Thursday, December 30, 2004

Kinta gets the Call

Due to Carson Palmer's injury it seems his season as the Bengals signal caller has come to and end.

Jon Kinta will take the riens of the Bengals offensive this last sunday against the Eagles.

So since it is the Eagles, look for us finishing at .500 (8-8). Since the Eagles will probably bench all the starters.

Next year will be much better.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Kitna Resolute Under Heat

by Goeff Hobson, from the official site of the Cincinati Bengals
Bengals quarterback Jon Kitna may be the lightning rod for the Bengals’ 33-17 loss Sunday to the Bills. But with Carson Palmer still questionable for this Sunday, Kitna remains resolute about his play as he prepares for a possible start against the Giants even as he told about taking heat from his coaches.

“You don’t go back second-guessing what you’re doing,” said Kitna after being involved in three turnovers that produced 13 Buffalo points. “You tweak things that you did wrong, but you have to have some perseverance. I’ve been through it all. This is nothing new for me.

“I don’t think not playing all year bothered me at all yesterday,” Kitna said. “The three turnovers I was involved in, even after watching film I don’t know if I would have done anything differently.”

Kitna said he took some heat from coaches when they challenged him on the screen pass to running back Rudi Johnson that turned into Buffalo linebacker Takeo Spikes’ 62-yard interception return for a touchdown that gave the Bills a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter.

While many observers thought the throw ill-advised because he threw it across the field as he was pressured, Kitna doesn’t think he took any unnecessary chances during a day he compiled a lowly 47.8 passer rating on 16-for-32 passing that included 151 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Kitna has argued that Spikes fouled Johnson by pushing him to the ground before the ball got there.

“My coaches are giving me a little bit of heat for that screen play,” Kitna said. “But I looked at it. When I threw the ball, my guy was standing up and we had a guy ready to block the guy who intercepted it. I guess I take a sack next time. I guess I take a sack. Because I don’t know what else you can do.”

But after hearing talk that he didn’t know the snap count, the one thing Kitna is going to change if he plays Sunday is the cadence. Kitna doesn’t think it was a problem in his fumbled exchange, for which center Jerry Fontenot took responsibility. But he thinks the cadence was an issue in false starts called on Johnson, left guard Eric Steinbach, and right tackle Willie Anderson.

“I’m not going to mess with the cadence. We’ll go on one every time so there’ll be no confusion up front on what’s going on,” Kitna said. “I’ll take responsibility for that. There was confusion where (people said) even I didn’t know the snap count, so we’ll just make it on one every time and go from there ... I’m referring to the false starts, or guys still in their stance when the ball is snapped. Those are things you can’t have. You try to work with the cadence - go on a quick count, go on a hard three - try to do those things to help and if it’s not working, go on one the whole time. Guys, I guess, weren’t used to me.”

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Team Report

from Foxsports.com
RT Langston Moore (6-1, 300) is the unsung hero of the defensive line. His low center of gravity and upper-body strength allow him to get good leverage. He doesn't generate many sacks because of his size, but he's able to hold his ground, clog the middle, help push the pile and create havoc at the point of attack.

LB Brian Simmons (6-3, 248) is a solid, all-around athlete with good size, speed and instincts. He's at his best against the run because he's strong and fast, sheds blockers well and has great range. His biggest area of improvement is against the pass. Exploited earlier this year in one-on-one coverage, he's reading and reacting quicker and getting in better position to cover backs and tight ends in the red zone.

THIRD QUARTER GRADES: Offense: B. The wide receivers and RB Rudi Johnson are in a groove with QB Carson Palmer, whose confidence is growing. Defense: C-. Poor tackling continues to haunt this unit. Special teams: B. The kicking game is strong, and the coverage units are solid. Coaching: B+. Motivator Marvin Lewis has the club at .500 after a 1-4 start.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Defense Saves Best for Last

BY GEOFF HOBSON, from Bengals.com

Deltha O'Neal celebrates after his 31-yard interception return sealed Sunday's wild 58-48 victory. (AP Photo/David Kohl)
You’ve got to remember.

When Marvin Lewis was the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens in 2000, his unit allowed an NFL-record 165 points.

So you’ll have to excuse him if he sounded a little numb after the Bengals head coach watched Cincinnati and Cleveland combine for 106 points in just 60 minutes Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.

Even if his team won, 58-48.

“Sometimes there are spurts like that, but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it continue as much as it did through the third quarter,” Lewis said of the 35-point explosion. “I looked up and there were three minutes gone in the third quarter, and there were already two touchdowns scored. But we are happy to win. We made it harder than it needed to be, but our guys kept fighting, and they made the plays.”

Defense comes up with the big play
Still, it was the defense that saved the day. End Robert Geathers protected a 51-48 lead with a drive-ending sack as he continues his late Rookie of the Year run with 3.5 sacks on the year. And cornerback Deltha O’Neal sealed it on his 31-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:43 left.

“At least," said defensive end Duane Clemons, “we were able to hold it together long enough to make those two plays. We lost our way for a little bit.”

As well as the Bengals defense has played since the Browns lit it up for 233 yards on just four plays in the Oct. 17 loss in Cleveland, it played as badly Sunday in a second half the Browns erupted for 35 points behind backup quarterback Kelly Holcomb’s 348 passing yards.

"Too many big plays and not enough good ones," said linebacker Brian Simmons. "But when we need to make a play, we get it. That's what we've been doing. That's become a trademark of our defense."

Since that day in Cleveland, the Bengals hadn’t allowed a wide receiver to catch a ball longer than 27 yards, hadn’t allowed a running back more than 20 yards on a carry, hadn’t allowed a play longer than 37 yards, and had allowed just five touchdown passes in the past five games.

But Holcomb hooked up on a 55-yard touchdown pass to wide open receiver Antonio Bryant that appeared to be a blown coverage between cornerback Tory James and rookie safety Madieu Williams. Wide receiver Dennis Northcutt caught balls of 39 and 21 yards, tight ends Aaron Shea and Steve Heiden combined for three catches of at least 20 yards and three touchdowns, and running back William Green rattled off a 46-yard run.

“Who knows why?” asked Bengals linebacker Brian Simmons. “You can’t look at that second half with any logic.”

“It was crazy. Just crazy,” said James, whose NFL-leading seventh interception with 19 seconds left in the first half proved to be one of the last acts of sanity.

Linebacker Kevin Hardy broke it down from a personal standpoint, praising the Browns for spreading out the Bengals.

“And then they were able to make good throws,” Hardy said. “They would spread it out, and widen it off a little bit and (run pass routes) then cut back behind us. I have to do a better job of getting my hands on guys and keeping them in the area.”

But Hardy had plenty of company.

“You can’t turn the ball over offensively, nor allow explosive plays on defense,” Lewis said. “We have to do a better job communicating and staying on the same page. We freed them up a lot. As I said, we have to make sure we are on the same page. That’s enough said.”

Game-saving pick

O'Neal
O’Neal said it all with the defense’s fourth touchdown of the season, one off the 1983 team record. It’s the kind of game-saving, difference-making play the defense has come up with all year and is so uncharacteristic of Bengals teams in the past. They now have 15 interceptions, one more than all of last season.

“I thought he was going to throw it in the middle because he was looking there so long,” O’Neal said of Holcomb. “At the last minute, he looked my way, so I just jumped it.”

O’Neal, flanked out on Shea on the right side, made the kind of play that always seemed to happen to the Bengals at the end of the half or game.

“It was zone coverage. It was bad judgment on him,” O’Neal said. “I don’t think he saw me in the area, or he didn’t think I could get there fast enough. It was kind of neck and neck with them. We needed to pull away and that was the perfect opportunity.”

James has been jumping on opportunities like that all year. He was all set to strip Bryant of the ball on pass over the middle as he came up behind him when the pass bounced off Bryant’s hands.

“I just grabbed it, and caught it,” James said of a play that turned into three points on Shayne Graham’s field goal with two seconds left in the half.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Warrick will Have Surgery on Shin Hurt in Opener

By the Associated Press, from ESPN.com

CINCINNATI -- Bengals wide receiver Peter Warrick, who injured his shin in the season opener, will not play again this year.

"His injury has not healed in a way that he could play productively," Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis said. "Our doctors all agree that the best course for Peter is to have a surgery that will allow him to fully recover in plenty of time for 2005."

The injury was believed to have been a serious shin bruise at first but was later diagnosed as a cracked bone.

Warrick was hurt against the New York Jets but finished the game and played the following week against Miami. He was then used in just a few plays against Baltimore on Sept. 26 and against Denver on Oct. 25.

He has 11 catches for 127 yards this season. He had 253 catches entering this season, the most by a Bengals player in his first four seasons.

Warrick is the third starter and 13th player overall to be lost for the season by the Bengals. His injury is one reason the offense has struggled under quarterback Carson Palmer. The Bengals are tied for 22nd in scoring at 18 points a game. Three of their 12 touchdowns have been scored by the defense.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Man oh man

This season is definitely not off to a good start!

How, I ask, did we lose to the friggin' Browns? That is a team we can beat.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

"Defense In Question"

No kidding. So says nfl.com:

With the Browns offense struggling to put up points on the board, this
might be a welcome relief for the ineffective Bengals defense when both teams
square off in an AFC North divisional clash on Sunday
(1 p.m. ET, CBS).
Cincinnati has given up a league high 166 yards rushing per game and 5.2 yards
per carry, but Cleveland's offense has not done much either. The unit is ranked
30th in total offense. Cincinnati (1-3) is coming off its bye week and hopes
that the time off was enough for the team to regroup. The addition of S Anthony
Mitchell, who signed with the Bengals, should also give the defensive unit a
boost. "Right now, it is not the way we had this thing put together," head coach
Marvin Lewis said. "But it is what it is right now, and we're going to get
better with it."

It's lookin' good right now: we're up by three--damn, nevermind, down by 4 at half time.


Tuesday, October 05, 2004

No!!!

Turn it around, guys!

From nfl.com:

Following last season's turnaround, the Bengals seem to have gone back to their old ways. The team fell to 1-3 on the season following a 28-17 loss to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers. After years of disappointment, the Bengals went 8-8 under new head coach Marvin Lewis last year and looked positive heading into this new season. But the team has struggled coming out of the blocks, especially defensively. On offense, QB Carson Palmer has held his own as he still tries to learn the game. "I'm not concerned with what people say," Palmer said. "I'm only worried about what the coaches and players think. I'm going about my business, trying to get better from week to week." Palmer had a touchdown and two interceptions against the Steelers, bringing his total to three TDs and seven INTs in four starts.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Ravens Teach Palmer Physics

BY GEOFF HOBSON
It took the NFL’s most intense and successful defense of this century to do it, but Carson Palmer finally looked like a rookie quarterback in his third NFL start in Sunday’s 23-9 loss at Paul Brown Stadium.

After the Ravens had pounded him physically from the kickoff to the knee and he had literally knocked heads with future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, Palmer admitted Baltimore had “confused,” him during his four turnover day...

But at least he got Sunday what David Klingler and Akili Smith never had.

A 300-yard passing game on 25 of 52 passes for 316 that he would have traded for no turnovers instead of the four...

The first thing to learn is it wasn’t all his fault. The second thing is, he wasn’t the only one confused after the Bengals rolled up the most yardage (398) against the Ravens in eight games, were two yards shy of having just the ninth 100-yard rusher against Baltimore in five seasons, were one yard shy of having two 100-yard receivers, and yet have now gone 30 straight drives and eight quarters without an offensive touchdown.

Running back Rudi Johnson, off a season-high 98 yards on 23 carries, was also buffaloed. He noticed foes had come into the game rushing 3.3 yards per carry against Baltimore but he hit 4.3, and the Bengals could manage just two field goals once in the red zone...

Wide receiver Chad Johnson was also confused and he didn’t try to hide his frustration when Palmer couldn’t find him on a couple of occasions by banging his helmet and waving his arms like a third-base coach. Johnson, absolutely brilliant against the Pro Bowl coverage of cornerback Chris McAlister and safety Ed Reed, validated his own Pro Bowl credentials with eight catches for 99 yards, but he shook his head after not being able to pop a play bigger than 23 yards.


Another Sunday, another game
Go Bengals!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Ya win some, ya lose one

So the Jets got the upper hand in our first regular season game: sure, it was a dissapointment, but the show is just beginning. Miami will be on our turf on the 19th and we'll be ready for them. Bring it on!

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Carson Is Looking Good.

I'm ready for some football: anyone else?

The Bengals will be vacationing in New York soon: they are due to stomp the Jets on September 12. Let the games begin!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

You want more

from their official site? Okay:

ATLANTA - As crisp as the Bengals were last week against the defending Super Bowl champions, they struggled just as much Saturday night here in getting waxed, 37-10, by the defending NFC South last-place Falcons.


"...getting waxed..." Unfortunately, that's an accurate description of what happened. Several important player are out with injuries. Hopefully, they can get it together before the regular season starts.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The Preseason is underway...

and I'm still very busy, so, at least for the time-being, I will be cheating a bit by posting some quotes here and there to tide over until the real football begins.

Here's a little somethin' from their official website:

Palmer to go into second half

GEORGETOWN, Ky. - Carson Palmer will get his longest stint of the preseason Saturday night in Atlanta when Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis plans to bring him back for at least one series after halftime.
Palmer seems to be getting plenty of work. His three touchdown passes are tied with Atlanta rookie Matt Schaub for the NFL lead, and his 27 attempts are fourth in the NFL. How good are NFL defenses in the preseason? It makes you wonder when Palmer’s 109 passer rating is 17th in the NFL.

PRACTICE SKIRMISH
Wide receiver Kelley Washington says he’ll be able to play against the Falcons despite leaving the field with ice on his ankle and knee after scuffling with cornerback Terrell Roberts in the aftermath of a blocking drill Tuesday morning. Washington walked stiffly after practice, but without the aid of crutches after both went down to the ground fighting.

“Those things happen when it’s physical like that blocking,” Washington said. “It’s all a part of playing football, though. You get caught up in things like that, and you have to protect yourself, and things happen like that.”

Some veterans weren’t happy with the way the two conducted themselves.

“You don’t get anything out of something like that. Hopefully Kelley’s not hurt and he can come back out, but it’s just an example of how bad things can happen when you go out there and do that,” said cornerback Tory James. “Who knows what happened, but someone has to be the bigger guy and back off.”

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Unfortunate news

From nfl.com:

The Bengals finally got their preseason exhibition rolling after waiting two days because of Hurricane Charley, which delayed their opener against the Buccaneers in Tampa. But it wasn't quite what they had hoped for as they fell to the Bucs 20-6. Quarterback Carson Palmer, making his first start for the Bengals, didn't fair well. He completed 3 of 8 passes for 74 yards. "I'm not happy with the outcome, but we did some good things along with the mistakes," Palmer said. "I felt weird, but I felt great. It's just been so long since I played in an actual game." Rookie RB Chris Perry was also a shaky. He finished with 22 yards on five attempts

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

"Switching to Palmer"

More pre-preseason news from nfl.com:

The Bengals morphed into the NFL's up-and-coming team last season, in Marvin Lewis' first stint as a head coach. A lot of it could be traced to QB Jon Kitna, who's numbers are comparable to what Tom Brady put up in New England. But with training camp set to begin, the team has put its faith in the hands of Carson Palmer, last year's No. 1 draft pick, to build on that success. "Last year, people questioned why Jon Kitna should be the starting quarterback, and he proved he was up to the task," Lewis said. "He had a good season -- not a great season -- kind of like our football team. This year, I feel strongly that Carson Palmer will be a better quarterback for us. I think he will allow our offense to do better things."

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

A Little News...

I'll go ahead and quote from nfl.com:

The Bengals morphed into the NFL's up-and-coming team last season, in Marvin Lewis' first stint as a head coach. A lot of it could be traced to QB Jon Kitna, who's numbers are comparable to what Tom Brady put up in New England. But with training camp set to begin, the team has put its faith in the hands of Carson Palmer, last year's No. 1 draft pick, to build on that success. "Last year, people questioned why Jon Kitna should be the starting quarterback, and he proved he was up to the task," Lewis said. "He had a good season -- not a great season -- kind of like our football team. This year, I feel strongly that Carson Palmer will be a better quarterback for us. I think he will allow our offense to do better things."



Monday, July 26, 2004

The Calm Before the...

Well,
'Guess there's not too much goin' on right now.  Preseason begins August 14: they'll be playing at Tampa.  After that, the guys will play three more Preseason games before Regular season starts on September 12. 

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Thanks for Visiting!!!

Hey folks, this is a blog dedicated to the Cincinnati Bengals. I plan to keep it up-to-date during the 2004-05 season and pre-season. Come back soon for content!!