Bengals ready for Dre Kirkpatrick, is he?

Dre Kirkpatrick

Dre KirkpatrickThe Bengals secondary has gotten healthier in the last couple of weeks, but they still haven’t been able to see what first-round pick Dre Kirkpatrick can do in a game.

Kirkpatrick hurt his knee before training camp and then aggravated the injury in camp. That left him with just about a week of practice before the start of the season, something he started remedying last week. He’s been a full participant in practice each of the last two days and coach Marvin Lewis sounds optimistic about where Kirkpatrick is at the moment.

“He had a good week,” said Lewis, via Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Everybody else gets two weeks of training camp and then four preseason games and then they’re ready to play in a game. He’s had about two and a half weeks of good work. It’s part of the process to get through. He has no problems, no symptoms. He’s competing and taking a lot of snaps both with the starting group and against our offense. He’s getting work on both sides.”

Lewis said that Kirkpatrick could play on Sunday against the Browns and the rookie is listed as questionable. Reedy, citing the original timeline given when Kirkpatrick returned to practice, thinks it is more likely that his debut will be back until after the Bengals’ bye in Week Eight. It doesn’t seem like too much longer before Kirkpatrick will be on the field, something that could be a boost to the team’s defense in the second half of the year. Read more…

NFL Week 2 preview, picks

Randall Cobb

Source: Andy Lyons

Week 2 of the NFL Regular Season is upon us and tonight when the Chicago Bears visit the Green Bay Packers in one of the more interesting games of the week.  Here are my non-expert picks with some explanation. Disclaimer: I went 8-8 last week and it’ll probably go downhill from here, so take this with a grain a GIGANTIC SPOON of salt.

Chicago Bears (1-0) vs. Green Bay Packers (0-1) – Does a team have a more must-win game then the Packers do in week 2?  If Green Bay loses they are 0-2 at home on the season and down two games to the Chicago Bears in the NFC North and potentially two back in the race for home-field advantage against the San Francisco 49ers. If this happens then the Staples “Easy” button will be replaced with a “HIT THE PANIC BUTTON RIGHT NOW” by ESPN, NFL Network and the rest of the media.  That being said…Winner: Packers 30, Bears 23.

Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) vs. Buffalo Bills (0-1) – The battle of the mediocre defenses, both defenses came in hyped up to take huge steps forward and both gave up 40 burgers to the Falcons and Jets, respectively.  I picked the Chiefs to win the AFC West despite having Matt Cassel as their quarterback and if I hate anything it’s someone who jumps off the bandwagon after week one.  (Spoiler: I hate myself).  Winner: Chiefs 26, Bills 21.

Cleveland Browns (0-1) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) – This will be an epic battle — no, not between the Bengals and Browns – but between two longstanding rivals – Gingers and Old People.  Ginger Quarterback, Andy Dalton, is still trying to prove that Gingers can, in fact, play quarterback while Brandon Weeden tries to bounce back from the worst debut rookie performance by a quarterback ever  after taking his Metamucil and recording his marathon of “Murder She Wrote”. Winner: Bengals 21, Browns 9. Read more…

Fantasy Football: Running Backs to grab in the middle to late rounds

We’ve given you the WR’s to grab in the later rounds of your draft, and now it’s the running back’s turn. We have chosen our list from three-tier RB’s and higher and hopefully if you haven’t finished drafting (or for some of you if you haven’t started yet), here are some backs worth grabbing in the mid to late rounds.

BenJarvis Green-Ellis-Bengals– We liked this signing as soon as it was announced as the Bengals historically, are a running team first and foremost. With only Bernard Scott and Brian Leonard as back ups, BJGE should run and run often and have his share of goal line carries. For some reason, Steven Jackson is coming off the boards before Green-Ellis and frankly, we think it should be the other way around. In the last 3 seasons, S-Jax has seen his yards fall 1416, 1241, and last season 1145. He averaged 5 TD’s over the same period, while Green-Ellis has averaged 12 TD’s over the past 2 seasons with the Pats-and that was in a time-share! In fact we like BJGE better than Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore as well.

David Wilson-Giants– The N.Y. Giants who seem to make all the right moves lately, picked the Virginia Tech star in the first round for a reason; he’s a super-fast sly running back who will provide the lightning in the G-Men’s running game. If you’ve seen any of the pre-season games, you would have noticed how he can elude tackles and pick up some nice yardage after contact. He will make a formidable RB2 and at the same time will provide insurance for Ahmad Bradshaw owners. He’ll make a nice mid round pickup.

Donald Brown-Colts– Talk about late round value, the former fist round pick out of UCONN has virtually no competition so the starting back job is Browns to lose. Rookie QB Andrew Luck will rely heavily on Brown who also has great pass-catching ability which will help all those in PPR leagues. In a back-up role last season, he had as many touchdowns (5), as Steven Jackson. It must sound like we’re picking on S-Jax, but really, we’re just bringing out a point. Snatch this former Husky late-you won’t be disappointed. Read more…

Vontaze Burfict looking good in Cincinnati

Vontaze Burflict

In the months leading up to the draft, no player saw his stock fall further than former Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who had once been viewed in some circles as a potential first-round draft pick, but who ended up not getting drafted at all. The Bengals may end up benefiting from Burfict’s slide.

After Cincinnati signed Burfict as an undrafted free agent, he proclaimed himself a steal, and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said there was no down side to signing him.

The up side is that Burfict has the talent to be a solid NFL linebacker, and Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that Burfict has done plenty to change the negative perceptions of him so far in training camp.

Burfict, who showed up to the Scouting Combine out of shape, has lost weight and looked good on the practice field, and he hasn’t been a problem child off the field, either.

Read more here…

Kirkpatrick suffers a leg injury, could be out to start season

Dre KirkpatrickThe Bengals had two first-round picks in 2012, thanks to the trade that sent a quarterback who vowed never to play again for the Bengals to Oakland.  One of those first-round picks, however, is already injured.
Though not as severe as the torn ACL that 17 years ago wiped out No. 1 overall pick Ki-Jana Carter’s rookie season before it even began, cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick is “telling associates” that he suffered a leg injury while preparing for training camp, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.

It was reported by NFL.com that the former Alabama cornerback has suffered a fractured bone in his knee, and is expected to miss at least six weeks.

The news means that he will likely miss all of the pre-season and could miss at least the first week or two of the regular season.  At that point, depending on his conditioning and learning curve, it could be the second half of the season or later before Kirkpatrick is able to be a significant contributor.

Additionally, if Kirkpatrick is not healthy enough to be removed from the PUP list by the start of the season, he will be forced to miss the first 6 weeks.  This is a huge blow to a team that still doesn’t know the status of Leon Hall and his Achilles injury. Read more here…

Pacman Jones trying to help rookies learn from his mistakes

Pacman JonesIf the NFL was looking for the best possible speaker to invite to this year’s Rookie Symposium in order to express to this year’s rookie class the wrong way to do things, they couldn’t have done much better than Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones.

Jones was the sixth overall pick of the 2005 Draft and made good on his lofty draft position in his early years with the Titans. He never fully blossomed into a star, though, because he couldn’t stay out of trouble off the field. That led to suspensions, long absences from the game and his departure from Tennessee, leaving him to continue his career as a sub corner without any of the special buzz he brought to the game when he first hit the NFL.  Read More…

AFC North: 2012 NFL season preview

The AFC North established itself as one of the powerhouse divisions of football during the 2011 season. The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers continued their normally strong play, each going 12-4 behind a strong defensive approach and team football. Even the Cincinnati Bengals got in on the action, posting a surprising 9-7 record. Let’s take a look at how each team will measure up during the 2012 season, which is now just a few short months away from kickoff.

Baltimore is the team that will be on everybody’s radar, and rightfully so. Thanks to a third-ranked defense that featured a handful of players who are All-Pro talent, Baltimore stormed its way to a 12-win season and a berth in the AFC Championship Game last season. While they fell short to a feisty Patriots team led by Tom Brady’s stellar play, they still managed to show the world that they are a contender.

Obviously the big question for Baltimore heading into 2012 is how the team will fare without linebacker Terrell Suggs, last season’s AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Many will recall that Suggs suffered a season-ending ACL injury during the offseason. Although he initially tried to claim that the injury occurred during authorized team workouts, several sources have stated that he actually suffered the injury during a recreational game of basketball. Read more here…

Pacman Jones knows he was pathetic

Pacman Jones Pic

Bengals cornerback Pacman Jones‘ appointment as speaker at the NFL’s annual rookie symposium probably drew a few eyerolls from cynics who have every right to be cynical about Jones, considering his long history of transgressions.

But the notion that Jones has turned over a new leaf isn’t a ruse. Bengals rookie cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick says Jones has already taken steps to steer him in the right direction.

“I haven’t had anything negative from him,” Kirkpatrick told the team’s website. “He doesn’t want to see me following in his footsteps. Just being around the wrong people. Surrounding myself with not a lot of positive people. Those are the things that he’s been trying to tell me.”

Jones is blunt when you ask him about his past. Read more here…

Taylor Mays could start for the Bengals

Taylor Mays Pic

The San Francisco 49ers drafted Taylor Mays with the 49th overall pick three April’s ago. They dumped him for a 2013 seventh-round pick last August. Mays is now in position to start for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Though Taylor Mays ran a forty time in the 4.3’s coming out of USC in 2010, many NFL prognosticators were down on him due to stiff hips and a lack of play-making ability. Mays runs really fast in a straight line and can lay wood when he’s locked onto a target, but he didn’t cause turnovers in college and struggles mightily in space.
According to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com, Mays “is the guy that seems to be playing the most” with free safety Reggie Nelson on the first-team defense at Bengals OTAs.

Bengals have reservations about Andy Dalton

Andy Dalton

Andy Dalton was available at the 35th pick in the 2011 draft because he has physical limitations. He isn’t particularly big, strong-armed, or athletic. And so Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden had to design creative ways to mask Dalton’s deficiencies in his first year, while maximizing the rookie signal caller’s strengths.
Gruden did a great job — particularly in a lockout-shortened offseason — but in some circles Dalton is now being billed as a future elite player. Not so fast.
“I think there’s a sense right now, for a lot of people, that Dalton’s on his way toward being a great quarterback,” NFL Films producer Greg Cosell told Yahoo! Sports. “I can tell you that those in the Bengals’ organization have a few doubts as to what his true upside is. Because at the end of the day, while I think Dalton is a good player, I think — not I think, I know — that he’s got some arm strength limitations.

NFL Draft 1st round recap: 3.0

In our third of six NFL Draft first round recaps, we take a quick analyses of picks made by the Tennessee Titans, Chicago Bears, San Diego Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals, and New York Jets. Similar to our two previous draft analyses, some of these picks were great and some picks were just plain puzzling. With that, here is our third 2012 1st round NFL Draft analysis, enjoy!

20. Tennessee Titans-WR Kendall Wright, Baylor

With the 20th selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Titans selected slick Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright. With this pick, the Titans may have changed the outcome of the rest of the first round.

A bit of a shocking selection, I projected the Titans would select Stanford offensive guard David DeCastro, the Browns would pick Wright with the 22nd pick, and there would have been a very slim possibility that the Denver Broncos would have stayed in the first round to draft Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden.

Read more here…

Burfict not a lock to make Bengals squad

Vontez Burfict

From my perspective, the Bengals had one of the top draft classes last month. Dre Kirkpatrick, Kevin Zeitler, Devon Still, Brandon Thompson, Mohamed Sanu, etc. Plenty of talent (and upgrades) for Marvin Lewis to work with this season. Burfict needs to make the most of the limited opportunities he will see as an undrafted rookie.But what about undrafted LB Vontaze Burfict? There is a lot of discussion about the ASU product. Much more than I ever expected to see for an undrafted player. His draft stock plummeted after a poor 2011 season paired with below average workouts in Indy and at his pro day. That’s enough to drop you off team’s draft boards when you aren’t in prime shape to showcase your skill set in front of pro scouts. Read more here…

Bengals see Sanu as a starter already

mohamed sanuThe Bengals need a No. 2 receiver to start opposite A.J. Green, and they may have found their man in the third round of the draft. At the conclusion of the team’s rookie minicamp, head coach Marvin Lewis said rookie receiver Mohamed Sanu looked like he had the potential to be ready to be a starter in the Bengals’ offense from Week One. “I thought Sanu was everything we expected him to be. He’s going to come in here and play as a rookie and push to start and play time,” Lewis said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. Read more here…

Carson Palmer endorses T.O.

carsonpalmerterrellowensGetty Images

At least one of Terrell Owens‘ former quarterbacks likes him. Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer, who completed 72 passes to Owens during the 2010 season when they were teammates in Cincinnati, invited Owens along for a workout this offseason with Raiders receivers Darrius Heyward-Bey and Eddie McGee and tight end David Ausberry. Palmer said it was great for those youngsters to see how an old veteran like Owens works. Read more here…