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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bengals Preseason Wrap up

For most teams the preseason record can be thrown out. The team that they scrimmaged tonight, the Colts, are noted for not faring well in the preseason. But unfortunately for the Bengals more than any other team the preseason is a fair gauge of how they will do in the regular season.

Preseason is time when questions are answered. It’s a time for veterans to get the dust off. But for the Bengals preseason is raising more questions. Who will be healthy on opening day has got to be the biggest question. Chad Johnson’s shoulder – how bad is it really? Is he one body slam to the turf away from ending the season? Will Rudi Johnson’s hammy be healed enough to play anytime soon? Housmanzadah also has been absent from the field. A lot of the key skill position players are nursing wounds.

Carson just hasn’t hadn’t shown us very much in the preseason. The offense has been flat for the most part. Perry has shown some signs of coming around. But I don’t know that he will be carrying for 1200+ yards in a season. He just hasn’t show the durability and I don’t know that he is a runner that you pound in between the tackles with. Tonight the back up quarterback Fitzpatrick showed that he could be a worthy backup and Glen Holt snagged some passes – making his case to be that third receiver.

The defense has played passably. I would say it shows signs of being at least an average defense. Not going to be a shut down defense, but one that can make a play and keep the other team out of the end zone every once in awhile. Defensive line applied good pressure got some sacks, but I don’t think that the Colts played very many starters.

Turmoil seems to follow the Bengals. Can’t we just play football??? First Chad Johnson in the offseason. And the signing of Chris Henry after stating that character counts – we don’t need players like that on our team. What a hypocritical 180. What is that going to do to the discipline on the team? Then the rumor about trading Rudi Johnson for a receiver. I can’t believe that other NFL teams would want him for any receiver of value – lackluster season last year + injured this year. So I discount that as a rumor. But all this churning and turmoil – it just can’t help the psyche of a team. What is their mindset going into the season – Are they focused warriors ready to battle on Sunday, or are their minds swimming with all of these distractions?

So in summary I think you can see where this is going. Too many negatives and not many positives. Prediction for the season is for sub-.500 year. I hope everyone heals, Rudi finds his groove again, and Palmer gets the eye of the Tiger. But you have to step away and face the facts – the team hasn’t improved enough from last season and may even have backslid. Paper bags anyone?

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