The depth chart is not worth the paper that it's printed on, says one well-known head coach in Cincinnati. And you know... he's right. The Bengals released the first depth chart 20 minutes before 11 a.m. Saturday morning and... well, nothing really. Andy Dalton is starting and Jason Campbell is the veteran sideline backup. Check. A.J. Green and Marvin Jones are your starting wide receivers. However, Jones is so slick that he is his own backup.
It's clear that the Bengals want nothing to do with depth charts.
With Marvin Jones backing up Marvin Jones, Cincinnati's first-round tight end from the 2013 NFL draft ISN'T EVEN LISTED... seven hours after the page was initially released (and counting!). Maybe Eifert is "listed" as the mythological position that combines tight ends, half-backs and fullbacks into a single entity that only demi-Gods could smite from web pages. No. Tyler Eifert is a tight end that occasionally lines up in the backfield. Quit trying to make football sound more intelligent than it really is.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis is listed ahead of Jeremy Hill, despite the latter having more repetitions and, from every indication, favoritism as the cheap and younger alternative to Green-Ellis.
More often than not, the initial release of the depth chart is an accurate portrayal of the team's eventual starting lineup. With Russell Bodine claiming his first victory lap as the "team's starting center", the amount of competitions for open positions in the starting lineup is so minimal that the training camp stories are mostly fabricated subjects that would otherwise find itself on the back page. It was much of the same last season when Kyle Cook and Terence Newman, both of whom were on second-team victims last year to Trevor Robinson and Dre Kirkpatrick respectively, reclaimed their primary jobs as starters -- but it was never really in doubt.
Lewis is right. The depth chart is meaningless. It runs the potential of upsetting players and causing distractions -- though we'd rather use the word motivation. And what's to say that the depth chart won't change every day this month? Well, it won't because Lewis isn't running to the Bengals.com web master with an updated depth chart. Can you image a sprinting Lewis, out of breath, bursting into the tech room with "OK! Green-Ellis is No. 3 now.. No. 3." "And where is Eifert?" "We still can't find him."
Meanwhile, the Bengals ditch the whole internet thing and revert back to printed copies of the depth chart.
Ah, there you are.