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Friday morning coffee

Chris Henry is a talented wide receiver; no one doubts that. The doubt started when his actions, this off-season, embarrassed the team. But once practice started and the pads were strapped, we again started focusing on his awesome talent.

SPECIAL TEAMS' COACH DARRIN SIMMONS hates to be reminded of last season's debacle against Buffalo. But he's interested to "gauge" how well his players perform against the league's best special teams' unit.

"They're the best," Simmons said. "It's something we're aspiring to. To be the best you've got to beat the best. We haven't done that yet."

TMQ reviews the AFC. This is what he says about the Bengals:

Sure, it was a strange experience last year writing about the Cincinnati Bengals as contenders. And remember, despite losing Palmer on the second snap of their playoff game against Pittsburgh, Cincy led the eventual Super Bowl winners at halftime. The knockout play of that game was not Palmer's injury, rather, Cincinnati's field-goal attempt midway through the third quarter. Leading 17-14, the Bengals botched a try from the Pittsburgh 15. A 20-14 lead at that point would have been significant. Instead, the Steelers were energized, scoring touchdowns on their next two possessions. Then the clock struck midnight on the Bengals' magical season.

Other than those who might be jailed, Cincinnati returns all starters from 2005 and so should contend again. If you want Bengals tix you're too late -- all Cincinnati home games are already sold out. The Bengals of 2005 were the mirror image of the Ravens: plenty of offense (fourth in points), suspect defense (22nd in points). Tuesday Morning Quarterback does not place much score by looking ahead to the schedule before the season starts. Dates that seem like monster games in August might seem ho-hum by November, while games that seem like sure wins have a way of becoming Waterloos. Nevertheless, checking Cincinnati's schedule we observe that the Bengals' final three dates are at Indianapolis on Monday Night Football, at Denver and then playing host to Pittsburgh. That's as impressive a sequence of games as any team faces in 2006.

Bengals note No. 1: Josh LeFevre of Cincinnati was among many readers to propose TMQ resume calling this team the Candy Corns: "The Bengals look much more like giant Candy Corns running around than they look like giant Tootsie Rolls." See Page 30 of this section of the team's press guide for a five-page history of Cincinnati's constant changes in its Halloween-themed uniforms.

Bengals note No. 2: Here, the team's FAQs page explains why the scoreboard at Paul Brown Stadium will not announce proposals of marriage.

Bengals note No. 3: To speed response to the string of Bengals in trouble with the law, the Cincinnati media relations department now uses this fill-in-the-blank press release:

CINCINNATI, XX DATE. The Cincinnati Bengals today announced that player (___) has been arrested and charged with (__). Witnesses said he was also caught in possession of (__) and was waving (__). "We apologize to our fans for the (_)th time," coach Marvin Lewis said. After arraignment, the player was returned to team headquarters, "where he can be with his peer group," sources said. Hey kids! Did you know there is now a collectible series of trading cards based on replicas of arrest warrants for Cincinnati Bengals? Collect them all today!

Finally I'd like to welcome Hogs Haven -- the "unofficial Washington Redskins" blog.