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We're talking retirement

The Enquirer's Paul Daugherty writes up a great piece on the retiring Rich Braham. Daugherty calls Braham the "toughest Bengal", a "pro's pro whose own welfare never meant as much as the success of the team."

Doc continues

He is the greatest good player the Bengals ever had. Braham never made the Pro Bowl, but every time he missed playing time, the Bengals' offense killed time awaiting his return. The midseason funk they endured this year came partly because Braham wasn't there to make line calls and keep everyone straight. Said Willie Anderson: "Defenses couldn't confuse Carson (Palmer) because they couldn't confuse Richie."

I think we all expected Braham's retirement soon. But we always said, "next year" with the hope that phrase could be used dynamically (and loosely) each season.

So with Braham leaving, it establishes Eric Ghiaciuc as he heir apparent -- who's earned that distinction.

"Well, again, we're going to evaluate how we are at the end of the year and try and continue to develop what we do for the future," Lewis said. "Eric's gone in there and we've held up. We've won football games he's played. He contributes. He's a tough guy. He's here. He's a very hard worker. He's all of those things (Braham) is - he's just got to gain the experience (Braham) had."

Speaking of retirement, there's constant whispers that Bill Cowher will retire a few days past Sunday. Now, as a Bengals fan extraordinaire, I can't think of anything better than a loss as a going away present. Can you?

It's a dirty job, and Braham did it well [Enquirer]
Leg injury ends Braham’s career [Columbus Dispatch]
Win total's only stat that matters [Enquirer]
Bengals try to focus on Steelers [Enquirer]
Bengals want to keep focus on Steelers, not playoffs [Columbus Dispatch]
Game, not retirement, on Cowher's mind [Enquirer]