1) The Bengals should probably move on from Jason Campbell
Cincinnati's veteran backup quarterback appears to be a solid person and quality guy who can help keep Andy Dalton calm during those moments where adversity saturates the situation. Believe it or not, we're not on the sidelines to generate an informed opinion on his relationship with the team's starting quarterback. In four games played for the Bengals (all during mop-up duty), Campbell completed 11 of 19 passes for 74 yards passing with a lost fumble. Campbell added two interceptions in the preseason. Ask yourself this: If he's forced to replace Andy Dalton for a few games, do you feel comfortable about the team's success?
2) AJ McCarron won't replace Andy Dalton but should be the backup now
In saying this, I'm fully aware of its implications. It took until mid-December before McCarron practiced, joining the team via the fifth round of the draft with a preexisting shoulder injury. His qualification might not be there. We're not seeing his practices -- though it should speak volumes that Cincinnati moved him onto the 53-man roster as a third-string quarterback. And you mean to tell me that McCarron can't outperform Campbell? That said, Campbell will likely return to generate competition for the backup quarterback gig.
Here's the consequence of promoting McCarron. If Dalton struggles early in the season, there will be a controversy. Don't even fight that point. Even Mr. Smith says, "It's inevitable."
3) First-round pass rusher?
If the Cincinnati Bengals draft a first-round edge rusher in the 2015 NFL draft, does that mean we're finished with Margus Hunt and/or Will Clarke? If you're going to dictate "rotation", figure that this team highly values veteran players. So unless Robert Geathers is released, he'll get more snaps next season than Hunt and Clarke. It's alright if you have this opinion, but you should consider that the Bengals reign as superior drafters should be reconsidered.
4) Do you see any comparison with Jeremy Hill, Eddie Lacy and Marshawn Lynch?
Believe it or not, Hill weighs more than both players and has the breakaway speed to leave 'em in the dust. The one thing that Lacy and Lynch have that Hill continues to develop, is balance and elusiveness. Lynch forced 88 missed tackles while running the football, tops in the NFL. Lacy finished second with an elusive rating of 71.6 when factoring the 24 missed tackles as a receiver -- forced 73 missed tackles total.
Lynch and Lacy are two of the league's best runners when eluding tackles. We saw that during the NFL Championship game. As for the Bengals rookie, Hill only forced 36 misses with 28 in the running game. He's not there yet but the optimistic perspective that comes from being a fan says that he could day be that player.
5) Make plans for right tackle
We made this point earlier during Monday's review, but some preparatory plans should be established when considering the future at right tackle. Prior to his injury, Andre Smith struggled and the team had to sign another backup tackle (Eric Winston) because the primary backup, Marshall Newhouse, struggled. Would you consider drafting an offensive tackle this year?
Yes. You should.
In addition to the issues at right tackle, there are too many variables moving forward. Andrew Whitworth had an amazing seasons as a pass rusher but his raw power is declining (you see this in the run game). Whitworth's existing contract will expire after 2015 but we're expecting Cincinnati to re-sign him. That said, there needs to be consideration for long-term development at offensive tackle.
I've loved Ickey Woods since watching him power through defenses in 1988 when I was only 10-years-old. That being said, Woods turning into a caricature is a bit depressing.