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Is Jordan Shipley The Leading Candidate As The Slot Receiver?

Let's get all of the familiars out of the way. Bengals passing game reached a peak in 2007, after being one of the more efficient passing units in football back in 2005. After that, injury, lack of deep talent, Eric Ghiaciuc, and all sorts of really unlucky things happened.

The Bengals passing game since 2005
  Yards Passing ** Att Comp Pct. Avg Yard/Pass TDs INTs
2009 3,134 477 286 59.96% 5.7 21 13
2008* 2,677 513 303 59.06% 4.3 11 15
2007 4,131 575 373 64.87% 6.8 26 20
2006 4,066 523 327 62.52% 6.9 28 13
2005 3,935 538 362 67.29% 6.8 32 14
* Palmer played only four games in 2008
** Gross Yards Passing, which doesn't include quarterback sacks.

Either way, with the Bengals having improved their talent at wide receiver and tight end to give Palmer the looks, and provided that Ken Zampese's prophesy that Palmer will answer his critics, this team will have an improved passing game. Blah, blah. We've said it countless times and quite frankly we're at the point of wanting to see it translated on the field.

Now, with the familiars out of the way and the point of this post: James Walker, hanging out with the team in Georgetown, writes glowingly of Bengals rookie wide receiver Jordan Shipley.

He is not the biggest player or the fastest, but there is something about Shipley that continues to stand out in camp. He has even caught the attention of Ochocinco, who said early that the rookie has potential.

Shipley seems at home in the slot. He has a knack for getting open and has sure hands and good ball security in traffic once the catch is made. The Bengals are very deep at receiver this year, so it's questionable how big a role Shipley could have. But for now he's making the most of his opportunities.

It could be argued that Shipley is beating out Andre Caldwell and Antonio Bryant's injury opens the door nice and wide for the Texas product seal his position as the team's slot receiver. Yes, we need to see this in the game and frankly, we've heard little about Andre Caldwell; especially after Lewis called him the most improved player during the offseason.