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If Bengals Willie Anderson is playing his final home game...

I was chatting with a friend about 2008. The off-season represents two sides of one debate. Will the team remain status quo or will they make sweeping changes? Sweeping changes could include cuts to Rudi Johnson, Willie Anderson and Chris Perry. Sweeping changes could include no resigning contract players and trading marquee receivers. Sweeping changes could include a change-over in coaching personnel and perhaps a radical change in philosophy. It's noticeable when Willie Anderson starts predicting that he'll be cut and this will be his final home-game with the Bengals. It makes you think...

How retarded is that?! I love Anderson, but if his only season -- after signing an extension eliminating Eric Steinbach's chances to re-sign -- then he's either cut or forced to retire is bad. Someone bombed this, big time. We can't blame Lewis on this one either. He's not the one offering out contracts and placing priority on free agent signings -- though his input is heavily valued. This has the smell of a "loyal to fault" that hovers like a green toxic cloud over the executive offices of the Cincinnati Bengals. Loyal that you give Willie a retirement contract. Fault that you lost a Pro Bowl caliber guard over an aging past-his peak lineman. I am reminded that Willie's contract alone wasn't of equal value. Much more money went into Steinbach's contract over the life of the deal -- though how many players fulfill deals these days without being cut or handed an extension.

Oh, poor us. Right? It is what it is. We shake our heads and move on.

I think Steve Doerschuk is either employing blind homerism or he believes the Browns success this season is a better defense than the one seen in week #2.

Defense was a dirty word when the teams met Sept. 16 in Cleveland. The Browns led, 554-531, in net offense and won, 51-45.

The Browns improved on that side of the ball, not mightily, but to the extent they are the league’s No. 1 surprise team.

The Bengals, with few exceptions, kept stopping opponents in a manner that can stop a coach’s employment.

Dude, Steve. The Browns, right now, are ranked 32nd (that's last, FYI) allowing 378.4 yards per game -- they are 29th against the pass and 28th against the run. The Bengals ranked four spots higher against the rushing, total defense and five spots better against the pass. Both teams suck on defense, no doubt. Still. Steve. Dude.

That doesn't downplay what the Browns have done this year taking their season into week 16 with a chance to win the division. The Steelers' win Thursday night forces the Browns to win back-to-back games with a Steelers loss next Sunday. The point is that the division is still open.

I think everyone expected an Ohio team to play spoiler. No one in Cincinnati expected it to be us.

Losing Rudi against the Browns is big. Why? In five of the past six games, Rudi Johnson has over 118 yards rushing averaging in those games, 157 yards rushing per game.

Injury / Status Report



OUT: RB Rudi Johnson (hamstring)
DOUBTFUL: S Madieu Williams (quadricep)
QUESTIONABLE: T Willie Anderson (knee), S Dexter Jackson (calf)
PROBABLE: G Stacy Andrews (knee), WR Chris Henry (ankle), CB Deltha O'Neal (illness), DT Domata Peko (ankle)


PROBABLE: CB Leigh Bodden (back), LB Antwan Peek (ankle), DE Orpheus Roye (knee), DE Robaire Smith (back), DE Shaun Smith (back)

Practice Report

Cincinnati Bengals

Practice Wed Thurs Fri
T Willie Anderson (knee) FP FP FP
WR Chris Henry (ankle) DNP FP FP
RB Rudi Johnson (hamstring) DNP DNP DNP
G Stacy Andrews (knee) FP FP FP
DT Domata Peko (ankle) FP FP FP
CB Deltha O'Neal (illness) -- DNP FP
S Dexter Jackson (calf) -- LP DNP
S Madieu Williams (quadricep) -- LP DNP

Cleveland Browns

Practice Wed Thurs Fri
LB Antwan Peek (ankle) DNP LP LP
DE Orpheus Roye (knee) DNP LP LP
DE Robaire Smith (back) DNP LP LP
DE Shaun Smith (back) DNP LP LP
CB Leigh Bodden (back) -- DNP DNP
G Eric Steinbach (player decision) -- -- DNP
DT Ethan Kelley (knee) -- -- LP

DNP - Did Not Participate in Practice
LP - Limited Participation in Practice
FP - Full Participation in Practice

IR - Placed on IR.