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Bengals1181
06-07-2014, 09:04 PM
Can you believe it? There are only six more of these to go before we'll have training camp mailbags. For now, though, we're still discussing the little bit of what we've seen from the few open voluntary organized team activities the Cincinnati Bengals have had, and taking your questions on other non-practice related team matters.

For Chase A. Metzger, one of those matters has to do with the Bengals' roster and how suited it is for a Super Bowl run. Does Cincinnati truly have that kind of roster in place? Or does it not? That's what we'll address as we open this week's mailbag:



@chasemetzger24
@ColeyHarvey this current roster can win a Super Bowl, right? If not what's missing?
Jun. 6, 2014

@ColeyHarvey. That's a bold proclamation to make, Chase. I'm not quite sure I share your optimism right now, although I do believe that on paper, the Bengals' roster is better tooled than most might think. I'm betting your question came, in part, from Pro Football Focus' roster rankings that were published for ESPN Insider on Thursday. PFF ranked the Bengals' roster seventh. It's a roster that hinges on a strong returning nucleus, a bevy of playmakers and two elite Pro Bowlers. Using that logic, the top-10 ranking made sense. But is that enough to consider the Bengals a Super Bowl winner?
At this point, that doesn't appear to even be debatable. Super Bowl-winning teams have Super Bowl-caliber quarterbacks. The Bengals, at this time, don't have one. All they have for now is a good regular season starter who has no postseason success, despite playing for three playoff teams. That's a problem. Similarly, the Bengals have a few holes on their offensive line behind their starters. Are they a playoff team, though? Las Vegas says it's close. They're projected to finish with nine wins by some sportsbooks. Cincinnati has a good roster, no doubt. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves considering it a Super Bowl-caliber roster just yet.



@Hursshhh
@ColeyHarvey do Bengals keep 2 or 3 QB's on Roster? If one goes to Practice Squad can they sign with another team?
Jun. 6, 2014

@ColeyHarvey. I'm a proponent of three-quarterback logic in certain circumstances. This is certainly one of them. The best way to protect rookie AJ McCarron is to keep him on the active roster, even though he likely won't be an active part of the Bengals' offense this season.Practice-squad players can sign with other teams at any time, but they can't be signed to another team's practice squad until they have first been released from their original team and passed through waivers. So rest assured, the Bengals will have three active-roster quarterbacks.If they had a situation with McCarron like last year's quarterbacks where he was the equivalent of say, Zac Robinson or Greg McElroy, then you might have a good argument for keeping two quarterbacks this year. I say that mainly because there are so many other positions this year that require multiple bodies on their depth carts. The running backs, for instance, have a chance to be quite deep in 2014 and probably would take as many players on the 53-man roster as possible.



@blahmed
@ColeyHarvey Not enough special teams love on the blog. How's Clark Harris doing? Is he at OTAs? And how's his Jersey Shore home doing?
Jun. 6, 2014

@ColeyHarvey. You're right, av. There isn't enough special teams on this blog. I'm pretty certain that's the case with most team-specific NFL blogs. The special teams guys never get enough love. They do get all the blame when everything goes wrong, though. I've tried to figure out some ways to incorporate a little more special teams coverage here, but aside from what's already been written this offseason, there's relatively little that can added.
Punter Kevin Huber continues easing into his kicking duties as he returns from a late-season broken jaw. As for Clark Harris, the long snapper is indeed at OTAs, and he seems to be doing well. He's basically spending his days snapping to his punters and holders and retrieving kicked balls. The glamorous life of the long snapper. With respect to his home along the Jersey Shore, I'm not sure how that's coming along. We'll have to ask him soon to find out. A New Jersey native, Harris' boyhood home was among those that was damaged by Superstorm Sandy in fall 2012. Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson wrote about the damage in 2012.



Brett Saunders
@Daltonbeliever
@ColeyHarvey can Marvin Jones maintain his great performance into this season, making him and AJ one of the best wr duos?
Jun. 6, 2014



@ColeyHarvey. This is one of the biggest questions surrounding the Bengals, Brett. Personally, I think Marvin Jones will surpass his performance from last year. He kind of unexpectedly burst on the scene in 2013 with his 51-catch, 712-yard, 10-touchdown season. He won't catch any teams off guard this time around, though. They know they have to prepare not only for A.J.Green these days, but they have to be ready for Jones, too. If his work in the open OTAs is any indication, he'll do just fine handling the added attention.

I mentioned earlier this week that Green has caught my attention during the practices, but Jones has, too. He's been running, jumping and flat-out competing as if he isn't in a voluntary practice in early June. He's working a lot like I imagine he will in August, September and October. That alone has me convinced he'll be fine. Now will they be one of the best wide receiver duos? That'll be up to the stats to decide.

http://espn.go.com/blog/cincinnati-bengals/post/_/id/8362/bengals-super-bowl-roster-andy-dalton-mailbag?ex_cid=espnapi_public

BengalBacker
06-07-2014, 09:28 PM
At this point, that doesn't appear to even be debatable. Super Bowl-winning teams have Super Bowl-caliber quarterbacks. The Bengals, at this time, don't have one. All they have for now is a good regular season starter who has no postseason success, despite playing for three playoff teams. That's a problem.

That's pretty harsh. Didn't know Harvey was a Dalton hater.

Bengals1181
06-07-2014, 09:46 PM
I think he is. While I think Dalton can be that guy, its certainly fair to question it up to this point.



We all thought the same thing about Flacco, until he actually did it.

BengalBacker
06-07-2014, 10:02 PM
its certainly fair to question it up to this point.

I agree, just sounded more like a statement of fact to me than a fair assessment. I know he cloaked in "at this time", and "for now", so technically I can't argue with it, but it sure sounded like a vote of no confidence. I guess we'll all found out if it's warranted or not.

mongo
06-07-2014, 11:04 PM
I still think it makes the most sense that Gruden couldn't call plays against 3-4's than Dalton couldn't throw a ball against 3-4's. We'll see, though.

Bengals1181
06-07-2014, 11:23 PM
I still think it makes the most sense that Gruden couldn't call plays against 3-4's than Dalton couldn't throw a ball against 3-4's. We'll see, though.

yea its a combo of both IMO. Obviously you can simply point to the 2nd Chargers INT, and a couple others to know that Dalton (like many QB's) at times struggled with dropping DL in a 3-4.


Still though, it's a shocking stat. To reiterate it:


The Bengals (Dalton/Gruden era) were 13-18 when the offense faced a team with a 3-4 defense. They were 17-3 when the offense faced a team with a 4-3 defense. 2 of those 3 losses, came to Miami and DC Kevin Coyle, who spent 11 seasons coaching in Cincinnati, including Gruden/Dalton's first year. So he knew their tendencies.

Bengals1181
06-08-2014, 08:57 AM
another way to look at it is probably a bit more simplistic.

Over that 3 year stretch the Bengals were 8-10 in the division, and 23-11 outside of the division, and since all 3 division opponents run a 3-4 defense, that skews the above stat.

mongo
06-09-2014, 09:52 AM
I feel like Gruden gave us our John Cooper era of success, and now we need Hue to be Jim Tressel so we can beat the Michigans of our division... Get that man a sweater vest!!

membengal
06-09-2014, 10:21 AM
I agree, just sounded more like a statement of fact to me than a fair assessment. I know he cloaked in "at this time", and "for now", so technically I can't argue with it, but it sure sounded like a vote of no confidence. I guess we'll all found out if it's warranted or not.

I am no Dalton hater, but it is factual, and one of the reasons I don't want him extended at this point in time.

membengal
06-09-2014, 10:22 AM
another way to look at it is probably a bit more simplistic.

Over that 3 year stretch the Bengals were 8-10 in the division, and 23-11 outside of the division, and since all 3 division opponents run a 3-4 defense, that skews the above stat.

And I am fully on board with the fact that Gruden apparently had no clue on how to attack a 3-4 defense. It still boggles my mind, his quote on that.

Bengals1181
06-09-2014, 11:02 AM
Since so many questions were sent following Friday's call for this weekend's mailbags, we ended up having room for a second, albeit shorter, mailbag entry.

This is it.

And, we'll get right to it with our first question about outside linebacker Emmanuel Lamur:




@NatiBuck513
@ColeyHarvey what can be expected of Emmanuel Lamur this season? Any other potential breakout players?
Jun. 6, 2014ReplyRetweetFavorite

@ColeyHarvey. There ought to be significant expectations for Lamur this season. At the very least, his presence alone ought to improve one segment of the game the Bengals struggled with at times last season. He'll give them a true cover linebacker who can be on the field in the exhaustive nickel packages the defense employs. Following Lamur's season-ending shoulder injury in the final game last preseason, the Bengals spent the remainder of the year trying to figure out how to replace him.

Their linebackers took over some of his responsibilities, and other defensive backs pitched in by covering tight ends in the slot, as well. Safety Taylor Mays was an early part of those plans before he was lost for the year with his own serious midseason injury. Lamur also has high expectations for himself. He comes into the season hopeful for a big campaign after being sidelined for so long. In terms of other breakout players, I'd look back at Mohamed Sanu, a 2012 breakout receiver who kind of got lost in the shuffle in 2013.

I'd also keep rookie running back Jeremy Hill in mind. Defensive end Margus Hunt could be a candidate for those honors, too. He'll be put in more positions to compete after taking the NFL equivalent of a redshirt year most of last season and not playing regularly.


@thomasbryant650
@ColeyHarvey Do you think Vinny Rey will spend any time at middle linebacker? If Vinny Rey plays in the playoff game vs san diego
I feel like we do not give up all those rushing yards
Jun. 6, 2014

@ColeyHarvey. All signs still point to Rey Maualuga being the starting middle linebacker as of now, Thomas. As long as he's healthy, Maualuga probably will be the starter there all season, too. But I hear your point and understand what you're saying. When Maualuga was hurt last year, it was Vincent Rey who stepped up and far exceeded any expectations that preceded him.

Rey was seemingly all over the field in those three and a half games, recording 31 tackles, three sacks and an interception in them. For that reason, he would make a good starting middle linebacker. He was strong against the run and even better against the pass. As for the 196 yards rushing the Bengals gave up against San Diego in the first-round playoff loss, it's tough to say whether Rey getting the starting snaps at middle linebacker really would have made a difference.

The Chargers were gashing the entire defense, most notably the defensive line, which had trouble holding its interior. Still, there's a lot to like about Rey at the "Mike" position, and I know we'll see him there in some capacity this year. The question you and many other Bengals fans have is how often? We'll just have to wait and see.




@aidenbatist
@ColeyHarvey looking at the rookies the bengals drafted, which players will get the opportunity to start and who will make a big impact?
Jun. 6, 2014

@ColeyHarvey. It's really hard to see any of them starting, outside of maybe Hill. The second-round pick has already started mixing into the Bengals' plans at running back. He's had first-team snaps alongside Giovani Bernard and been part of the second unit during the open organized team activity practices. He stands a very real chance of making an impact simply because of the Bengals' plans of having a more physical, run-based offense. His ability to catch passes out of the backfield and his knack of avoiding fumbles also are positives that are in his favor. Others, like first-round pick Darqueze Dennard, will have opportunities to play, but possibly in more limited capacity. The depth ahead of Dennard seems too heavy for him to break through as a starter. But if injuries hit the cornerback unit the way they did last season, he could find himself on the field as a regular by Week 3.

http://espn.go.com/blog/cincinnati-bengals/post/_/id/8364/bengals-emmanuel-lamur-expectations-mailbag

Bengals1181
06-14-2014, 01:47 PM
Bengals mailbag: Does Green-Ellis fit?


JUN 14
9:00
AM ET

By Coley Harvey (http://search.espn.go.com/coley-harvey/) | ESPN.com


CINCINNATI -- During the Cincinnati Bengals (http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/cin/cincinnati-bengals?ex_cid=null)' mandatory minicamp this week, rookie running back Jeremy Hill (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/16803/jeremy-hill?ex_cid=null) continued to get snaps ahead of veteran ball carrier BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

With Hill seemingly joining second-year back Giovani Bernard (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/15826/giovani-bernard?ex_cid=null) atop the depth chart at the position, the question becomes why?

Why isn't Green-Ellis getting the same attention Hill is? Does Hill's addition and apparent early favor mean Green-Ellis no longer fits in Cincinnati? If that is the case, then why is Green-Ellis still under contract with the Bengals? Is that a sign they may be going with a three-man rotation the position this season?

The short answer to all of that is "we don't know." But since that's not really a good response, we'll try to flesh the Green-Ellis issue a little further in this week's Bengals mailbag:


@ColeyHarvey (https://twitter.com/ColeyHarvey) think we will get a little "Earth wind and fire" out of Gio/BJGE/Hill?#AskBengals (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23AskBengals&src=hash)
— Jason Dickess (@JasonD2k14) June 13, 2014 (https://twitter.com/JasonD2k14/statuses/477507157760286721)


@ColeyHarvey (http://twitter.com/ColeyHarvey). Two things came to mind when I first read your tweet, Jason. I was wondering if you were making a reference to the notoriously funk band "Earth, Wind and Fire," or you were slipping in a vague "Captain Planet" reference. I still can't tell which. If it's a "Captain Planet" reference does that mean would Green-Ellis is "earth," Hill "wind" and Bernard "fire?" You'll have to get back to me on that. Meanwhile, to answer your question, the reasons that Green-Ellis is still here kind of remain a mystery. It seems that he's slipped on the depth chart and the Bengals are more apt to giving carries to their apparent new shining star, Hill. He's got elements to his game that Green-Ellis doesn't have: He's big, has a little speed and can catch. That combination, when paired with the shifty and quick Bernard could be dangerous for opposing defenses. Does Green-Ellis fit into that mix? Maybe. Earlier this offseason we took a look at the way new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson used his backs in the running and passing games when he was the offensive coordinator and head coach (http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/79081/could-the-bengals-use-three-rbs-this-year) at Oakland in 2010 and 2011. The evidence shows that it's been done before.

@ColeyHarvey (https://twitter.com/ColeyHarvey) Will BJGE get cut or just be the 3rd rb behind benard and hill?
— Adam Goettemoeller (@14goeta) June 13, 2014 (https://twitter.com/14goeta/statuses/477526478188732416)



@ColeyHarvey (http://twitter.com/ColeyHarvey). Good time to transition to Adam's question. To answer it and to tie a bow on Jason's inquiry, I'll say that if I had to guess I'd say that Green-Ellis will be cut before the season. By letting him go the Bengals will save $2.5 million in cap space this season; space that along with other cuts could help fund the contract extensions quarterback Andy Dalton (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/14012/andy-dalton?ex_cid=null)and linebacker Vontaze Burfict (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/15246/vontaze-burfict?ex_cid=null) are trying to get this offseason. Again, it's possible that a three-back system could work as long as there's a nice balance of pass-catching and power/finesse running among all three backs. Since Hill can play the role of a physical runner and can catch passes, too, it's not so clear that Green-Ellis would be a good fit as a third back in Cincinnati's scheme.

@ColeyHarvey (https://twitter.com/ColeyHarvey) is Geno Atkins 100% yet? Has there been any setbacks in the recovery process? When should we expect him on the field again?
— Jarrett Feldhaus (@JarrettFeldhaus) June 13, 2014 (https://twitter.com/JarrettFeldhaus/statuses/477526451219341312)


@ColeyHarvey (http://twitter.com/ColeyHarvey). The Geno Atkins (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/13311/geno-atkins?ex_cid=null) question has come up regularly in mailbags this offseason, and with good reason. Arguably the Bengals' most talented defensive lineman, his presence would be a big boost to a unit that's undergone a change in leadership. New defensive coordinator Paul Guenther and head coach Marvin Lewis would like Atkins back quickly, but judging from what Lewis said to reporters about Atkins this week, it's not clear exactly when exactly the Bengals will get the Pro Bowler back. His ACL tear happened Oct. 31, giving him enough recovery time to possibly make it back fully healthy by the start of the regular season, but it's going to be close. As for any setbacks, for now, there don't appear to be any. He is going through rehab like other injured players, and has even spent portions of warm-ups during the minicamp and organized team activities loosening up with his healthy teammates.

@ColeyHarvey (https://twitter.com/ColeyHarvey) What is Andy Dalton favorite type of cake? Yours as well. =)
— Master of D'haraL (@Mizrac) June 13, 2014 (https://twitter.com/Mizrac/statuses/477526340736798720)


@ColeyHarvey (http://twitter.com/ColeyHarvey). Now that's a curveball question. I do not know Andy Dalton's favorite type of cake. Maybe during a light day I'll ask him and come back with an answer for you. As for mine, you can't go wrong with red velvet and my grandmother's lemon pound. Mmmm, now you've got me hungry, Master.

@ColeyHarvey (https://twitter.com/ColeyHarvey) what's going on with Greshams contract? Are they going to extend him?
— Twiggy Magana (@EffAyBeOh) June 13, 2014 (https://twitter.com/EffAyBeOh/statuses/477563279938560000)


@ColeyHarvey (http://twitter.com/ColeyHarvey). Not much is going on right now with tight end Jermaine Gresham (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/13228/jermaine-gresham?ex_cid=null)'s contract, Twiggy. We might not see any action there at all. If we do, it likely won't be coming until sometime after the season. Like I mentioned earlier, Dalton and Burfict are the major contract targets for now, and if even one of them gets extended this offseason, it'll be tough to see any other longer term starters' deals get hammered out before the end of the season. Besides, the Bengals will have to ask themselves whether they want to bring back the fifth-year player. His relationship with most fans has been rocky -- untimely drops and penalties are the source of their problems with him -- and he easily could command on his next deal a larger contract than the Bengals would be willing to pay. He's already slated to end his rookie deal this season with a big increase in pay. He holds a cap value of more than $4.8 million this season. His base salary of $3.4 million is much greater than the $975,500 he previously topped out at in 2013.

@ColeyHarvey (https://twitter.com/ColeyHarvey) Could the #Bengals (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Bengals&src=hash) make a move for Brandon Flowers after his release? Puts less pressure on Adam Jones, Newman and Kirkpatrick.
— Roshan P. Jayanti (@roshanjayanti) June 13, 2014 (https://twitter.com/roshanjayanti/statuses/477565183661838337)


@ColeyHarvey (http://twitter.com/ColeyHarvey). Really easy answer to your question, Roshan. "No." Cincinnati currently has nine cornerbacks. A 10th would completely overload capacity. The Bengals are in the business right now of growing and developing young talent at cornerback. They'll be phasing out their older ones, Terence Newman (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/4463/terence-newman?ex_cid=null), Adam Jones (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/8421/adam-jones?ex_cid=null) and Leon Hall (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/10462/leon-hall?ex_cid=null), in the next few years. So it's not very prudent to add to an already loaded position group a 28-year-old who already was cut for a reason.


http://espn.go.com/blog/cincinnati-bengals/post/_/id/8575/bengals-benjarvus-green-ellis-fit-mailbag?ex_cid=espnapi_public

mongo
06-14-2014, 11:38 PM
I think BJGE is still here because he realizes no one else wants him until after week one makes contracts not fully guaranteed. He's here in case someone gets hurt, and to make sure he's in someone's training camp getting ready for the season. I have to believe the Bengals intend to cut him before the season starts... Possibly even before the first preseason game.

Bengals1181
06-15-2014, 09:11 AM
I think BJGE is still here because he realizes no one else wants him until after week one makes contracts not fully guaranteed. He's here in case someone gets hurt, and to make sure he's in someone's training camp getting ready for the season. I have to believe the Bengals intend to cut him before the season starts... Possibly even before the first preseason game.

Good point about non fully guaranteed contracts.