In truth, I was shocked and disappointed that the Bengals signed Chris Henry back; but what exactly can anyone do about it? It's not like the Bengals listen to you, anyway; considering Marvin Lewis said pointedly that the fans "can be frustrated all they want....it's a waste of time". Though likely that was in frustration with the front office, rather than the fans or even the media -- oh, how Marvin loves Chick Ludwig. T.J. too! Is there going to be a call for another boycott? Brown paper bags? No, not likely. Mike Brown has assured a legacy that will never be endearing -- and he deserves it.
My point isn't to suggest that you have to accept the signing Henry. It never was. For the six years I've done this gig I've always wrote with a style to angle, examine and bring up any arguments for the issue and let you develop your own opinion. I'm not arrogant enough to think that my opinion is all that you're interested in. It's something I learned when I did political commentaries "back in the day" that Dave (Stripe Hype) was always so fond of -- and always agreeable.
At this point in the process, what can anyone do or say that will make the team understand why we cringed when the Bengals signed Henry, or why the nation of NFL fans laugh at our ridiculous missteps, or understand why we've demanded for almost two decades that Mike Brown reconsider the process in which the team acquires players? He won't change, he's too fond of accomplishments that few "successful" business owners ever accomplish -- a lengthy period of a failing product, and yet able to make good money. You know, like Microsoft.
Chris Henry is a small story this season accelerated and inflated by the media that's surprised it actually happened, the fans exploding anger against Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis doing an excellent job promoting hope, but failing at translating that into success on the field. There's more to this season than Chris Henry. There's always Carson Palmer, his famous receivers and an offensive line that protected Palmer so well, that they'll go down in the books for lowest sack numbers in franchise history. There's the project of continual growth (KOOL-AID ALERT) of a better-than-last year defense that we keep hoping for with this season being the most promising. There's an exciting return of Chris Perry that seems like the '05 version, a pass-catching tight end for the first time since the Reagan administration and decent depth on the offensive line. There's the promising pass-rushing tandem of Robert Geathers and Antwan Odom, or the promising secondary tandem of Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall. There's Keith Rivers and Brandon Johnson cooperating as the team's most promising WILL linebacker duo in recent memory.
Yea, I know, a lot of promising, nothing truly known. But that's my point, there's more to this season than just Chris Henry.
Marvin Lewis on T.J. Houshmandzadeh:
"I think T.J. needs more time than he thinks he needs (to be ready to play). I'll tell you that. I think for the runner, it's not quite as significant. We want to see him and make sure he can withstand it. I think for T.J., there's more to it. Things change, things have changed. When you're not out there and doing it, things move within the snap of the football, so it's important that T.J. gets some snaps going and gets going here. He's a very smart guy, he understands football very well, and understands the offense and the nuances of what we're doing very well. But until you're doing it, there are going to be some things. Now, you start working to a game plan and everything's limited and it comes down, but yeah, it's important for them to get some snaps and some time."
I'm not exactly sure how you look into this. But do you get the impression that Lewis is talking about an injury? If you were a casual fan of any NFL team, and replaced "T.J." with some unknown (let's call him Frank), would you think that the head coach is talking injury or prepping for the speed of an NFL game?
Geoff Hobson reacts to the Ludwig piece that Houshmandzadeh is "sandbagging his injury" (which wasn't something we wrote -- just responded to). "But isn't guessing about a person's integrity merely on gut instinct strike you as irresponsible?"
You guys were pretty split. Of the 99 that voted, 51 of you said that Houshmandzadeh was "sandbagging" while the other 48 said no.
Marcus Maxwell on being lost for the season:
"I'm sick to my stomach, because you think of all the hard work you put in," Maxwell said. "I put in a lot of hard work in the off-season, I made 100 percent of my workouts in the off-season. And then there's training camp, that was the hardest training camp I'd been in and then for this to happen. I felt like I had a lot of room to grow, I'm not near my max potential, that's what gets me as well. There's a lot of things mentally and physically I could improve upon. Now, it's more mental, which I know will make me a better player in the future."
I agree with those that say Joe Horn won't (and shouldn't) be a receiver in Cincinnati. He's talented, no doubt. But he's not the type of receiver that would be third or fourth on the depth chart, and be cool about it.
A season ticket holder writes to PFW in response to the Bengals signing Henry. "My only concern is the affect it may have on the players perception of Marvin Lewis – he was definitely over-ridden on this issue by Brown."
Rudi Johnson intends on keeping his starting job responding to Lewis' declaration that Perry would start if the season starts now. Johnson says, "The season doesn't start now." Touche.
However, Chris Perry is set on becoming the team's feature back. And you have to love this guy's attitude. "I want to make it so they (the coaches) have to make a decision. I want to be taken seriously.”
As long as Bob Bratkowski actually uses the running game, and doesn't freak when the team doesn't rush successfully in the first quarter, this could be the team's best core of feature backs during the Marvin Lewis era. Nah, I'll actually go out on a limb and say it is the best core of feature backs during the Marvin Lewis era.
Marcus Maxwell tore his quad muscle while working with Jeff Rowe after practice on deep routes. Maxwell worked his ass off this entire off-season, getting more work in after practice and gets hurt for the season. That's depressing irony.
The Bengals will wear black at PBS this Saturday night.
Paul Alexander says that "Eric Ghiaciuc is unquestionably the No. 1 center."
Pine Riders project the Bengals as most people are. "I have this team pegged for about 7 wins, but that 7 could easily be 8 or 9." I agree. But it could easily be only five wins, too. Or ten.
Fantasy Football experts are high on Kenny Watson this year. Matthew Berry suggests that Watson will be the team's leading rusher by gaining over 1,000 yards rushing.