Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Musings

First the Reds... Ouch! What a terrible first road trip of the season. They take the first two games, and to be honest, those are games they were fortunate to take in extra innings. After that, the only other game they should have won was Saturday night. They were lucky to come back and make a late push to get in the game Friday night. But above and beyond that, there are more disturbing signs: Starting pitching that is very inefficient and can't get past the fifth or sixth inning without racking up 100 pitches. A veteran third baseman that is critical to the lineup already dealing with an injury issue. A leadoff man striking out more than Adam Dunn. Sure it is early, but the track record suggests little reason to think any of the above will change dramatically. If it doesn't,,,, I'm not sure I want to think about that.

Who to draft, Who to draft? I'm not one of those screaming that the Bengals have to take a tight end in round one. I think that makes more sense than drafting a wide receiver, but if they do draft a tight end, will they use him? Think about this: The Bengals have not had a tight end with over 50 catches since 1995. In fact, since Bob Bratkowski came to the Bengals as offensive coordinator, Bengals tight ends have only combined for more than 50 catches in a single season twice. During that time, the 58 catches combined by Reggie Kelly, Matt Schobel, and Tony Stewart in 2003 tops the chart. Ten NFL tight ends in the past season topped that on their own, led by Dallas Clark with 100 grabs in 2009. The top individual performer in the Bratkowski era is Reggie Kelly with 31 grabs in 2008. Of course, it could be a chicken and egg situation. What comes first, a good tight end or the Bengals throwing to a tight end? Maybe if they had one that could get open, there would be more plays going his way. Plus, the Bengals have had some nice wide receivers in the Bratkowski era. But based on the above evidence, I'm willing to get a tight end down the line and hope Chase Coffman becomes the player I believe he can. The guy can catch. I saw it in training camp when he was grabbing everything. High throws, off the shoelaces, behind him, you name it, he was catching it. Based on the above evidence, I'm not going to worry about a tight end in this offense. Perhaps if they did take one in the first round, they would feel compelled to use the guy, but that's not a slam dunk. Fortunately the Bengals are in position to take the boring, old, "best player available." If that happens to be a tight end, do it. But I'm hoping it happens to be a lineman, either side of the ball.

It's enough to make me think about becoming a Steelers fan. Say what you will about Pittsburgh, but the Rooney family sets a tone and you better fall in line. Mike Tomlin is the perfect guy for the team. Impressive, classy, and doesn't put up with the kind of nonsense that gets in the way of winning football games. The fact that the Steelers brass told the players there is a "zero tolerance policy" to play in Pittsburgh is the kind of thing the Bengals should have done years ago. The Bengals kind of, sort of, did that. Then their actions betrayed the words. I'm not going to rehash the whole ugly episode for the Bengals, and I applaud their recent turn for the better. The way Rey Maualuga handled his off season situation was head on, and I have every reason to believe he'll make good. Pittsburgh made good on its pledge by unloading Santonio Holmes, and that put everyone on notice. I would not be surprised if they listen to offers for Roethlisberger. There's a certain standard the Rooney family has set and if you don't live up to it, see ya later. I don't always like the on-field antics, but that's football. Off the field, the Rooney's have done their best. Big Ben could become the next casualty of failing to meet the black and gold standard.

No comments:

Post a Comment