We've all talked about the competition that's sure to take place at the wide receiver position before the season starts. We're all excited about it. So why am I beating a dead horse? Because there's nothing else to talk about, and because I can. Don't act like you don't want to keep reading about the Bengals wide receiver competition until you go insane. It's a great story. Compelling, and rich.
Chick Ludwig likes beating a dead horse just like I do. Out of the 11 receivers on the field now, Ludwig picked his top seven.
Here’s my "Magnificent Seven" (I use the words in quotations loosely) — Ochocinco, Bryant, Caldwell, Simpson, Cosby, Jones and Shipley.
I know what you're thinking, I'm thinking it too. I doubt that the Bengals keep any more than six receivers on the roster. Well, Ludwig addressed that too.
If the Bengals go with six, Simpson looks to be the odd man out because of his lack of special teams prowess.
Dead on. Matt Jones is too much of a deep threat to cast aside for a guy who has only one reception since he's been drafted. Jordan Shipley is too talented and along with Quan Cosby, has some special teams potential. Caldwell played well enough last year to seal his roster spot and we all know that Ochocinco and Bryant are no brainers.
That leaves Simpson as the obvious choice as the odd man out if the Bengals keep six wide receivers, especially if he doesn't prove to everybody that he's better than the absolutely zero he's been since wearing stripes.
Simpson needs to take a lesson from ex-Bengal Kelley Washington. Washington has survived seven years in the NFL (four with Cincinnati, two with New England, one with Baltimore) because he toughened up and learned the art of being a kick-coverage demon on special teams.
If Simpson wants to make the team, it would be a good idea for him to give the Bengals something other than just another receiver. Anything he can do to help the team in any way will get him closer to at least standing on the sidelines in a jersey on Sundays.
The only question: Is Simpson tough enough? I don't know.