The Cincinnati Bengals might have some inside intelligence on the New York Jets this weekend. Granted, it might not be much, but it could be enough to change whatever tide that this monsoon offers when Sunday's game comes to an end.
Former Jets quarterback Greg McElroy suffered a mild knee sprain during the preseason. Rookie quarterback Matt Simms made his first start in the preseason finale, offering enough of an argument for the Jets to keep Simms and not McElroy as the team's third quarterback -- Mark Sanchez was already hurt but the Jets were unclear for how long.
When the preseason dust settled, the Jets released McElroy and the Bengals signed him to their practice squad in early September.
The Jets aren't worried.
New York's defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman told reporters this week that whatever intelligence McElroy has is "overrated".
"Don't give that too much credit," Thurman said via ESPN. "I left Dallas after eight years and went and played in St. Louis and couldn't remember jack. Don't put too much stock in that. It's overrated. It really is.
"One word change or one color or one number and all of a sudden what Greg McElroy told you don't mean jack," Thurman said. "It's overrated."
On the other hand, could McElroy's knowledge of the Jets offense help the Bengals defense? Rich Cimini with ESPN writes:
McElroy was exposed to Marty Mornhinweg's offense for only five months, but believe me, he knew it cold. Mornhinweg may have to change his audibles, because you can bet McElroy will be sharing his intel with the Bengals' defense. He also spent four months with Geno Smith, so he knows his strengths and weaknesses. I'm telling you, McElroy has a chance to be a general manager some day -- if he's not in politics or working college games for ESPN.
McElroy is the same guy that head coach Rex Ryan described as the "smartest guy in the building, because he is" only a few months ago. If the practice squad quarterback helps the Bengals beat the Jets this Sunday, the Bengals will offer an argument in the intelligence ring.