Cincy Jungle's own Jay McDonnell does another fantastic job examining and breaking down the Cincinnati Bengals regular season schedule. He released the second part of a four-part series on Wednesday night. His first part, through the first four games, can be viewed here.
+ Since Chris already brought this up earlier today, at about the time that I was munching on a Taco Salad (god, I love Taco Salad), he posted the popular Carson Palmer quote:
"It's definitely a new look for the Bengals receiver corps but I couldn't be happier with the guys we've got," Palmer said. "T.J.'s (Houshmandzadeh) gone and Chad's pretty much gone, he hasn't been here, so we've got guys that want those two spots, guys that compete day in and day out, when we're out there on the field, running, conditioning and in the weight room lifting. They're guys that want to take over for those two spots. They look every bit capable of doing what we're going to ask them to do."
Yes. Yes. Yes. Let's take away the whole Chad aspect for now. I'm really tired of talking about him. He's like that little headache that doesn't go away. Last summer, I developed a corn on my foot. It kind of hurt, but mostly I felt it enough just to know that it was there. Took over-the-counter medication and weeks scraping the damn thing with a large kitchen knife to get rid of it. Note, I don't advise it the method. Just saying it worked for me. Long story short, that's been Chad Johnson for us since January in 2008.
But Carson. Carson Palmer. The God of Golden Arms. The Creator of Human Civilization. The only guy that Gisele Bündchen would dump Tom Brady for. For a time, the knock on Palmer was leadership. Publicly, at least. He always said the right things. Always kept things close to the chest. Then he goes awol from his historical tendencies and says, "Chad's pretty much gone." Nice. He's not being confrontational. He's just telling us how it is.
In truth, Palmer has every right to say that. And there's nothing there to suggest differently. Palmer is the leader of the Cincinnati Bengals. And a leader challenges those that need to be challenged, and speaks truth. When Palmer speaks, you listen. When Palmer says something, you know it's true. In case you're wondering, my bromance for Palmer is very strong; we didn't get to talk about him last year. I love our John Morrell spokesman. Unfortunate advertising photo though. How do you not see that and go, "wait a second." Oh well.
When asked what his expectations about Ochocinco this season were, Palmer said: "Well, I really don't know. I haven't talked to him. I haven't talked to anybody that has talked to him. He wasn't here last year so I'm expecting him not to be here at all this year. Last year I think he was here for the mandatory camp but didn't participate in it. So I'm planning on him not being here just because he hasn't been here yet so we'll prepare, like I said.
"We've got Chris Henry ... He's a guy that's had a great offseason, really turned his life around. I'm excited to watch him play. He's a guy that seems like he catches a touchdown every other ball that's thrown to him, he's that explosive. He's kind of taken over for Chad's position and he's a guy that, like I said earlier, does not want to give up that spot right now."
+ At 4:20 p.m. -- holler cousin! -- Geoff Hobson writes that while the Bengals released Digger Bujnoch (Iggy sad), the team still has to cut five more players in order to get under the 80-player maximum for training camp. And for you Digger fans, I'm sorry. I can't muster up enough words to actually justify a full post on it. However, you have to ask yourself, considering that "Digger" can only mean digging dirt, do we really want our linemen on the ground digging (Iggy mad)?
+ What is it with people that think the Bengals should go after Michael Vick? Not fans. Or readers of this blog. It's fun for us to pal around the debate. That's what fans do. I'm not referring to any of them. I'm referring to mainstream media that's paid to create intellectual debates, reasonable thought-provoking responses. So now my former new best friend writes:
Although the chances aren't great, the Bengals would have more reasons to have interest in Vick than any AFC North team. For starters, Carson Palmer is coming off a season-ending elbow injury, and last year proved it would be wise to have a talented backup just in case. Second, the thought of having two former No. 1 overall picks at quarterback is intriguing, especially since Vick's skills are vastly different than Palmer's, and Vick could add a dimension off the bench (Wildcat?) to Cincinnati's offense. Third, it's no secret that owner Mike Brown has a soft spot for players trying to redeem themselves and get their lives back in order. Vick fits that mold more than anyone. Fourth, the Bengals need to close the talent gap with the Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers this year. That partly explains the moves to get veteran receiver Laveranues Coles and safety Roy Williams in free agency. With Vick, the ratings for HBO's "Hard Knocks" series this summer would go through the roof.
Look, I'm not even going to point out Vick's off the field issues (boy, that's a generous term, eh?). Let's just talk about how he could possibly contribute to the team. He hasn't thrown a regular season pass since 2006. He was just released from prison this week. He'll be under home confinement for two months working a construction job. Not only is the question about him being in football shape, after a two-plus year hiatus, relevant, but so is the time allowed for him to get into shape for this season. Learn the system. Rebuild his throwing arm.
Look, if the question is 2010, that's a different response. But former new best friend is clearly pointing out this year. Vick can't help us. And the Mike Brown "has a soft spot for players trying to redeem themselves" is totally weak. True, Brown has done that in the past; but only with players that he feels that will contribute to this team. Like Cedric Benson on a disastrous group of running backs. Or Tank Johnson on a weakened defensive front. Even Chris Henry was brought in with the anticipation that T.J. Houshmandzadeh would leave and Chad Johnson's status up in the air. After that, the team's wide receivers were a mix of rookies and players with durability concerns. We're not talking about rookies the team drafts. We're talking about players off the street. And I have no reason to believe that Vick helps us, or any other team this year.