Recently Josh wrote up an article about Jermaine Gresham being listed as one of Mel Kiper's players that could have a breakout season in 2011. Kiper picked him with good reason. Gresham is a beast - and I don't mean that figuratively, I mean that he is literally super-human. Humans are simply not supposed to be able to be 6'5" weigh 260lbs and run a 40 yard dash in 4.6 seconds. They are not supposed to be able to jump 35" from a standstill or snatch a ball out of the air that's 10' above the ground. Neither are they meant to be able to leap over tall buildings and shoot laser beams from their eyes (I dare you to prove to me that he can't do these things). Yes, Gresham could definitely have a breakout year in 2011.
Then again, he's not the only one.
There's fresh air that's blowing through the locker room of the Bengals organization (and when Andre Smith shows up after an early morning trip to Old Country Buffet, fresh air is definitely needed). Carson Palmer is going to be hanging up his pads in a new city next year if he hangs them up at all (maybe he'll bring his talents to South Beach?). Chad Ochocinco will probably be shoveling his pile of bull manure on another team. And Bob Bratowski ... well Brat just stunk.
Jay Gruden's new WCO offense is bound to freshen things up a bit - not that we should expect a top 10 season offensively, but at least it will be something new. New means that Jerome Simpson might not be riding the pine next year. New means that Bernard Scott might actually be utilized for his specific talents. New means that Gresham might not have to accumulate 3/4 of his total yards after the catch next year.
But my question, which player is going to benefit the most from the newness? Which player is going to break out?Let me qualify my terms. When I say breakout, I'm talking about the guys who have been on the team at least a year and haven't gotten a chance to realize their full potential yet. Therefore, I'm excluding all the rookies who just joined the team and all players who have had ample touches and opportunities.
Maybe one of the receivers? There's been much ballyhoo about Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell who came on strong at the end of last season - both of whom have been itching for a chance to crack the starting lineup. Both guys are fast and could easily take advantage of an offense that's going to feature getting yards after the catch (YAC). Or maybe it's Jordan Shipley's short area quickness and Texan rapport with Andy Dalton that's going to bust out. One thing I'm pretty sure about - with the addition of A.J. Green, there won't be enough passes to go around for all three guys to excel.
Then there's Bernard Scott, who never seemed to get enough touches in the grind-it-out system employed by He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named - despite the fact that he averaged 4.9 yards per carry in 2010 (a full 1.4 ypc more than Benson). Scott, who was a featured pass catching back in college, might also thrive under Gruden's new system.
And of course, our TEs. I already talked about Gresham, but what about Chase Coffman? Is there space for him to blossom on this roster?
Anthony Collins? None of us know why he hasn't been starting at RT. Does he get his opportunity this year?
I'll let you decide this one. With all the fresh air that's blowing through the Bengals organization this year, who stands to benefit the most?