Sunday, August 03, 2008

Bengals - Everyone is a contender in August. Hearing good things out of summer camp. But it's the Bengals. And based on past history, it is hard to get overly enthusiastic. One of the biggest concerns I have is running back. Without a threat to run, we can have a good quarterback and all the draft picks at wide out - but not be effective as defenses can lay back and wait on the pass.

If I were a running back, I would not want to be picked by the Bengals - it's the kiss of death. Witness Kijana Carter and Kenny Irons. Both were good college backs, get drafted by the Bengals, and are injured early in their careers. This season the Bengals didn't really do anything to address running back. Perry is supposed to be back. But he has always been a promise. He hasn't played an injury free year yet. Watson is a change of pace back for third downs. So I think the biggest question mark is running back.

The defense - pretty much no where to go but up. Justin Smith is gone. So the front line will be revamped. The linebacking corp was decimated last season, but the newly drafted linebacker is still unsigned. So getting him into camp and getting some reps will be a priority.

There is plenty of depth at wide receiver - so that shouldn't be a problem. Some shuffling of the offensive line is taking place. But I think that they will be effective. At quarterback, Palmer will carry the load. So they should be able to put points on the board.

But overall I don't see the night and day changes needed to get the franchise going in the right direction. Fortunately they are in a weak division and so that is help. Get some momentum and they have a chance at playoffs. But I am not sure that this is the year.