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Monday Morning QB: Bengals 23, Eagles 23

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Kiss the sister etc.  Bengals have played the Eagles four times since 2008 and have tied twice... has to be some sort of record.  Speaking of which, Joe Burrow continues to set records... I think the most recent one I read was most pass attempts by a rookie in his first three starts.

I think a review of the roster is in order to get back to the reality of where the Bengals are and where they're going.  In that discussion we'd be remiss not to also talk about coaching staff and front office.  I'll simply note in advance of that review that these three elements (roster, coaching, front office) continue to be poorly aligned for the Bengals franchise.  We'll finish by discussing where we're headed in 2020 and guessing where things go into 2021 (which is now more interesting given what A.J. Green has shown as well as what Geno Atkins has not shown thus far in 2020).

Roster

QB: Burrow could be a superstar with some "ifs."  If he doesn't get killed first; if he is given a better spectrum of receiving talent; and if he is paired with a play-caller and coaching staff that can match his talents.  Behind Burrow we know that Finley is the backup and that he looked good in the 2019 pre-season and terrible in the 2019 regular season (for three games).  Beyond that, we can't really say much.  We have Brandon Allen on the PS as an emergency COVID QB (at least I think that's his role).  But it's safe to say here that the team's immediate future hinges on Burrow... which makes it incredibly stupid that Taylor, Callahan, Turner, Tobin, and Mike Brown continue to put him on the field to take an ongoing beating due to the incomplete OL we have.  If/when Burrow finally sustains an ACL or shoulder injury, I think this franchise will lose a ton of following.  I'd say "attendance," but that label is currently moot given the COVID situation.  What I'm seeing here, tho, is very reminiscent of what Carson Palmer went through in 2008 during which time he sustained the UCL injury to his throwing elbow that left him much reduced in his abilities for the remainder of his career (and also left him with a great deal of hatred towards Mike Brown who had refused to listen to Palmer's off-season pleas to put a better OL in front of him).  History is repeating itself right now, unfortunately.  Burrow is a tough guy.  Let's pray that he doesn't meet the inevitable fate in 2020 that is coming sometime in a career as an NFL QB without an NFL caliber starting OL.

RB: For those who are down on Mixon, I note that I still see some superb plays when he gets a few blocks (and sometimes when he doesn't).  I've also seen some great receiving plays when he gets that look.  Gio, too, has shown some great snaps as a receiver.  However, there is no real way to judge our RBs fully given the lack of push that we get from our OL.  Simple as that.  Also, we can note that we don't really know what we have behind Gio since TWilliams hasn't gotten a whiff of a carry and Perine is essentially a STs guy.  While the majority of the good teams in the league find a way to diversity the RB spot by using 3-4 players effectively in any given game, the Bengals continue to use Mixon 85% of the time, Gio 15%, and nobody else.  This is simply stupid in my estimation and demonstrates again that Zac Taylor doesn't really know how to fully use the power of the roster to attack the opponent and optimize the health of his squad over the course of a game, season, and career.

TE:  We discussed last week that losing Uzomah has taken a real weapon out of Burrow's tool belt... that being the TE who can run the seem and get into the deeper middle of routes.  Sample doesn't look like the TE who can do that (based on lack of foot speed); Carter is not that player either.  Right now that only leaves Mason Schreck on the roster as a potential deeper TE threat, and he has no experience.  So the TE has become a dead spot in the passing tree, and we can't really count on Uzomah returning 100% in 2021 after an Achilles injury.

WR:  John Ross was considered the WR2 going into the season, and he was put on the game day Inactive list against the Eagles.  We have to face that he's a bust.  Why is this?  I'd summarize by saying that despite being fast, he struggles in getting separation; he's a poor route runner giving up on routes and not putting himself in the right place at the right time; his hands are inconsistent; and the team struggles to get the QB the extended pocket time he needs to allow Ross to explore his deeper route possibilities.  A.J. Green still is the WR1, but he's not looking like his old self.  We shouldn't be surprised after he missed most of the last two seasons and most of the summer camp.  Will he get back to 90+% of old self this season or be considered as a reasonable player to re-sign for 2021 when he becomes a UFA?  Right now it's looking like NO and NO responses to those two questions.  However, not all is wrong here.  Tyler Boyd is looking awesome; Tee Higgins is showing good development; and Auden Tate just produces when he gets the chance.  Erickson and Thomas, frankly, supply you what you want at the end of the WR roster.. so we're somehow just empty at starting WR all of a sudden.

OL:  Scary discussion here.  The best we have is a LT who is going into his 4th pro game and shows some signs of being a future good player.  We have very average play at LG and C.  We have league worst type production at RG and RT (irrespective of the BS that you hear from Taylor, Turner, and Hobson).  Further, we don't have a good move right now at these spots.  Playing Fred Johnson at RG didn't work because he's just too lanky and lacks the footwork needed for a OG.  He did, however, look decent at both OT spots in 2019.  Taylor was asked (thru Hobson who reported) whether perhaps Johnson and Hart could be flipped with Hart going to RG and Johnson to RT.  The answer here was that Hart isn't "thick" enough to play OG.  Really?  Hart at 6' 5", 310 isn't thick enough when Jordan (6' 6", 315), Price (6' 4", 310), Adeniji (6' 4", 302), and Johnson (6' 7", 326) are?  Perhaps Hobson is relaying that they don't think Hart has the leg strength and drive blocking ability to play RG?  And that may be the case.  So I wonder how he's adequate for RT when you want that guy to also be a strong driver blocker?  This is kinda saying, then, that Fred Johnson has no use except to be a backup LT... where he incidentally played decently at the end of 2019.  Is it maybe reasonable to think about moving Jonah Williams to RT, Johnson to LT, and getting Adeniji some looks at RG?  I'm not trying to say that I think this would work.  Rather, I'm saying that the current lineup isn't working.  Burrow is getting killed on 2/3 of every drop back, and the running game is yielding less than 3.5 YPC.  One very telling part of the game came just before Higgins first TD catch when they had 1st-and-Goal from the 1, were completely stuffed on a 1st Down run over JWilliams, and then elected to throw for it.  That was a game after they couldn't punch it in from the 1 vs. the Browns to give them a chance to draw even late in the 3rd Quarter.  So essentially, they're getting no push in the run game... which incidentally is 30th in the league in yards/game (@ 79.3), 31st in YPC (@ 3.4), 29th in Rushing 1st Downs (13), and tied for 31st in Rushing TDs (1).

DL:  The run D didn't fare a ton differently than it did the prior weeks.  They gave up 175 yards in 36 Phi carries (4.9 YPC) and now are 31st in yards/game (@ 181.7), 27th in YPC (@ 5.0), 32nd in Rushing 1st Downs allowed (33), 30th in Rushing TDs allowed (5), and 31st in 20+ yard runs allowed (5).  As badly as the OL looks, the Run D is just as bad.  They are leaving a lot of big holes, not getting a hand on the runner until well past the LOS, and are allowing a lot of yardage after initial contact.  On the bright side, they did get more pressure on Phi QB Carson Wentz in comparison to the prior two games with 3 sacks and 6 QB hits in 50 dropbacks (but that still paled in comparison to the 8 sacks and 18 QB hits the Eagles put on Burrow in his 52 dropbacks).  Dunlap played a little better against the run and Hubbard got more pressure on the QB, but overall this self-proclaimed "strength" going into summer camp has been anything but.

LB:  After an impressive opening game, Pratt and Bynes have not been as strong.  The rookie group has shown some flashes - ADG with a nice coverage on a 3rd down pass later in the game and Wilson with a pick.  However, the LB group is not able to cover for the bad DL play against the run.

DB:  I think, overall, we're getting very good play from this group.  The CBs have mostly done well in man coverage sets, and the group has tackled well considering that the RBs are getting into the DB quite often.

STs:  As much as everyone wanted to castrate Bullock out of the gates, he has done just fine the past two game.  It would have been real salt in the wounds tho if Elliott had knocked down a long kick to win the game.  Credit the gods and STs coordinator Simmons for the DL shift that made the Eagle FG OL jump.  Meanwhile, Huber and the coverage teams continue to excel making this unit the best in the locker room again in 2020 (at least to date).

Coaching:  Well, now we get down to the crux of the matter, right?  When Taylor arrived last year, he had a tough time filling some of the coaching vacancies.  Specifically, the defensive side including the coordinator position was difficult to fill.  Basically, nobody wanted to be the DC for the Bengals, it seemed.  We ended up with the first timer Lou Anarumo, and he has struggled with a real lack of personnel.  The season before he arrived the D ranked in the lower quartile in Total and Run D where they remained in 2019.  After picking up 5 new D starters (Reader, Bynes, Bell, Alexander, and Waynes) in UFA, there is no significant change thus far in 2020.  Yes, Waynes is injured; Alexander is just the Nickel CB; and there is the COVID excuse.  However, you expect to get better when you upgrade nearly half your starting D, and that just hasn't happened.  On O we upgraded/changed-out at 4 spots (drafting Burrow, moving XSF into Miller's RG spot, getting AJ Green back, and moving Jonah Williams into the LT vacancy), but our 22.0 points/game and 317.3 yards/game on O have us 25th and 27th in the league thus far, respectively... not a lot different than what we're getting on D.  Today Coach Taylor said that we need to start blocking better at the RG spot - something that many amateurs have been saying for his entire tenure.  And OL Coach Turner continues to tell us that Bobbie Hart is a good talent when our lying eyes tell us otherwise.  No longer is it Taylor's rookie coaching year, so his benefit-of-the-doubt gimmee no longer holds.  In 2019 the team didn't get a win until well into the 2nd half of the season.  If we don't get a "W" this weekend against Jax, we may be looking at something similar with Balt, Indy, Cle, TN, and Pitt following in procession.

Front Office:  We were sold a bill of goods on both lines (O and D) this off-season.  The DL would be a team strength, and the OL would be vastly improved.  So far, however, it's bupkis on these promises.  What we do see is that Joe Burrow has had a nice start, that Tyler Boyd comes to play, and that Darrin Simmons knows how to coach... which makes me wonder what we would have gotten if we'd have gone with Simmons as Head Coach in 2019?  Yes, there has been bad luck here.  There always is that excuse.  They did spend money... which now is looking like a spending spree at Dollar General.  I'm just wondering whether this franchise can every become competitive in a league where teams like Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Baltimore, and New England can beat us pretty easily even in their down seasons.

Ending Piece

If the team doesn't start to win some games, there may be less people in the stadium when COVID limitations end than there are cardboard falsies at present.  Expiring contracts that become UFAs in spring 2021 include WRs Green, Ross, Thomas, and Erickson; RB Perine; TE Carter; OL Redmond; DTs Daniels and Covington; DE Lawson; LBs Bynes and Evans; S's Wilson and Williams; CBs Jackson, Alexander, Sims, and Brown; and STs at every position.  The cap is rumored to be dropping to about $175 million with the returning players and dead cap to cover about $151 million so far.  I'm just mentioning all of this as I look at what we're producing on the field and wondering where we go next if things remain similar to what we're seeing right now.  Some were suggesting last spring that Geno might be released in 2021 to pick up nearly $10 mil in cap.  Dunlap ($11.25 million savings) and Hart ($5.9 million) might be two others to consider as well as Uzomah ($5.25 mil savings), Price ($2.1 million savings), and XSF ($2.5 million savings).  After we mull over which of the expiring vet contracts to re-sign in 2021 and which vets to release to save cap, we look like we'll be back at the table in UFA once again to bring in foreigners... something dreaded in these parts for so many years prior to Taylor.  Or maybe Taylor will be cut loose and we'll start over with the newest voice in "build through the draft" mantra?

In any case I don't see this team hitting the high end of the win prediction this year.  As it turns out, A.J. Green and John Ross appear to have missed the "what if" lines for which we'd hoped.  Bobby Hart is still Bobby Hart.  We no longer have a pass catching TE, and our OL somehow got worse than the 2019 version.  And all the new UFA vets on D still have us in the lower quartile in total yards allowed per game.  In my vision what the coaching staff needs to do and show between now and mid-season is to optimize the offensive line play and the Run D.  If we do those two things - and I'm not talking about being a top 10 team but rather a 16th to 20th team for the rest of the way - then we'll have something to build on for 2021 in terms of improvement and trust in coaching.  If not, well, then this looks a lot like the carousel that Mike Brown has been running in town now for 30 years, and we've just been conned yet another time.

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The tie was so predictable.  i was texting with an eagles fan and actually predicted 9-9.  So the score was off by the two TDs that seemingly would never get there for either team early on.

QB- We have to protect him.  period.  or it will be another lost decade.

RB- the usage is weird, but we have all the pieces in place for 2021 as well, unless they jettison Gio.

TE- gotta have one in the draft, no?

WR-  Hoping Green keeps getting more comfortable.  I mentioned in another thread that maybe this brings his contract way down.  No team is paying him top 10 money based on how he's looked so far.

OL-  There aren't enough synonyms in a thesaurus for "bad" left to describe this line.  It's Penni Sewell or (Joe gets) Bust(ed).  We are bad enough to be in the mix for the #1 spot in the draft, so I'm hoping we finish 1st with the giants #2.  We trade back a spot, they include Andrew thomas in the deal (RT), we draft Sewell (LT) and Jonah goes to RG.  Draft another guy in the second or third.  Assuming we'd also get a second round pick in that deal, throw both second rounders at DL (oner DT/DE each).  Otherwise, Joe is doomed, because I can't see Brown throwing enough $$ at a free agent when almost every CB is a free agent, along with Lawson, Wilson, etc.

DL- When Geno returns, we will have our answer.  Either they improve, or Anarumo goes.  I'm personally watching the Vikings situation closely.  If they fire Zim, make him the DC immediately, switch back to the 4-3 (which is what our roster is shaped for) and go.  Lawson doesn't need to be brought back if we go 4-3.  

LB- We knew it would take time, but Pratt, Wilson and ADG all show signs of being the future at the position.  Bynes has his moments, but looks lkie WhoDre on double moves when the RB cuts back (he always gets sucked in by misdirection).  

CB-  They've been pretty good.  I'd extend Jackson and Alexander right now to get that out of the way.  Hopefully Waynes comes back and adds to the group.  Phillips has as many up moments as down.

S- They've been good at times.  Bates is playing great again.  Wilson doesn't get the number of looks I'd like, but dude is still beasting on KRs.  the Eagles wouldn't kick it to him.

 

I thing we win Sunday, then lose for awhile, based on the schedule.  Maybe play Finley against a few of the AFCN opponents.  It unfortunately looks like draft season comes by late October again.  This is getting old.

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Front Office:

Like many have said, the continued forced narrative of "we like our young offensive lineman, we expect them to make a big jump this year" continues to haunt this team. Everyone with eyes and a semi functioning brain can see our right side of our offensive line is horrible, yet we keep marching them same guys out there. Also, Jim Turner, in my opinion is not a good coach. Instead of scheming, he seems like a "you just gotta be a man and handle the guy in front of you". Well if you know your weak side is the right side, why not give them help? Why are we leaving Drew Sample to block Derrick Barnett 1 on 1? I see many teams in this league with struggling defenses, so I can't say they are the ones hurting us primarily. In fact they have given us multiple chances to put teams away, our offense can't close and puts the defense in hard situations. Start with axing Jim Turner and go from there. Still in disbelief we didn't go after Bill Callahan.

QB:

Burrow is the real deal, and is the only reason we have been in all these games. I just pray he somehow makes it through the year.

RB:

No running lanes and poor schemes continue to kill this team. Not sure why we don't use more block and release plays/screen plays, to these backs. Slow down the pass rush, get these guys in open space.

WR:

AJ looks like hes lost a step/ still learning the offense. Boyd is legit. Higgins is getting better and better. I'd like to see them give Ross a few more chances before throwing in the towel/ giving him more crossing routes in open space, instead of throwing him 50:50 balls. Tate has produced when given chances, Thomas has been a pleasant surprise, and Erickson is solid ST.

TE:

Still waiting to see the amazing blocker Sample was touted to be. His hands have actually been better than his blocking IMO. This group took a big hit when Uzomah went out.

OL:

Not much more to say than whats already been said. I think our starting group needs to be: Williams- Jordan- Hopkins- Adeniji- Johnson. Bobby Hart just doesn't have the push, Johnson looked better at tackle than guard, so i would give him a shot on the outside, and Price/Hart aren't suitable to play RG in this league. Give Adeniji a chance, do NOT go back to Alex Redmond. Also the scheme needs changed. They are not working as a unit at all, its every man for himself.

DL:

Flashed potential, but until we get healthy, our best players will continue to get gassed. We have too many "pass rushers" and not enough "run defenders" up front. We aren't getting enough push.

LB:

Inconsistent play, one moment they look awesome, the next a complete liability. Hopefully they will get better with more experience.

DB:

Most of there problems seem to stem from communication issues and getting too handsy. I think this group can play much better if they would eliminate the mental mistakes.

ST:

Bullock has bounced back and Huber continues to be solid, same with kickoff and punt teams.

 

I think if we can somehow fix this offensive line, we will start winning games again, in fact we may win convincingly. But until that happens, we will be holding our breathe each week until the clock hits 00:00.

 

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Man i'd love to argue with some of this, but it's all true.  They suck again.

The most disappointing part, and probably most importantly, is that Taylor isn't living up to the minimal hype he got.  We've got to see that offense get a lot better, OL be damned.  Other teams figure out how to score without a competent line.  It's not really an excuse, imo.

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12 minutes ago, theJ said:

Man i'd love to argue with some of this, but it's all true.  They suck again.

The most disappointing part, and probably most importantly, is that Taylor isn't living up to the minimal hype he got.  We've got to see that offense get a lot better, OL be damned.  Other teams figure out how to score without a competent line.  It's not really an excuse, imo.

I think the biggest frustration is, it seems he is determined to run the offense his way and not cater to areas of weakness. It just "we have to be better". Well Zac, your oline sucks, maybe we should scheme around this weakness, instead of ignore it.

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5 hours ago, INbengalfan said:

The tie was so predictable.  i was texting with an eagles fan and actually predicted 9-9.  So the score was off by the two TDs that seemingly would never get there for either team early on.

QB- We have to protect him.  period.  or it will be another lost decade.

RB- the usage is weird, but we have all the pieces in place for 2021 as well, unless they jettison Gio.

TE- gotta have one in the draft, no?

WR-  Hoping Green keeps getting more comfortable.  I mentioned in another thread that maybe this brings his contract way down.  No team is paying him top 10 money based on how he's looked so far.

OL-  There aren't enough synonyms in a thesaurus for "bad" left to describe this line.  It's Penni Sewell or (Joe gets) Bust(ed).  We are bad enough to be in the mix for the #1 spot in the draft, so I'm hoping we finish 1st with the giants #2.  We trade back a spot, they include Andrew thomas in the deal (RT), we draft Sewell (LT) and Jonah goes to RG.  Draft another guy in the second or third.  Assuming we'd also get a second round pick in that deal, throw both second rounders at DL (oner DT/DE each).  Otherwise, Joe is doomed, because I can't see Brown throwing enough $$ at a free agent when almost every CB is a free agent, along with Lawson, Wilson, etc.

DL- When Geno returns, we will have our answer.  Either they improve, or Anarumo goes.  I'm personally watching the Vikings situation closely.  If they fire Zim, make him the DC immediately, switch back to the 4-3 (which is what our roster is shaped for) and go.  Lawson doesn't need to be brought back if we go 4-3.  

LB- We knew it would take time, but Pratt, Wilson and ADG all show signs of being the future at the position.  Bynes has his moments, but looks lkie WhoDre on double moves when the RB cuts back (he always gets sucked in by misdirection).  

CB-  They've been pretty good.  I'd extend Jackson and Alexander right now to get that out of the way.  Hopefully Waynes comes back and adds to the group.  Phillips has as many up moments as down.

S- They've been good at times.  Bates is playing great again.  Wilson doesn't get the number of looks I'd like, but dude is still beasting on KRs.  the Eagles wouldn't kick it to him.

 

I thing we win Sunday, then lose for awhile, based on the schedule.  Maybe play Finley against a few of the AFCN opponents.  It unfortunately looks like draft season comes by late October again.  This is getting old.

I like your ideas (as always), but here are the issues:

* They’ll never play Finley over a healthy Burrow

* Whether Geno plays decently or not, you can’t keep him in 2021 on a restricted cap.  They might, but that’s what makes the Bengals who they are (keeping a burnt out DT over an improved OL that protects your franchise QB)

* I agree on CBs even tho I see CJ ripping their play.  DL has gotten poor rush over the three games and Pass D still #7 in league.  Passing YPA, I think, in top 3-4.  That’s mostly coverage.  Get WJax, Sims, and Alexander all back.  Trayvon replaces Shawn Williams.  Keep this crew together as it won’t cost a lot other than $8-9 / yr for WJax.

* Agree on LBs.  Pratt still improving.  Coverage on TEs best it’s been in a while.

* Î personally like Anarumo’s idea on 3-4/4-3 but think we’re still short on the 3-4 OLB type.  We’re also short now (with Wren and Tupou out) in the NT area irrespective of Reader... just need more interior size as even Daniels and Geno not big enough by today’s line standards.  I’m on fence whether Dunlap is worth keeping in 2021 when we can get $12 mil in cap relief by moving him.  DL is so bad that I think you move Geno/Dunlap, get $22 mil back, and build with your scheme in mind... which means you gotta figure out DC and DL coach right away when season ends.

* At LT I think you stick with Jonah.  Moving him to OG means you’re paying 1st Rd money to OG and starting over at LT - both tough choices - when Williams is making progress.  Hopkins is still playing well and Jordan is average-ish.  Gotta get a RG who can get run push and use your (what looks to be) high 1st Rd pick on best OT ... size and run blocking would def be a consideration.  I’d prob move in from Hart (rather than use as backup) because it saves $5 mil in cap.  I’d drop Price because it saves money and because he’s terrible at every spot he’s played.

* At TE we can draft a guy in 4th or 5th who is a decent receiver and might need to get a second receiving TE in UFA if Uzomah is done (we screwed up paying him so much).  Usually you can find a guy for $3 mil or so, but we need guys who can optimize Burrow... right now we don’t have that.

* I’m already set to move on from Green & Ross.  With a reduced cap you can’t gamble on either.  Only a miraculous wake up by either changes that... but I think that Ross is a lost cause while Green didn’t come out of deep freeze as well as we’d hoped.

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1 hour ago, theJ said:

Man i'd love to argue with some of this, but it's all true.  They suck again.

The most disappointing part, and probably most importantly, is that Taylor isn't living up to the minimal hype he got.  We've got to see that offense get a lot better, OL be damned.  Other teams figure out how to score without a competent line.  It's not really an excuse, imo.

Lack of talent + $hitty OL coaching = Bengals OL situation 

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50 minutes ago, Johnny Nix said:

I think the biggest frustration is, it seems he is determined to run the offense his way and not cater to areas of weakness. It just "we have to be better". Well Zac, your oline sucks, maybe we should scheme around this weakness, instead of ignore it.

The telling comment of post game was Taylor’s Eureka moment in saying we need to block better.  Took him until now to realize that?  Wow!

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I think overall that we’re in a 5 game window (re:1st half of season) to see whether Taylor ever figures it out.  I personally don’t think he will - he just doesn’t have the leadership chops.  I liked one other reader’s idea about grabbing Zimmer.. but he just extended thru 2023, so that’s unlikely.  Unfortunately, the Brown family’s rep is so bad that most coaches do not want to come here (as it’s viewed as a bad mark on their resume).  Heck, they’re now putting their 20-something grand daughter out there as a decision maker (which, I don’t know about you, but admittedly was a real odd feeling for me).

One other thing that I have missed noting:  WTF is the deal with OC Brian Callahan?  Does he do anything?  You never hear a peep out of the guy, and Taylor calls the plays.  He’s kinda the Barney Rubble of the Offensive coaches.

Edited by west tx bengal fan

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6 minutes ago, west tx bengal fan said:

One other thing that I have missed noting:  WTF is the deal with OC Brian Callahan?  Does he do anything?  You never hear a peep out of the guy, and Taylor calls the plays.  He’s kinda the Barney Rubble of the Offensive coaches.

A lot of teams around the league do that now.  It's nothing unusual.

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2 hours ago, west tx bengal fan said:

I like your ideas (as always), but here are the issues:

* They’ll never play Finley over a healthy Burrow

* Whether Geno plays decently or not, you can’t keep him in 2021 on a restricted cap.  They might, but that’s what makes the Bengals who they are (keeping a burnt out DT over an improved OL that protects your franchise QB)

* I agree on CBs even tho I see CJ ripping their play.  DL has gotten poor rush over the three games and Pass D still #7 in league.  Passing YPA, I think, in top 3-4.  That’s mostly coverage.  Get WJax, Sims, and Alexander all back.  Trayvon replaces Shawn Williams.  Keep this crew together as it won’t cost a lot other than $8-9 / yr for WJax.

* Agree on LBs.  Pratt still improving.  Coverage on TEs best it’s been in a while.

* Î personally like Anarumo’s idea on 3-4/4-3 but think we’re still short on the 3-4 OLB type.  We’re also short now (with Wren and Tupou out) in the NT area irrespective of Reader... just need more interior size as even Daniels and Geno not big enough by today’s line standards.  I’m on fence whether Dunlap is worth keeping in 2021 when we can get $12 mil in cap relief by moving him.  DL is so bad that I think you move Geno/Dunlap, get $22 mil back, and build with your scheme in mind... which means you gotta figure out DC and DL coach right away when season ends.

* At LT I think you stick with Jonah.  Moving him to OG means you’re paying 1st Rd money to OG and starting over at LT - both tough choices - when Williams is making progress.  Hopkins is still playing well and Jordan is average-ish.  Gotta get a RG who can get run push and use your (what looks to be) high 1st Rd pick on best OT ... size and run blocking would def be a consideration.  I’d prob move in from Hart (rather than use as backup) because it saves $5 mil in cap.  I’d drop Price because it saves money and because he’s terrible at every spot he’s played.

* At TE we can draft a guy in 4th or 5th who is a decent receiver and might need to get a second receiving TE in UFA if Uzomah is done (we screwed up paying him so much).  Usually you can find a guy for $3 mil or so, but we need guys who can optimize Burrow... right now we don’t have that.

* I’m already set to move on from Green & Ross.  With a reduced cap you can’t gamble on either.  Only a miraculous wake up by either changes that... but I think that Ross is a lost cause while Green didn’t come out of deep freeze as well as we’d hoped.

I keep coming back to the notion that they spent heavily in free agency to improve the defense, drafted three LBs, and got the future at QB and WR (Higgins).  I don't think they absolutely have to move Dunlap or Geno, simply because they won't re-sign Williams, Ross, or maybe Green.  They also can cut the dead cap weight with the o-line players not doing anything (Price, Hart).  I still want  to see Johnson back at OT.  he's just not built for guard, and man did it show.

 

next year should be all about the offense.  We are set at QB and RB (ast least at the top of the roster).  We have to improve the line obviously, and draft a TE at some point.  i agree it's a day 3 pick at this point, unless we strike gold in the Lawrence sweepstakes and trade it for the king's ransom. If we somehow got Thomas and Sewell, I don't give a rat's behind what they pay Jonah, provided he's a solid to great guard.  It's what many draft analysts had him rated best at anyways.  Having a great o-line is worth the cost, just ask Dallas fans.  And rookie deals pale in comparison to second deals.  If all three were all pro's, I'd find a way to keep them all anyway.  Burrow is worth it.  But that's what I want, not what they will actually do.  

 

Agreed on Lou and scheme.  i like multiple, but he doesn't have the personnel to play multiple.  I liken it to HS coaches who refuse to adopt to the talent they have, and instead force their scheme.  The whole square/round hole thing.

 

I'm not ready to move on from Green.... yet.  We still have time for him to get right before a decision has to be made.  he can't re-sign until March anyway due to the tag rules.

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4 hours ago, INbengalfan said:

I keep coming back to the notion that they spent heavily in free agency to improve the defense, drafted three LBs, and got the future at QB and WR (Higgins).  I don't think they absolutely have to move Dunlap or Geno, simply because they won't re-sign Williams, Ross, or maybe Green.  They also can cut the dead cap weight with the o-line players not doing anything (Price, Hart).  I still want  to see Johnson back at OT.  he's just not built for guard, and man did it show.

 

next year should be all about the offense.  We are set at QB and RB (ast least at the top of the roster).  We have to improve the line obviously, and draft a TE at some point.  i agree it's a day 3 pick at this point, unless we strike gold in the Lawrence sweepstakes and trade it for the king's ransom. If we somehow got Thomas and Sewell, I don't give a rat's behind what they pay Jonah, provided he's a solid to great guard.  It's what many draft analysts had him rated best at anyways.  Having a great o-line is worth the cost, just ask Dallas fans.  And rookie deals pale in comparison to second deals.  If all three were all pro's, I'd find a way to keep them all anyway.  Burrow is worth it.  But that's what I want, not what they will actually do.  

 

Agreed on Lou and scheme.  i like multiple, but he doesn't have the personnel to play multiple.  I liken it to HS coaches who refuse to adopt to the talent they have, and instead force their scheme.  The whole square/round hole thing.

 

I'm not ready to move on from Green.... yet.  We still have time for him to get right before a decision has to be made.  he can't re-sign until March anyway due to the tag rules.

INdy, you are a loyal guy.  

I think Geno/Dunlap go if cap $175 mil because that leaves us about $24 mil right now while prob needed WJax, Lawson, and 1 other vet CB re-signed (while also saving money for FAs during season and rookie contracts.. about $15 mil).  We can't do anything with $9 mil.  Hart gives back about $6 mil; Price about $1 mil.  Geno is $10 mil and Dunlap $12 mil.  Drop all four and have $29 mil to spend (which still isn't much but will go farther with a contracting cap).  If Geno or Dunlap play well, we might even get a pick for them.  But we're not winning with this squad this year, and won't win next year with only $9 mil (or $16 mil if you dump only Price and Hart while still considering re-signing Green, Lawson, and/or WJax.  

Time to let this franchise grow up and move on.  AJ at 34 ain't getting better.  Nor is Geno or Dunlap.  We retain these three, then we can hope to remain status quo until we make the hard decision.

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6 hours ago, theJ said:

A lot of teams around the league do that now.  It's nothing unusual.

It is when the play caller is 2-16-1 for his career with the Total O in the lower quartile throughout.  That's Hue Jackson territory.

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11 hours ago, west tx bengal fan said:

INdy, you are a loyal guy.  

I think Geno/Dunlap go if cap $175 mil because that leaves us about $24 mil right now while prob needed WJax, Lawson, and 1 other vet CB re-signed (while also saving money for FAs during season and rookie contracts.. about $15 mil).  We can't do anything with $9 mil.  Hart gives back about $6 mil; Price about $1 mil.  Geno is $10 mil and Dunlap $12 mil.  Drop all four and have $29 mil to spend (which still isn't much but will go farther with a contracting cap).  If Geno or Dunlap play well, we might even get a pick for them.  But we're not winning with this squad this year, and won't win next year with only $9 mil (or $16 mil if you dump only Price and Hart while still considering re-signing Green, Lawson, and/or WJax.  

Time to let this franchise grow up and move on.  AJ at 34 ain't getting better.  Nor is Geno or Dunlap.  We retain these three, then we can hope to remain status quo until we make the hard decision.

Maybe I am too loyal, and i agree about Green given the trajectory he is on.  I would only sign him to one year deals from here on out, kinda like they tried to do with Whit and other older vets between 2008-15.

If the choice is Lawson v Dunlap, I just would stick with Dunlap.  he stays healthier, and is more productive.  lawson has two monster games a year (2-3 sacks) then is either hurt or invisible for most of the rest.  In a perfect world, we keep them all.  Now if they keep Lou around, they have a bigger choice, as Lawson is their best option as 3-4 OLB.

I also am taking the wait and see with Geno.  

Last point.  The salary cap is going to drop, but you keep citing the projected absolute floor number.  So what if that $175 mil suddenly is $190 mill.  How does that change your thinking, if at all?  We need to keep Jackson and Alexander.  We should keep the back end guys too, as they aren't breaking the bank.

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On 9/29/2020 at 3:03 AM, west tx bengal fan said:

STs:  As much as everyone wanted to castrate Bullock out of the gates, he has done just fine the past two game.  It would have been real salt in the wounds tho if Elliott had knocked down a long kick to win the game. 

Yeah.  No.  Forgot to mention this earlier.  Yeah, he made FGs that every pro kicker should make.  But how about that KO after we scored before the half?  One job.  And he kicked it out of bounds, setting them up at the 40.  One run and they were at our 40.  Turned into one of their TDs.  The drive is on the defense, that horrible play call on the TD was on Alexander and Anarumo, but that drive started like that due to Bullock (Bullturd, as I like to now call him using your pet name as the base).

 

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