you think Orson Charles struggles to make the team with the addition of Tyler Eifert, or do you think it's Alex Smith that possibly gets cut.

Josh K.
So we're writing off poor Richard Quinn?

Jason G.
haha

Nick S.
I don't know why they signed Alex Smith honestly

Anthony C.
I think that they keep all four, but that goes into my thinking about the lack of a fullback. I'd be really upset if they gave up on Charles so soon. I think he has a lot of skills and would bring some good things to this offense.

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