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Wednesday morning links and notes -- never "go against the Monster".

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An unnamed source tells WDR that the Bengals and Daunte Culpepper are "beginning talks". However, even though it's reported Culpepper left Detroit without a deal, Sean Jensen writes that he's "hearing a deal is actively being worked on". Sean Yuille at Pride of Detroit isn't so sure why the team is interested in the quarterback. However, John Clayton points out that the Lions are highly targeted on Culpepper's radar while no mention of Cincinnati was made. If the source on WDR is true, then we can only assume that Culpepper would only be signed to an eight-game contract to build for free agency next season. There's no indication that Culpepper wants to join any team in which he doesn't have a chance to start beyond this season. Otherwise, what's the point of coming out of retirement just to ride the pine.

Culpepper said of his day in Detroit, “I had a great workout and meetings with the Lions today."

Jason Shirley's retrial begins today. He's not required to appear until Thursday.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Bengals signed back safety John Busing to the 53-man roster. Busing was (likely) signed in response to Corey Lynch going on Injured Reserve.

Marvin Lewis is the lowest rated head coach in the NFL -- as per a weekly sports nation poll. Maybe the players are second-guessing Lewis. Sam Wyche: "During training camp, a player will run through a wall for you. But after a game plan doesn't work, the next time it's presented, the player analyzes it a bit more. And if it continues not to work, then you get past analyzing to questioning the game plan. The worst part of a losing streak is when the player starts to second guess you. And implicit with that, is a lack of confidence in his teammates. That's simply a byproduct of losing."

Mike Brown is the monster. Chad Johnson says:

“When my opportunities do come, I am here to make the plays. But, based off of how things have gone this year with nothing really changing about my game, injury is not an issue, my shoulder’s fine, my ankle’s fine, but for those who don’t know why I’m not getting the ball, I have my own little philosophy on what’s going on,” Ocho Cinco said.

“And I broke it down like this: Never, ever, ever, ever go against the monster, because the monster always wins. Get it? So y’all put that in your own perspective and you’ll understand where I’m coming from and why things are going the way it’s going right now.”

Everything adds up to an 0-8 record.

Marvin Lewis on Johnathan Joseph's play against the Texans:

"It's as poor a play as you can have on an NFL field," Lewis said. "We know what kind of player Kevin Walter is. He'll fight you for everything you've got. And that's what you've got to be like. You've got to be more that way than the other way, in order to win and be productive in the NFL.

Artrell Hawkins remembers 2002.