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Cincinnati Bengals Season Tickets on sale, will fans come back?;

+ Scout Inc's Ed Thompson writes, "it's hard to believe that (the Bengals) would rely on the highly unreliable Cedric Benson at the top of their depth chart." There's several things here to note. First off, acquiring a top-tier running back in the draft just wasn't priority -- there were other "needs" that had to be addressed. Second off, there wasn't a free agent out there that really blew us away. The Bengals did host Derrick Ward, but he signed with Tampa Bay. Finally off, Benson's performance in 2008 really didn't make us think he wasn't reliable; which included several endorsements from the team's coaching staff and players. So if you find it hard to believe, then you're not paying attention.

Thompson's point is that the Bengals should take a look at free agent running back Edgerrin James. No, it doesn't make sense to me either that we'd sign James to replace Benson. I would find that hard to believe.

+ The Chickster wonders if the Bengals can win the fans back, while season tickets go on sale today. Here are the home games.

Date Team 2008 Record
9.13.09 Denver Broncos 8-8
9.27.09 Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4
10.18.09 Houston Texans 8-8
10.25.09 Chicago Bears 9-7
11.8.09 Baltimore Ravens 11-5
11.29.09 Cleveland Browns 4-12
12.6.09 Detroit Lions 0-16
12.27.09 Kansas City Chiefs 2-14

+ Paul Daugherty thinks you shouldn't buy season tickets to "make your voice heard". But I question one thing. If the Bengals had a General Manager this year, what would have improved? Generally speaking, the Bengals were considered to have a very good draft. Their free agent acquisitions are considered to be beneficial. What would have a general manager brought to the team? I know. I know. I accepted this offseason as being quality, so I'm putting off the general manager talk, or in other words, I was placated. So what. I still would like to know. What would have a general manager not named Mike Brown done better?

More links and notes.

Cris Collinsworth dreads replacing John Madden on NBC's coverage of Sunday Night Football.

Joe Reedy wonders "who will have sworn more on HBO – defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer or Al Swearengen from Deadwood?" If you've seen Deadwood, then you appreciate the hell out of the reference.

Photos from the Marvin Lewis Charity Golf Tournament, where four scholarships were awarded. Roy Williams was quoted as saying about Hard Knocks:

"It is what you make it. You see the cameras around but they become almost like family after awhile," Williams said. "Trust me, during the dog days of training camp you're not going to be worrying about the cameras. You're going to be worrying about how tired you are and how sore you're body is."

Kevin Huber will make an immediate impact with the Bengals, writes Michael Lombardi.

Most writers are ranking the Bengals very conservatively. They're admitting that while they had a good offseason, the Bengals still have to prove an improved ranking on the field. I'll submit that they're right. The Bengals have to prove it. Pat Kirwan took a leap and ranked the Bengals 19th -- the highest ranking we've seen by the mainstream media.

Quarterback Carson Palmer is back under center, and he has weapons to throw to as well as a revised offensive line. If rookie Chase Coffman is healthy, Palmer gets the receiving tight end he hasn't had before. The defense worked its way into the top half of the NFL last year, and got better with the additions of Tank Johnson, and rookies Rey Maualuga and Michael Johnson. Chad Ochocinco could potentially disrupt all the positives that are happening in Bengals country.

Let's see. New MMQ. How many Bengals references? None. Thank goodness.

Clark Judge says that one of the Bengals moves/non-moves was one of the biggest gambles this offseason.

The Bengals lost T.J. Houshmandzadeh, so it figures that they keep Chad, right? You must be joking. Once this guy got a pass because he produced big catches and lots of touchdowns. Not anymore. He didn't have a 100-yard game a year ago. In fact, his best performance was 79 yards, and in all but three of his performances he couldn't reach 50. Plus, he scored four times. So it tied for the team lead. Big deal. This guy won't go over the middle and is a locker-room nightmare, a sulking prima donna who can't cut it anymore. I don't care that he once was a deep threat. He's more a threat now to the future of Marvin Lewis and the Bengals. Get rid of him.

The 2009 NFL Salary Cap increased by another million to $128 million.

One justified reason that the league shouldn't increase the regular season beyond 16 games, is that many of the records would be re-written.

So before playing the San Diego Padres, the Reds were momentarily tied for first place with a 20-14 record. Three days later, the Reds are 20-17, three games behind in fourth place. They return home tonight for a nine-game homestand, starting with the Philadelphia Phillies, the Cleveland Indians and the Houston Astros. The concern? The Reds are tied for the second-least amount of wins in 2009 with seven.

The final two hours of 24 are on tonight. You watching? I'm stoked. The season finale of Lost was awesome. Fringe was interesting, to say the least. Heroes was really disappointing. I can't wait for tonight. Only a trade of Chad Johnson will pull me from the television.