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Expectations heading into camp


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With the release of the Bengals training camp schedule yesterday, it got me thinking that this is probably the most disinterested that I have been at this point since before the new stadium was completed. The whole Chad thing and the disappointment of two down years had worn on me some. I guess I am not sure if there is anything, other than Rivers that gives me a real sense of excitement or anticipation right now.

I was wondering how the rest feel.

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I am looking forward to the WR battle with 7 talented guys going all out for 2 roster spots.

I am hopeful that the defense looks markedly improved.

I am particularly looking forward to seeing the secondary which I believe will be a top 5 unit in the NFL this season.

I am interested in seeing Odom perform without a huge space-eater like Henderson occupying blockers

I am looking forward to seeing new contracts with Andrews (hopefully before July 15) and Houshmandzadeh


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1) looking forward to seeing how Carson adjusts from last years mistakes. i think he will be back on top this season with a healthy O'line and multiple receiving threats (Utecht, Perry, Rookies etc...)

2) DT position battle, im looking forward to seeing which (if any) rookie DT steps into the starting role. Also looking forward to us cutting Thornton (hopefully)

3) looking forward to a healthy Chris Perry

4) 1st year I can remember with a viable receiving threat at tight end in Utecht

5) seeing if Rudi had a fluke year due to weight-loss (btw i know the real reason he lost weight and it has nothin to do with improving speed) and injuries or if he can bounce back and be the old Rudi

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I think the season will be better than most are expecting.

I got the sense from Carson's words at the OTA's that the attitude of this team is better.

With Perry back and Utecht on board I think the offense will be as good as maybe is ever has been.

Joseph and Leon Hall are a year older and year wiser. Rivers looks like a star in the making and from all reports, the defense will be in more of an attack mode this year, which is definintely a change.

Odom appears to be an upgrade over Justin Smith, Geathers can once again focus solely on DL and my hope that Peko backs up his talk about becoming a force. Putting Brooks in passing situations where he can just rush the QB will be something that I eager to see as well.

With guys like Heranda-Daze Jones and Ethan Kilmer back, special teams should be better as well. In years past, that may have not have been such a big deal, but SP is as crucial to winning a game as offense and defense.

Can't wait for the season to get started.

Who Dey!!!

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I'm looking forward to (hopefully) seeing a backfield of Rudi and Perry giving the offense what we saw in 2005.

I'm looking forward to seeing our secondary with Hall having a season under his belt with White and Ndukwe.

I'm looking forward to seeing Geathers back at his natural position instead of LB and how Odom will do as Smith's replacement.

I'm looking forward to seeing Rivers and the young D-linemen, especially Sims.

I'm looking forward to seeing Carson getting some protection out of his line and having a more complete season.

Most of all, I'm looking forward to seeing how the new D-coordinator and LB coach impact this young defense...

Overall, I am pretty excited going into this season in the line of thought that 10-6 or maybe even 9-7 could take the Division.

Also knowing the Bengals are capable of being the team at the top...


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For some reason I am optimistic about the Bengals' chances this season.

I expect the defense to be much improved under Zimmer's guidance, more aggressive and disruptive. I want to see how they execute the "no easy catches" I have been hearing about. I am interested to see what the nickel and dime packages look like.

I expect the offense to be more consistent with Carson's completion and their 3rd down conversion percentages to be much, much higher with the return of Perry and the addition of Utech. I want to see how Bratkowski adjusts his offensive schemes and play calling. I am interested to see how the o-line pans out.

I have no idea what to expect from special teams. I want to see someone step up as KR and PR, but I don't know who that might be. But special teams seem to be a big part of making this roster so I expect the play to improve.

I see 10-6 as in reach. But I think 9-7 (with tie breakers) will win the AFC North. Why not the Bengals? WHO DEY!

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I think 9-7 (with tie breakers) will win the AFC North. Why not the Bengals? WHO DEY!

Why not the Bengals? One word... defense. I think they will be improved - but they will have to be VERY improved to win the division. I'd like to hold out hope... but I'm not putting any money on them this year. And with this schedule - there ain't no wild card coming from the AFCN.

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Really frustrates me that work will keep me from making the sojourn up to Georgetown this year for the intra-squad and black and orange games. Stupid work.

I am very much looking forward to this camp, and there are a number of things that are of interest to this 37-year-old zealot:

1. I desperately want on-time signings for all of our picks, but especially for Rivers and Sims. Early incorporation of those two into Zimmer's scheme will be critical. Also, since this is very much a "show me" camp with regard to Zimmer's approach, I am most curious about some heretofore "quiet" defensive line guys like Rucker and Fanene making some leaps. I am more bullish on this line than most on here. I think with the right coaching, we will be shocked at the improvements. I will be looking at the on-field reports for how the d-line is treating the o-line in early camp practices, and will be especially interested in watching the d-line at the point of attack in the early pre-season games.

2. Simpson and Caldwell. Caldwell and Simpson. How fast can the team get them ready to contribute. One of them will need to rotation ready by Week 1. My money is on Caldwell, with Simpson right behind him. I am looking forward to seeing some of Simpson's skills in red zone sets.

3. Utecht reportage. Carson with a TE who can get seperation and catch balls? I have always wondered what that would be like.

4. This one is weird, but I am wondering if the post-hype, post-bust, post-injury, after-thought Chris Perry might actually be the surprise of camp. If he is anywhere near what he was back in the day, then this offense just got 100% more dangerous. I still remember what he was bringing to this team back in 2005, and can't help but wonder how much better they would be if he is able to get back to near that. And, interestingly enough, contract years sometimes help. If we can wring one decent year out of him, so be it.

5. Zimmer, Zimmer, Zimmer. If the eyes and ears reporters want to give us one highlight a day of Zimmer chewing someone out, that will be fine with me. Go get 'em, Zim.

6. I am curious how they will be lining up the o-line. I am curious how Anderson will look health wise. Same with Jones. Curious if Andrews will push either of them. Curious what they will be doing for a back-up center. Very curious about that one. Worried, even.

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I've mentioned that I'm not all that optimistic about the Bengals this year... but I have a friend who is a Cowboys fan, and he likes the Bengals this year. He loves the Utecht signing and thinks that makes Carson Palmer much more dangerous. 2 TE sets will force defenses to be more mindful of the run... without significantly diminishing the number of weapons that Palmer will have available.

The defense is still a major concern in my mind... but there is no question in my mind that the offense was the most disappointing thing about the '07 season. Perhaps they bounce back. Here's to hoping.

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