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Thursday Morning links and notes -- Bengals look to improve pass rush

There's two schools of thought about the Browns quarterback situation.

  • The Browns could be giving Anderson the start against the Bengals because god knows that quarterbacks can sit in the pocket, scan the field and complete passes. In Anderson's case, it could build his confidence.
  • The Browns giving Brady Quinn the start, would be, well, you know the story about young quarterbacks against the Bengals defense.

Derek Anderson has two starts against the Bengals that couldn't produce results further from each other.

Date Result* Att Comp Yards TDs INT Rating
9.16.07 L, 51-45 33 20 328 5 1 121.0
12.23.07 W, 19-14 48 29 251 2 4 53.4

* result from a Bengals perspective

The Bengals have one sack and no interceptions. So Marvin Lewis, during Wednesday's practice, emphasized the pass rush. However, the issue is the bookends. Robert Geathers and Antwan Odom were signed to deals worth $63.25 million combined. After Geathers was rewarded with a six-year worth $33.75 million for his 10.5 sack performance in 2006, Geathers has recorded 3.5 sacks in the past 19 games -- his last sack came on December 15, 2007 against the 49ers. However, last season's 3.5 sack performance is partly a result of the team's experiment putting him at linebacker because of the maddening injuries the team suffered.

The Bengals have 23 sacks since 2007. The worst in the AFC.

However, both Odom and Geathers need results this year; no, right now.

"One ain't enough," Odom said. "We've got to get more pressure. We're thinking way too much. We need to relax and just go play — play like we practice. I've got a good feeling about this week. We're going to get a few more sacks."

In all, Perry's expected to have his first 100-yard career game, Antonio Chatman expects to get a touchdown on punt return and the Bengals pass rush expects to get a few more sacks. Whether or not they actually do, I think it's encouraging to see the confidence that this team is building, even though their winless in three tries.

In the 19-14 win over the Browns, the Bengals scored all 19 points in the second quarter (two field goals, 5-yard pass to Houshmandzadeh and a one-yard TD run by Kenny Watson -- two-point conversion failed). The Bengals also held Jamal Lewis on fourth-and-one at the Cincinnati 19-yard line that led to a Shayne Graham 29-yard field goal. The two touchdowns scored by the Bengals were within 1:27 left in the first half, aided by two Derek Anderson interceptions.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh chimes in on his thoughts about Andrew Whitworth (the guy that shutdown Justin Tuck) in comparison to Eric Steinbach: "I don't see the dropoff. Yeah, Steiny was a big part of it. He was here when we started winning and he's one of the best guards in the league. He and Whit are two different players. Each one does things better than the other. Whit is good. The bottom line is that Whit can play. If he keeps it up like this and we win some games, he'll be over in Hawaii."

Ask Antonio Chatman who will score a touchdown on punt return; he or Joshua Cribbs: "I've been close every game. I'll probably break one this game."

Jamar Fletcher "might play on Sunday". Mike Zimmer says of Fletcher: "He's a veteran guy who has played quite a bit. I looked at him a year ago (when Zimmer was Atlanta's defensive coordinator). He shows some quickness and acceleration. He might be able to help us."

Fletcher says, "I have been looking for the right situation. At this point, I just wanted to get somewhere and prove I can be a part of team and help them win. The situation, I saw they were needing help (and that) they are young and down in numbers. I feel I can come in and help right away. ... I don't see why I would be coming here to wait around."

Even though the Browns are starting Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn will be ready.

Geoffrey Pope cleared waivers and is now on the Practice Squad.

Jamar Fletcher was signed to a one-year deal worth $730,000.

The Bengals were 2-9 when Chris Henry wasn't in the lineup. His talent has never been a problem; though his effort has sometimes been questioned. The biggest problem with Henry is reliability.

Chad Johnson has only 88 yards receiving and no touchdowns.