membengal Posted August 3, 2008 Report Share Posted August 3, 2008 I guess we can thank the fates for NOT sending Peter King to Georgetown. The write-up by Jim Trotter is actually, um, fair. Go figure.http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writ...ex.html?eref=T1A taste:THREE OBSERVATIONS1. Keith Rivers, the rookie linebacker selected ninth overall from USC, has yet to sign but the defense doesn't appear to be missing him. Free-agent linebacker Brandon Johnson continues to make plays in his absence and is opening eyes. New defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer says Rivers wasn't hurt by missing the first few days of camp because it was mostly review from offseason workouts. But Zimmer has been expanding the playbook in recent days and says Rivers now runs the risk of falling behind, adding, "He needs to get his butt in here." 2. The search for a No. 3 receiver to replace Chris Henry, released in the offseason because of misconduct issues, could end with Antonio Chatman. The former Packer struggled with groin and hamstring injuries the past two seasons but showed his skills over the weekend with a 21-yard touchdown catch on Friday and a 33-yarder on Saturday. Chatman doesn't fit the mold of big receivers the Bengals usually favor, but the 5-foot-9, 185-pound veteran has a knack for getting open. If he builds on the weekend -- and stays healthy -- he could take command of the competition. 3. Wide receivers Chad Johnson (ankle) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (hamstring) have been sidelined by injuries, but each says he hopes to practice in the coming days. Both had issues with the organization in the offseason -- Johnson wanted a trade, Houshmandzadeh a new contract -- but Houshmandzadeh says those issues have not carried over to the field. His agent was in town over the weekend, which could be precursor to a new deal. Or not. Johnson is declining interviews until he returns to the field. NEW FACES, NEW PLACESThe most important newcomer is Zimmer. It's hard to overstate the impact he has had on the defense, which ranked 27th or lower in seven of the past 13 seasons. Even the offensive players are complimenting him for installing a greater sense of accountability in the unit. Zimmer, the third defensive coordinator of the Marvin Lewis era, demands that his players play fast, smart and with passion. When he doesn't get one of those things, he lets them know it. He also is quick to praise them when they do it right. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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