View Full Version : Bengals Roster

06-06-2014, 11:04 AM
Jake Liscow @Jake_NFL · 25m
Hey guys, @PFF did another list on ESPN! Where does your team's roster rank? (Insider) http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11012674/nfl-ranking-rosters-all-32-teams …

Jake Liscow @Jake_NFL · 24m
Spoiler for the #Bengals followers: They rank 7th, behind NE, PHI, NO, DEN, SFO, and SEA.

Calling on Jason, and his insider account. :)

06-06-2014, 11:12 AM
I can live with that list.

06-06-2014, 11:13 AM
I'm curious to read their reasoning on New England. Not that the New England roster is bad, but IMO I see it largely as a team being carried by its QB and coaching.

06-06-2014, 12:37 PM
Jake Liscow @Jake_NFL · 23m
No glaring holes on the Bengals roster. Question at DE, C, LB. And then there's Peko, about whon CIN coaches and PFF just disagree.

06-06-2014, 12:40 PM
CINCINNATI -- Often this offseason we have discussed how the strength of the foundation of the Cincinnati Bengals' roster.

Because of that firm, deep and experienced base, the Bengals really didn't need to focus this spring on drafting and signing players who could shake up the starting ranks. Free agency and the draft are two areas where the Bengals have mostly been slammed for a perceived lack of action, but truthfully, they didn't have much action that needed to be taken.

Why? Because again, they have a rather strong returning roster from a team that has been to the playoffs each of the past three seasons.

Our friends at Pro Football Focus certainly believe so. In its 32-team rankings Insider the Bengals were tabbed as having the league's seventh-best roster. For a team that brings back the majority of its starters after finishing third in total defense and 10th in total offense, the ranking makes sense.

The rankings were compiled by PFF, which is known for its position rankings. Last month, PFF also published its version of the league's top 101 players. Bengals A.J. Green and Vontaze Burfict were in the lower tier of the rankings, but Pro Bowl offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth came in at No. 9. He was praised for his athleticism and versatility in playing both tackle and guard last season. He moved from left tackle to left guard after starter Clint Boling suffered an ACL injury with five weeks left in the regular season.

In the team-by-team roster rankings that are linked above, PFF used its analysts to grade each team using a color-coded system to rank projected starters. Elite players got blue colors, followed by good players who had varying shades of greens. Average and below average players were paired with yellow and orange, and poor players were red.

The Bengals had two players with blue codes: Whitworth and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins. One player, defensive tackle Domata Peko, earned a red. The rest were a mix of the greens, yellows and oranges. The Bengals had more green-coded players than other teams, including the No. 8 team on the list, Green Bay.

Because of what Cincinnati has coming back, it makes sense that it would have a top-10 roster. They have few question marks in the lineup and are not forced to start rookies and other inexperienced players like many teams. Second-year players Giovani Bernard (running back) and Tyler Eifert (tight end) are the youngest starters, and both made valuable contributions as rookies. Bernard's goal-line fumble in the playoff loss to San Diego was costly, but he showed enough promise to earn the light-green status from PFF.

PFF projects Bernard to be the No. 2 running back behind BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but notes the starter at running back is primarily a name-only designation in Cincinnati. Bernard likely will get the bulk of the carries this season, but Green-Ellis, rookie Jeremy Hill and reserves Cedric Peerman and Rex Burkhead will also get carries. The Bengals will be sharing the load in the backfield instead of using one premier back.

PFF's biggest question revolved around quarterback Andy Dalton. Monson wrote that if Dalton wasn't so inconsistent, the Bengals might have been ranked higher. Dalton isn't simply an average quarterback who does average things. He is at times a really, really good quarterback who also has a knack for doing boneheaded things. His stretch of 11 touchdown passes in three games coincided with the back end of a four-game winning streak last October. However, his back-to-back three-interception games just after that winning streak led to a pair of ugly midseason losses.

The bottom line: the depth is there. The experience is, too. PFF got this one right. On paper, Cincinnati has a top-10 team. The question is, will that translate to the field?


06-06-2014, 12:43 PM

06-06-2014, 12:44 PM


• So just how average is Andy Dalton? The answer – not very average at all – in fact the only thing that is remotely average about him is where his grade finally settles at the end of the year after bouncing about like a rubber ball all season. Indeed, it’s been a trait with him since his rookie year and, if anything, the peaks and troughs are becoming more pronounced. This year his top four games netted him a +21.9 while his worst four graded -18.5.

• I’m just guessing here but I assume most people’s issue with this depth chart will be the lack of an “elite” grade for A.J. Green. As receivers go he’s as physically talented as anyone not named Calvin Johnson but he doesn’t always play to that level and his 11 dropped passes indicates a lack of concentration, not dodgy hands. Another thing to note is that no WR had as many passes thrown at him intercepted (12). Now some of that is clearly on Dalton, but all too often it’s easy to blame the quarterback when the receiver has run the wrong route. Just have a look back and see how you’d attribute blame on each.

• Khaled has a view that Danieal Manning has been brought in to start, but I’m not so sure. As much as I like Manning I think his best position is playing deep, not letting anything get behind him and making sure tackles. Last year, with the Texans ill-judged decision to bring in Ed Reed to play that role, it brought Manning much closer to the line of scrimmage and he looked far less comfortable. The Bengals (at least in Zimmer’s system) like to play both safeties interchangeably and the current incumbents (Reggie Nelson and George Iloka) both seem better suited to that than Manning.

Roster Battles

1. Center

With Kyle Cook now released, some feel Mike Pollack will be used as center but I feel he’s more guard cover, particularly with Clint Boling recovering from a late season ACL. Pollack has only played 14 snaps at center in the NFL and although Trevor Robinson has never done anything so far to win the job, it could well come down to him and fourth-round draftee Russell Bodine for the honour.

2. Strongside Linebacker

Although I’d like to see Vincent Rey given a chance to make the middle linebacker position his own I think the Bengals are too invested in Rey Maualuga (emotionally if not financially) to make so radical a change. However, they know what they have in Rey now so this position makes some sense. That said, Jayson DiManche will also be given a shot to compete but I think this is Rey’s to lose.

3. Left Cornerback

Since Dallas let Terence Newman go he’s played better than either of his replacements and his late season slump in 2011 with that team looks like something of a blip. However, playing better than both Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne (on current form) doesn’t scream Pro Bowl and he is 35. Darqueze Dennard is the heir apparent and the only question now is will that be this year or next? Obviously training camp will be key and the need to avoid another Dre’ Kirkpatrick scenario paramount.


06-06-2014, 12:46 PM
Really can't disagree more with Peko's ranking in this graphic.. I'm not sure PFF understands what a NT (or 1T) in the 4/3 is :star:. Peko is an excellent anchor/run defender. I have a hard time believing Zimmer would call a "below average" player "outstanding" and "the best nose tackle I have ever coached".

06-06-2014, 05:40 PM
ESPN's Insider:

7. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals roster would probably find itself even higher if it wasn't for the quarterback position.

If Andy Dalton were just an average quarterback (as his color-code suggests) the team could probably work with it, but his problem is he lurches wildly from stud to disaster on a weekly basis, never lasting more than a couple of games in either state. His grades in 2013 range from a +7.2 to a -6.6, and those games came just two weeks apart.

Outside of QB, though, the roster is in great shape. The receiving corps is strong and deep with the emergence of Marvin Jones. Meanwhile, the O-line is strong and the defense is in good order despite a couple of holes, most notably at nose tackle where Domata Peko hasn't earned a positive season grade from us overall since 2007.

By the numbers: Cincinnati has five players across both sides of the ball (20.8 percent) that grade out as below-average or worse, and could stand to be replaced. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is one of those players, and will likely be starter in name only even if he manages to hold off Giovani Bernard on paper (in other words, don't read too much into those HB1 and HB2 designations). Andrew Whitworth teams with Geno Atkins to give the team one blue-chipper on either side of the ball.

06-06-2014, 09:51 PM
Really can't disagree more with Peko's ranking in this graphic.. I'm not sure PFF understands what a NT (or 1T) in the 4/3 is :star:. Peko is an excellent anchor/run defender. I have a hard time believing Zimmer would call a "below average" player "outstanding" and "the best nose tackle I have ever coached".

Peko, in my opinion, is both an keystone in the locker room, and the building point for everything they do on first and second down.

06-11-2014, 08:47 AM
audio just posted in another thread, Marvin thinks the team is deeper this year at WR, TE, LB and CB. (https://soundcloud.com/siriusxmnfl/bengals-hc-marvin-lewis-joined-the-opening-drive-talked-about-andy-daltons-contract)

06-15-2014, 07:58 PM

9. Cincinnati Bengals
Anthony Collins and Michael Johnson bolted in free agency, two of the team’s most reliable players on each side of the line of scrimmage. Rookies Jeremy Hill and Darqueze Dennard figure to play relatively significant roles in the offense and defense this season. Geno Atkins and Leon Hall return—huge. Can Andy Dalton take another step? He absolutely needs to for the Bengals to get over that agonizing playoff hump.


06-15-2014, 08:51 PM
It is a little bit of a distortion saying that Collins was one of our "most reliable" players. Losing a good backup isn't quite the same thing as losing a reliable starter.

06-15-2014, 09:04 PM
It is a little bit of a distortion saying that Collins was one of our "most reliable" players. Losing a good backup isn't quite the same thing as losing a reliable starter.

I think it's fair to say he was a very reliable pass protector when he was in the lineup. He just had two studs in front of him for most of his career.

06-15-2014, 09:14 PM
I'm not knocking Collins...or not intending to. But the article seems to be overstating the effect his loss will have on our roster strength by treating him as a starter.