The offensive line didn't get the validation it had hoped for, largely being blamed for the team's lack of production against the Denver Broncos. Specifically, Anthony Collins was singled out after allowing two quarterback sacks; both of which killed respective drives. Nor was it apparent that the Bengals rushing offense was all that effective when the team only called seven rushing plays in the second half (though we could lay off Collins a bit on that front). Later that night, questions of Andre Smith's return intensified (return? When has he been here?). That wait could take us into (at least) October, writes Joe Reedy:
Smith probably won’t be on the practice field for another week or two, but is comfortable with the progress he is making.
“I’m leaving it up to Coach Lewis and the staff (about when I’ll be back on the field),” Smith said. “It’s going great to get the full breakdown of the playbook and watching all the film.
“Everything happens for a reason and I have to take it for what it is. Let it be a bump on the road and not the end of the road.”
We like his spirit, but not his chances. Even if he does return to the field, he'll likely need some time to get into game shape. One has to wonder, coming to camp as overweight as he was, that he'll have to work with the team's training crew to get back into shape. And we're not just talking about working out in the gym; we're talking conditioning drills that prepares guys for football games. If you put a gun to our heads and asked us to guess on his return, we'd totally do this awesome wrist breaking move and retake the situation (big ups, Jack Bauer). After that, we'd tell you that we don't see Smith starting for this team until after the November 1st bye week. And I hope it's soon so we can actually have new pictures of Smith to post with these stories.