I've gone through the first four seasons of The Wire waiting for the fifth season box set this week. The show is tremendous, focusing on different aspects in Baltimore's crime culture. The first season dealt with the drug trade. The second season dealt with the ports -- basically allowing drugs into the country from overseas. The third season dealt with the city's bureaucracy and the fourth season dives into the Baltimore school system. I've been recommending it to anyone that hasn't seen it -- you don't have to buy it, but it's a good rent. Those that I find who have seen it, are generally very big on the show. Until I get the fifth season, I decided to go through all seasons of The Sopranos -- I haven't seen an episode prior. Great show. In the past two years, I've become really impressed with HBO's original programming -- sports, dramas, etc... I was a big fan of Rome and enjoying the newest show, Generation Kill.
A quick site note: I will be here, on this site, when Monday's game takes place. Join me to talk about the game, point out things that otherwise go unnoticed, and just enjoy ourselves.
On to today's news, notes and links.
Rashad Jeanty is suffering from a knee injury while Chad Johnson appears to be ready for the Packers cornerbacks Monday Night.
The young Bengals cornerbacks are pushing each other to get better and appear as the two most critical aspects on this year's defense.
One of the biggest things we're watching for this pre-season is which number three wide receiver will step up. Offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski is still waiting on that person: "Time is going to tell. We'll make the decision based on consistency over time."
Jason Shirley on the expected "hurricane" over the Brett Favre saga while the Bengals play in Green Bay: "That has nothing to do with the Cincinnati Bengals. That's a Green Bay thing." Well said.
Andre Caldwell missed Saturday's practice because of soreness. Marvin Lewis said he'll play, but Bob Bratkowski isn't so sure.
An NFL issue of the 80-man training camp/pre-season roster is developing into a mainstream story. David picked it up this weekend. In all honesty, I don't even understand why it's necessary to have any roster limits during the pre-season. Why not let team's go unlimited and force down to 53-man roster rules by the first week of the regular season? If owners choose to pay more minimum contracts for players unlikely to make the roster anyway, why not let them.
The issue is that 80 players is such a low number, that coaches reduce practices, while worrying about veterans (aka, those that make the most money) getting dinged up with minor injuries that usually occur this time of year. More players means more positions will be covered so some veterans, already hurt, aren't pushing themselves to help the team. Another point of view is that the low number limits opportunities for other players prompting some to push the idea of a development league after NFL Europe folded.
But don't they have one? Don't teams cherry-pick players from the CFL? And don't players go to the CFL when the NFL door has closed? I know it's not reality, but it's always been there, and most CFL players jump at an invitation to NFL training camps. Some will say that the CFL is just too different -- which is, I suppose, somewhat true. But football is football. High school football is different than college. College football is different than professional. However, the same basic principles are there. Run the ball, pass the ball, kick the ball, and blow up the offense.