I like Matt Bowen's work, good reads. However, I'm not so sure I agree with his latest, responding to Chad Johnson's jabber jawing yesterday.
Check out Johnson in a story by the Cincinnati Enquirer. Here is an excerpt…. When asked about the Bengals off-field issues of the past, “No man, that has nothing to do with it,” Ocho Cinco said in the teleconference. “Think about this: You remember our ‘05 season, right? … Our ‘05 season is the year everybody went to jail and got arrested. That year everybody got in trouble. So maybe the bad (was) a good thing: It sounds dumb to say, but look at it. We have cleaned house and nobody is getting in trouble anymore, no DUIs, no arrests, now we’re getting our (butt) whooped. Maybe I don’t know - maybe I should go out, have a drink, get in trouble. I don’t know what it is. Our ‘05 was one of the best years here in history. It was one of those years where there (were) a lot of distractions.”
Well Chad, I wouldn’t worry about that, because you guys just signed ex-Bear Cedric Benson who managed to get himself in the news for everything besides football, and your buddy Chris Henry is back, who is the king of off-field incidents. So, now you get your wish. Players that teams wouldn’t even think about talking to, let alone offering real money to play football, are now in your locker room. I guess you have what you want. Nice.
Well, first off, the arrests started AFTER the 2005 season, so Chad is factually incorrect. But his point is made. Here's the catch. When the Bengals had their roster in 2005, they went 11-5 and made the playoffs. When the Bengals had their roster in 2006, they were missing key suspended players, but still managed to go 8-5 before losing three critical games that would have qualified them for the playoffs. Stupid Steelers!
With these guys, the Bengals went 11-5. Without some, still managing others, the Bengals were off to an 8-5 start. Then our morality overwhelmed us and we went 7-9 last season; including an 0-4 start this season.
This is the world viewed by Chad Johnson; and relative to those facts, in Johnson's world, this makes sense. Because obviously high-risk players are more talented, and thus more likely to succeed in the NFL. Right?
However, you and I both know that teams can acquire talent with personalities that are actually not risking an arrest each weekend. The Bengals tried to steal talent in the later rounds because, and let's face facts, they needed a ton of talent quickly to make people happy. However, the only reward for that NFL investment trick, was a team that's been set back with fundamental talent. Which, in a very real sense, is where we're at now.
My argument against Chad isn't him speaking. I don't care anymore. Half the stuff he says is at the behest of his Oil Slick agent. The other half is a personality that's both unpredictable, and, in a lot of cases, funny. Chad is being Chad, is what other players, media and fans conclude.
My argument against Chad is that he's not doing anything right now. Through four games, he has as many receptions as Reggie Kelly. If it's injury, then, all right, I can accept that. But I have a major problem with an injured player, not producing. Makes them appear selfish; rather than standing aside and letting more healthy productive players take his spot.
Cedric Benson on having another opportunity in the NFL.
"It feels good to be back on a team around a great group of guys, very accepting to me, and I'm just thankful for the opportunity," Benson said Wednesday after his first practice. "The fact they were willing to give me an opportunity said a lot about them as an organization, just the opportunity was what I liked most.
"It's going to be tough at first — new scheme, new playbook, things like that. My head is spinning a little bit, but I'll have a few more things I'll like by the end of the week."
The Bengals themselves don't see too down on themselves. Leon Hall is keeping it positive, when thinking of Sunday's game. "It all starts with (containing the) run. And then you're going to make 'em pass, and not give up those explosive plays that they really thrive on. We're excited for this challenge."
The Bengals are fourth in the NFL against the pass, allowing an average of 165.8 yards-per-game.