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The Bengals could already be set at D-Line and Linebacker

It was pointed out by loyal reader IgnatiusJReilly, that Eric Henderson, a hybrid DE/LB (if that's even the case) worked mostly with the defensive ends during Tuesday's OTA. Geoff Hobson projects that the Bengals will keep seven linebackers and four defensive ends. In 2007, the Bengals kept seven linebackers. In 2006, they kept eight.

If they keep eight (the higher number), we can project the following will make the team:

  1. Odell Thurman
  2. Keith Rivers
  3. Dhani Jones
  4. Ahmad Brooks
  5. Rashad Jeanty
  6. Corey Mays
  7. Brandon Johnson
  8. Darryl Blackstock

Guys like Jim Maxwell, Anthony Hoke and Dan Howell, unless they blow our freaking mind (man) will be casualties when the Bengals need to bring the roster to 53.

Now, let's presume the eight defensive linemen (a constant number in 2006 and 2007):

  1. Antwan Odom (DE)
  2. Robert Geathers (DE)
  3. John Thornton (DT)
  4. Domata Peko (DT)
  5. Michael Myers (DT)
  6. Jonathan Fanene (DE/DT)
  7. Pat Sims (DT)
  8. Eric Henderson (DE)

Guys like Titus Adams, Michael Marquardt and Antwon Burton would be the defensive line's casualties. But, as you noticed, where does Pat Sims go? As it is, the Bengals have three true defensive tackles and Fanene that's played end and tackle. He just signed a three-year deal, so we'd assume that the Bengals will dump Rucker in favor of Sims. Then where does Jason Shirley go? Obviously the Bengals won't let Odom, Geathers, Peko or Fanene go. Myers could be cut, as could Thornton (salary cap). But that's putting a lot more faith on a character guy that I believed the Bengals wouldn't take. Anyway, I removed Myers and Rucker.

  1. Antwan Odom (DE)
  2. Robert Geathers (DE)
  3. John Thornton (DT)
  4. Domata Peko (DT)
  5. Pat Sims (DT)
  6. Jonathan Fanene (DE)
  7. Eric Henderson (DE)
  8. Jason Shirley (DT)

It would seem to me, with those two units, that the Bengals are already set. Unless, of course, the underdogs start blowing people's minds. Guys like Myers and Rucker could be the first to go and the linebackers, Johnson and Blackstock aren't guaranteed a spot at all.