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Walker: Andre Smith is on the rookie hot seat

My new best friend featured a piece on rookies on the hot seat -- no, I've never heard of that term either, but since James Walker is my new best friend, I'm fine with that. Walker's point is that through last year's Sugar Bowl suspension, to the disastrous NFL Combine and now the odd Agent vs. Agent battle that's being waged, Smith will have a lot to prove -- most of which will be resolved on the football field. I think Walker is right on this one. Trippin'.

We've been staunch supporters of Smith and believe that while he's a good kid, he's also impressionable and needs a little guidance. How he performs out of the gate won't just ease the impression people have on him, but it could go a long way as to how well the Bengals perform. He's projected as the starting right tackle, even though most of his rookie minicamp snaps came at left tackle. Clearly the most important issue this year will be how well the Bengals protect Carson Palmer. Smith is a big part of that equation.

Cincinnati lifted their middle finger to all of those that questioned the Bengals for selecting players that we're not sons of preachers. And smiled while doing it. The Bengals don't care what others think about the history of the players that they acquire. Will drafting Smith reward them? If he, and he alone, doesn't add to what he's already dealt with, this will clearly be a non-issue.