Thursday, May 7, 2009

Are Bengals Better? Reds About To Draw Fans.

You never know until they are on the field, but the Bengals appear to have helped themselves with the addition of safety Roy Williams and running back Brian Leonard. Both guys need to put last year's injury issues behind them. Williams could flourish after reuniting with Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. Coach Zimmer used Williams as an enforcer close to the line of scrimmage down in Dallas. So Williams comes back to the same 4-3 alignment that made him a pro bowl player and leaves the 3-4 alignment that raised questions about the status is his skill set.
Zimmer and his scheme is the big reason Williams is with the Bengals. Williams remembers Zimmer's defense and his salty language.
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I was able to speak with Roy after the news conference. He comes across as a great guy. Roy says his injuries were 2 different breaks in the left arm. He's says it's all good now. Here's Roy about the arm and coach Zimmer about Roy.

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I forgot this in the earlier edition, but Williams was anxious to get to Cincinnati. When the deal was done Wednesday, Marvin Lewis told him they would get him a plane ticket and get him to Cincinnati next Sunday for the start of a new week. Williams said hey, it's only Wednesday, I want to finish this week with my new team. So the Bengals brought him in a.s.a.p.

I also like the Brian Leonard trade. I remember him as the fiery, emotional leader of a Rutgers team that woke up the Scarlet Knights program several years ago. Fearless is one word that describes the style of play I remember from Leonard. The thing I remember most is the Insight Bowl game against Arizona State in December of 2006. Leonard was amazing in that game even though Rutgers lost a gut-wrencher. He says the should injuries that sidelined him most of last year have healed, thanks to rotator cuff surgery. Leonard should be a nice backup to Cedric Benson while helping special teams. So the off season has been productive in terms of acquiring players. But the two big ifs remain: Carson's elbow and the makeover of the offensive line.

The Reds had just 10,000 at their game Wednesday night. They should get a real boost the next 4 games. Singles night tonight should bring out some folks. Then it's the Cardinals over the weekend, and that should be a huge draw. Plus Joey Votto bobblehead night on Saturday. I'm guessting at least 115,000-120,000 over the next 4 nights. If there's only 10-grand again tonight, my prediction is in deep doo-doo.

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