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Pre-season Game #2 Pre-game Notes

Game: Pre-season Game #2 AT Buffalo
When: Friday, August 18th, 2006 at 7pm.
Television: Channel 12 in Cincinnati.

1. The offensive line has gotten some flack from Sunday?s game. I thought their effort was worthy of a first pre-season game. But let?s be honest, Washington?s defense looked real tough; top-five defense tough. The Redskins were sending wave after wave of pass rushers on obvious passing situations and Rudi Johnson lost eight yards on three carries (one draw play he lost ten-yards). .

I don?t imagine Rudi will get too many carries against Buffalo because of the scare the league got with Clinton Portis. But this rushing offense has got to do better. As a team, the Bengals rushed for 110 yards. Take out DeDe Dorsey?s two runs of 46 and 20 yards and it drops to 44 team rushing yards. Kenny Watson, Quincy Wilson, Terrence Whitehead and Rudi Johnson averaged three yards or less per rush. .

Like I said, the Redskins defense was tough. But I think our rushing offense is much better than what we saw Sunday.

2. Domata Peko, Rashad Jeanty and Frostee Rucker played well Sunday showing perseverance and quickness. Those three really made on an impression on me. Peko has that wild hair style (uh-oh Troy Polamalu), Jeanty was noted for having a successful CFL career and Frostee has a super-cool first name -- ok, so he was in the newspaper a couple of times for non-football related news. .

Robert Geathers and Bryan Robinson looked like born again defensive pass rushers. Ahmad Brooks needs to make the play without running 145 MPH past the ball carrier -- but he does run 145 MPH. David Pollack will lineup Friday -- after suffering a hamstring injury during the team's intra-squad scrimmage -- for a couple of snaps (maybe).

The defensive front showed me something. They played with vigor and attitude. I understand the major differences between pre-season and regular season match-ups. But these guys have incredible talent and motors; something the team lacked last season. So to say I'm excited about this defensive front is an understatement.

Even the news of Odell Thurman practicing now put a little pop in my step -- let's not fool ourselves, Thurman is a stud. And since the team doesn't look like they will abandon him, I say it's time to cheer a successful recovery (or rehabilitation, or whatever it is). Let's hope he's one kid that's learned his lesson.

3. I won't completely fault Anthony Wright, as some have, for Sunday night. It's not like he blew anyone away with Kenny Anderson precision. And it's not like he had fantasy guy's "laser rocket arm". Wright had seven drives to score 10 points (two points awarded to defense?s safety).

But if I were a friend to Wright, and he was sitting on my couch watching the Reds put the beat-down on St. Louis, 4-1 -- that Edwin Encarnacion is awesome! -- I would suggest, ?start off a little better, stop with those three and outs and do something about blitzes where there's no blocker." I don't expect Wright to become professor of this offense -- after all this is an offense that can score points without having Ray Lewis score more points than the entire Ravens offense. Nor do I expect Wright to say in the huddle, "I'm the man, you will listen to me." I think the leaders we already have on this team can assume that role. Three and outs will a kill an offense, sometimes for a half. You need to get those first downs to build momentum early in the game.

Like I said, I won't blame Wright for his performance Sunday night. But I will suggest not having three-and-out on the first two drives.

Why is this important? Well, the bigger question is if Palmer can't play regular season game #1 (Kansas City), then Wright needs additional snaps to get prepared. The expectation is Carson Palmer could play the first half of game #3 (Green Bay) and most likely the first team's offense in game #4 (Indy). So realistically, this could be the final chance Wright has playing with the first team offense against the opposition's first team defense.

INJURY NOTES This may change quickly but Geoff Hobson reports a list of injuries Wednesday night.

  • OUT: Jones, Willie Anderson, Carson Palmer, Chris Perry,
  • QUESTIONABLE: David Pollack (no practice all week), Brian Simmons (no practice all week), Rashad Jeanty, Deltha O'Neal (missed afternoon), Tory James (missed afternoon), Bennie Brazell (missed afternoon), Antonio Chatman, Domata Peko (missed both practices), Sam Adams (no practice) and Jonathan Fanene (no practice).

So far this week, we've seen only two cuts; Matthias Askew and Jesse Boone (4th center). The team picked up Daniel Watts (6-6 285 pound DT) who figures to head to the Practice Squad. Since he's an international player, he is exempt from the Practice Squad roster count.