Jump to content

That Lonnie Wheeler Article


Recommended Posts

Have not seen it posted in another thread, so will drop it here:


Bottom line, I think the Bengals will achieve the fast start that Marvin Lewis and a lot of you guys have been living for.

I think the offense, with everybody returning, makes me say that; and also the defense, with its simpler, faster schemes; and also provincialism; but mostly the schedule.

I think the schedule has more to do with a team's success than, say, its experience at linebacker; but even so, the Bengals could use some more experience at linebacker.

I think, and this is only a wild-card thing, that the Bengals are fortunate to be playing the AFC South while the many playoff contenders in the AFC East and West are running afoul of each other; and that there should be no complaints, either, about drawing the NFC North; and that the Ravens and Steelers enjoy the same advantages, which should make the divisional games very, very interesting, which is why Lewis has placed so much emphasis on stopping the run, which is why Bryan Robinson and Ifeanye Ohalete - the man who will never have to buy a vowel - will prove to be prudent additions and Odell Thurman, the new middle linebacker, could fast become a Rookie of the Year kind of guy, which would definitely fit his personality.

I think that Chuck Bresnahan, the new defensive coordinator, will have a wonderful effect, but nevertheless the defensive backs, in their urgency to step up and stop the offensive backs, will still get blistered deep now and again; and again.

I think that David Pollack, the first-round draft choice, might have needed a little comeuppance, and that Lewis, quick to demote him during the rookie's misguided holdout, has obliged; but it will all work out because Landon Johnson deserved to start at linebacker anyway and this way Pollack can get more time at defensive end in pass-rush situations, which is good because, knowing Lewis, you get the feeling that Duane Clemons, who was counted on for that but didn't help himself when he eschewed all the voluntary workouts over the offseason, might not be around for very long after he serves his four-game suspension for substance abuse.

I think that if Carson Palmer is to have the year I think he can have, which would pretty much guarantee the same for Rudi and Chad Johnson, it's imperative that Willie Anderson's knee holds up, because we've already seen what happens when the other tackle, Levi Jones, can't make it out there; or for that matter the center, Rich Braham.

I think that Chris Perry fits the Cincinnati offense so well that it's almost frightening, seeing as how he can be not only Rudi's change of pace, but the taker-up of the slack created in the short passing game by the cutting of Peter Warrick and the reluctant receiving of the tight ends.

I think Palmer is going to be the best quarterback in the division because Ben Roethlisberger, belted back to reality by the absence of Plaxico Burress and the various afflictions of Duce Staley and Jerome Bettis, isn't.

I think the Ravens are going to be really good - probably better than the Steelers and Bengals - if Kyle Boller doesn't screw it up for them.

I think the Bengals had better beat the Browns on Sunday, because Lewis has put a massive premium on doing so, and because Cleveland won't be very good, and because if they don't, man, what a bummer for them after all this hype.

I think that, under Lewis, it's no coincidence that the Bengals have a conspicuous number of truly good guys, the likes of Rudi and Anderson and Jon Kitna and Reggie Kelly and Eric Steinbach and Robinson and John Thornton; and that it will be compelling to see how all of that plays out in the standings, especially in the crucial case of the latter two, who will line up next to each other in the middle of the defensive line, charged with doing what is essentially Job One with this team.

I think that while the Cincinnati defense remains in arrears of the Cincinnati offense, it is served, somewhat provocatively, by an extraordinarily deep and promising battery of young players, specifically Thurman, Pollack, Landon Johnson, Madieu Williams - any of those four could, by midseason, be considered the best defensive player on the roster, which is to take nothing away from Justin Smith, Brian Simmons, Tory James or Deltha O'Neal - Robert Geathers, Keiwan Ratliff, Greg Brooks, Caleb Miller, Shaun Smith and Matthias Askew.

I think it says something that you can get this far into a Bengals season-eve assessment without mentioning T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

I think, given the schedule and alignment of planets, that 9-7 is a timid projection, but the one I'm going with for fear of overdoing the curiously striped Kool-Aid.

With that disclaimer in place, I don't think that the Bengals' 16th game of the season, on New Year's Day in Kansas City, is going to be their last.

Very solid work from Wheeler and just got helped to ratchet my eagerness up another three nothces.

Can. Not. Wait.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...