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Camp Stuff ahead of Pre-season Game 3

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That last sentence better not be serious…

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Holy shit.  Pollack proving his worth in spades.  Taylor’s determination to bring that fucking dunce Jim Turner in here in year one and two is infuriating.  

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24 minutes ago, COB said:

Holy shit.  Pollack proving his worth in spades.  Taylor’s determination to bring that fucking dunce Jim Turner in here in year one and two is infuriating.  

Yes. Yes it is.

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https://theathletic.com/2772387/2021/08/16/bengals-stock-report-risers-and-fallers-after-preseason-opener-win-over-the-buccaneers/?source=dailyemail&campaign=601983

Morrison:

Quote

 

Most of the time the preseason opener serves as a giant sifter, giving players on the back end of the roster a chance to hang around and prove themselves worthy of a longer look while others slip through the screen into the silt or irrelevance.

Those are the types of players who get the bulk of the snaps after the starters shake off some rust for a series and then the backups break just enough of a sweat to warrant a shower.

But sometimes, as we saw Saturday night at Tampa in a 19-14 Bengals win against the defending Super Bowl champions, a young player who is expected to play a significant role in the regular season will get a chance to make an impact on the game, and his future, by playing most of the night.

One, in particular, took full advantage and headlines the list of risers and fallers in this week’s Bengals Stock Report.

Here’s my list:

Risers
Joseph Ossai

The third-round pick headlined Paul Dehner Jr.’s list of 10 observations from the game, so this might feel a tad redundant. But there is no way you can leave Ossai off the list of risers after that performance.

Ossai earned his spot among the risers just six snaps into the game when he not only sacked future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady — an experience the rookie termed “definitely dope” — but also beat Tristan Wirfs to do it. Wirfs allowed only one sack in 2020.

It was the first of seven pressures Ossai recorded on the night to put himself among the NFL leaders after the first week of the preseason, and they came on just 23 pass-rush snaps. The Lions’ Julian Okwara and Cowboys’ Ron’Dell Carter each had eight pressures on 28 and 52 pass-rush snaps, respectively.

And Ossai’s ability to get after the Tampa Bay quarterbacks was only part of his impressive performance. Bengals coaches praised his motor on draft night, and many times since, and it was on full display against the running game as Ossai’s backside pursuit led to a tackle after just a 1-yard gain on a second-and-9 play early in the second quarter.

The wrist injury that ended Ossai’s night was the only damper, as he and the team await the results of tests done after the team returned to Cincinnati.

Jalen Davis

The well-traveled cornerback has been showing up in practices since the start of camp but has almost felt like an afterthought with the way the starters have been contributing to Joe Burrow’s early frustrations with sticky coverage.

But Saturday night was Davis’ chance to dominate the reps, as he tied rookie defensive end Cam Sample with a team-high 49 among defensive players. And as has been the case in practice with the corners continually forcing turnovers, Davis got his hands on a pair of passes that ended up as interceptions, one by safety Trayvon Henderson and the other by safety Kavon Frazier.

“I ain’t gonna lie, man, I’ve got to give credit my corner (Davis),” Henderson said. “I wouldn’t have had it if he didn’t play good defense. He was the only reason the ball was bobbling in the air.”

After starters Trae Waynes, Chidobe Awuzie and Mike Hilton, Darius Phillips (who just missed the cut on this risers list with his performance as a returner) and Eli Apple feel like locks to make the roster, and Davis continues to rise into the favorite role as the guy to win the sixth and final spot.

Trenton Irwin

The Bengals strongly went after Irwin in free agency after the 2019 draft, but the receiver from Stanford elected to sign with the Dolphins. After Miami released him and he cleared waivers, the Bengals reached out again, and he spent most of 2019 and 2020 on the practice squad.

But Irwin is the mix to be the backup slot receiver to Tyler Boyd, and he improved his stock Saturday night with three catches for a team-high 35 yards.

It wasn’t just the totals that popped. Irwin’s first reception was a 17-yarder on which Buccaneers cornerback Cameron Kinley delivered a shot by lowering his helmet and drawing a 15-yard penalty (and a release from the team Sunday).

Irwin also had a 12-yard catch to convert a third-and-9 and extend a scoring drive. And he hauled in a 25-yard catch that would have been the longest of the game for either team, but a holding penalty on Keaton Sutherland negated it.

He’s in a battle with Trent Taylor for that final receiver spot, and the belief is that Taylor has the edge with his history as a punt returner. But Irwin returned a punt 13 yards Saturday night, and he made a nice special-teams tackle on a kickoff to force the Buccaneers to start at their own 18.

“That was my first special-teams tackle, so I was hyped for sure,” Irwin said. “It’s a very strange dynamic. You’ve got to go out there, and you’re not rooting for anyone to do poorly. You’re just going out there to try to perform and help your brother out. Because you know if you guys do great as a unit, people end up at places because the whole NFL is like a living organism. People are going to end up places if they deserve to be there. I’m just excited for everyone in our group to get opportunities and make plays when they do.”

Darius Hodge

This list isn’t about guys going from the roster bubble to making the 53-man roster. It’s simply about improving one’s stock. And any way you look at it, Hodge did just that Saturday night with 1.5 sacks and five pressures.

The undrafted free agent from Marshall was the team’s second-highest-graded defense player by Pro Football Focus with an 89.9. Defensive tackle D.J. Reader, who played only four snaps, had a 90.2.

Wyatt Huber’s season-ending pectoral injury has resulted in more practice snaps for Hodge, and if Ossai has to miss any time with the wrist injury, there could be a lot more game reps as well.

It’s the perfect combination of performance and opportunity for Hodge, and there could be more of both beyond Ossai’s situation as the Bengals also continue to look at rookie defensive end Cam Sample as an interior pass rusher in the nickel defense. If that role grows for Sample, it could help Hodge as well.

Jacques Patrick

After the 2018 draft, Patrick couldn’t even get a free-agent contract with an NFL team. His only shot to keep playing came in 2020 when he signed an XFL contract to play for the Tampa Bay Vipers.

The Bengals brought him after the XFL folded, and Saturday night Patrick, a Florida native, was back churning turf and yards at Raymond James Stadium, leading all players with 71 yards on 15 carries (4.7-yard average).

Patrick was as affected as anyone by the lack of preseason games last year. The 237-pounder was a beast in the intrasquad scrimmage as no one on defense looked interested in taking him on, and we saw more of that against the Buccaneers.

His lack of special-teams action will hurt his chances of making the regular roster this year, but if he continues to run like that and the issues continue for the other backs (Samaje Perine’s fumble; Trayveon Williams injury), Patrick could find himself in the mix.

Fallers
Trayveon Williams

The 2019 sixth-round pick is a close second to Patrick on the list of guys most affected by the loss of preseason games last season. And he’s losing more opportunities this year while others take advantage of them.

Williams was going to get a lot of carries in Tampa until he suffered a hamstring injury at the end of Thursday’s practice. It was a brutal break for the former Texas A&M star, as he was hurt in the first preseason game as a rookie in 2019 and never played another snap in the preseason or regular season.

The nature of hamstring injuries makes it unlikely that Williams will be ready for Washington on a short week, so another opportunity is passing him by and placing him atop the list of fallers.

Xavier Su’a-Filo

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said not to read too much into Su’a-Filo’s spot in the guard rotation Saturday night, but it’s hard not to take notice of an eight-year veteran being held out until the second half, then being forced to play four series against the opponent’s deep backups.

And that’s just the start of the reason for including Su’a-Filo here. Despite playing against second- and third-teamers, he had an uninspiring performance in the running game, grading out at 36.6 by PFF. It was the second-lowest run-blocking grade of the weekend among guards who played at least 17 snaps.

Samaje Perine

A lot of things don’t matter much in preseason games, especially the opener, but ball security is not on that list.

When a team desperate to climb from the bottom of the league in turnover margin coughs up the ball inside the opponent’s red zone, it’s going to rankle the coaching staff every time.

The great performance by rookie Chris Evans and on-the-rise Jacques Patrick could be threats to Perine’s place in the pecking order, especially after he lost a fumble and averaged just 1.7 yards on three carries.

Winston Rose

There was a lot of intrigue around Rose when he arrived after leading the Canadian Football League in interceptions, but he’s struggled to make any sort of impact at practice and often is a liability.

On Saturday night, he added a missed tackle to the ledger. PFF gave him a 32.4 grade, the second worst among all Bengals defenders.

The secondary as a whole is rising, and Rose is falling. That’s a bad combination.

Gunnar Vogel

The Bengals signed him as a camp body, so there was no real chance he would make the team. But injuries to Hakeem Adeniji and Fred Johnson created a crack for Vogel to get more playing time and prove himself worthy of a spot on the practice squad.

But Saturday night might have ended all of that. His whiff of first-round rookie Joe Tryon resulted in a helmet-to-helmet shot on Brandon Allen, and there were even more uncomfortable moments as Vogel played the second-most snaps of any Bengals offensive player. He also had a false start and finished with a 24.7 pass-blocking grade from PFF, the second lowest of any player this weekend who was in for at least 20 pass snaps.

 

 

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Hello.

 

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other than Ossai, presumably...

 

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