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Is the Ratliff Experience Over?

The Bengals drafted Keiwan Ratliff in the second round of the 2004 NFL draft. Drafting Ratliff, at the time, was expected to fill in glaring holes at corner back. The team, only weeks before, traded for Deltha O'Neal who had come off a terrible season. No one knew what Cincinnati would get out of O'Neal and the team desperately needed depth.

However, James earned a spot on the pro-bowl in 2004 and O'Neal did in 2005. Ratliff was the odd man out relegated to backup and nickel duties where it was expected he'd take over a starting gig.

While his expectations were high, his play has been average. I don't want to take anything away from him, but I don't believe Ratliff will be a starting corner back on this team. Heck, he's already been demoted from Nickel back -- thanks to Johnathon Joseph.

"I don't know if it affects Keiwan's role at all," Lewis said when asked to define Ratliff's job. "I don't know whether Keiwan had a role. Everyone's got to earn their role around here. ... Keiwan has done some good things, but Johnathon will be our inside corner on third downs."

So now Ratliff is the #4 corner back.

But I don't think you can argue Ratliff's team-like attitude.

"I understood the whole way what was going on," Ratliff said. "I was just trying to come out and do whatever I can to help the team.
Ata boy.