The Cincinnati Bengals considered using their top-10 rookie wide receiver at cornerback.
Let that sink in for a bit.
That’s how bad things have gotten in Cincinnati, so much that even the coaches aren’t denying what normally would have been called false rumors or internet nonsense.
Hours after reports of playing Ross at cornerback emerged, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther confirmed that the Bengals, did in fact, consider using the No. 9 overall pick at cornerback...
"I know there was a report out there. At the beginning of the week we only had a certain amount of DBs we were going to have available so we tried to scour the roster and see if guys who may have played DB in college,” said Guenther. “John was one of them. We had a couple other guys we talked about taking reps at safety just in case in an emergency situation you have to have your bases covered... He joked: "I had a nice corner blitz up for him."
While we’re at it, let’s toss A.J. Green out there at defensive back too. Then they can put Cedric Ogbuehi at wide receiver since he’s still not blocking anyone.
I’m not blaming Guenther for thinking John Ross could be used as a defensive back. I blame Marvin Lewis for devaluing his top-10 rookie so much that there could ever be any consideration of using him as anything other than a skill-position player on offense.
I get the ‘earn your stripes’ approach by Lewis, but the NFL has evolved so much that you can’t just toss aside a first-round pick and not play him at all in the midst of a lost season like Lewis has done.
But Lewis did just that, and now, he’s paying for it in the midst of a 5-8 season that should be his last in Cincinnati.