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What's Up Guys and Gals? Been A Minute! Draft Impressions? Team Direction? Opinions?

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I've been away from the board for awhile because of work and being a single Dad/Warden to two teenage boy prisoners serving an indefinite sentence. Also fighting the good fight on FB fan pages and being overwhelmed with the ignorance out there and all the negativity.

 

I couldn't be too much happier with the overall results of FA, the draft, and the direction of the team under Zac Taylor right now. 

I think Burrow has a cocksure edge that drives him to succeed and will also do so with the Bengals because he will lead the team and our players will rally around him and elevate their play. That's just who Burrow is in my opinion.

 

FA was stunningly different. I LOVE Reader and Bell. The front four of Hubbard--Reader--Geno--Dunlap is fearsome to imagine. Bell is a playmaking ball hawk that can cover a TE for a change. Williams is getting bumped down if he's even kept at all. Loving our safety situation right now. A little worried about CB depth and don't know much about Wayans but we seemed to overpay for him. LB is still up in the air, although the Wilson pick looks solid (hopefully better than Vigil was at minimum) and super intrigued by the Davis-Gaithier pick.

 

I expect some growing pains for all these pieces to find their roles, especially given the likely limitations for actual practices the teams are going to be facing due to the virus (please football gods, let there be a season!), all the while hoping Burrow just bursts onto the scene with a healthy AJ Green and our suddenly scary WR corps with Higgins, Boyd, Tate...and Ross. Speaking of which, if Burrow can dig that guy's soul out of him and get him to ball out he could be unreal with Burrow finding him out on the field.  Gotta stay healthy though.

 

Oline: should be okay. Williams' health and being good are key. The revival of the resurgent play from the latter half of the season by guys settling into their roles as Mixon ran wild is crucial. Billy Price needs to step up and be a first round pick worthy o-lineman. Still a lingering concern but we have to remember that Burrow is significantly taller than Dalton and sees the field and feels the pocket better than Dalton ever will. He'll create his own passing lanes on the fly while keeping his eyes downfield, and is surprisingly athletic when he needs to take off and run and knows when to get out of bounds and not get hit. I expect the "another ball batted down at the line" problem to basically disappear. Man Dalton had more batted down balls than anyone I can ever remember honestly. 

 

Special teams is a non-issue mostly, our coverage teams are always good and Huber is a great punter, although upgrading from Randy is preferable if we can somehow, and I'd like Erickson to not return anymore. Too many costly fumbles (turned the Patriots game's momentum right around when Mixon was killing their top-ten defense the entire first half).

 

 

I would love for a repeat of Dalton's rookie season and get to the playoffs, but win a game for the first time since 1991. My expectations are tempered as a Bengals fan of course but realistically we can do that right out of the gate, but I don't see worse than 6-10, expect about 8-8 to 9-7 and would be thrilled to win 10 or more games next season...if there is one.

 

Thoughts?

 

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7 minutes ago, High School Harry said:

Welcome home!

Thanks! Where's your uh, team analysis? I wanted to get people talking about FA and the draft since I don't see any other threads about any of that on here.

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Agree about the overall direction.

 

1) The coaching staff/FO has improved.

 

The coaches came in late-ish last year and were largely stuck with Marvin's guys, for better or worse. They made some mistakes (draft trade down/Sample pick; O line debacle).

 

They also saw what kind of players they don't want, in terms of abilities and character, which is an important step in determining what you do want.

 

This process began last year, with the release of some of the LBs and continued this year on the O line.

 

The FO also seemed to wake up and realize you are allowed to improve in FA as well.

 

2) Free Agency

 

This new direction became apparent in FA. In terms of character/culture. We want guys from winning programs. Of our 8 FA signings, 7 were in the POs last year (Reader, Bynes, Bell, Waynes, Alexander, Su'a-Filo, Sims) and the other in the Super Bowl 2 years ago (Thomas).

 

6 are likely starters. 5 on D. With every level on D getting at least one new starter (DL Reader; LB Bynes; DB Bell, Waynes, Alexander).

 

3) Draft direction.

 

Loved it. Captains. Productive guys. Coach's sons. Smart guys. Team first.

 

Franchise QB. WR who modeled his game on AJ and is a Bengals fan. 3 LBs. DL depth. Versatile OL depth piece.

 

4) Potential for a ton of improvement.

 

I saw we lost 8 games by 1 score last year and had the lead in 12. Failed to score 20 points in 10 games. 

 

Here is the list of players we have this year that DID NOT PLAY A DOWN for us last year, who I think will either start or play rotationally: 

 

Offense (5):  Burrow, Green, Jonah Williams, Higgins, Su'a-Filo.

 

Defense (8): Reader, Bynes, Bell, Waynes, Alexander, L. Wilson, Davis-Gaither, Kareem. 

 

Plus, Ross missed 8 games, Phillips missed 8 games. Pratt & Jordan only started 9. Fred Jonson was picked up late. That is 5 more guys.

 

Here are the guys who figure to start/play major minutes this year or are key reserves AND were here & healthy and in the rotation for most of last year:

 

Offense (10): Mixon, Boyd, Tate, CJ, Hopkins, Hart, Jordan, Gio, Sample, Price.

 

Defense (8): Atkins, Dunlap, Hubbard, Lawson, Pratt, Jackson, S. Williams, L. Wilson. 

 

So, we have 18 rotation guys back, 12 new guys, and 5 guys who missed half of last year or more.

 

That is a lot of upgrading.

 

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I was wondering about you the other day.  Glad to see you back.  I love what they have done this offseason.  

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26 minutes ago, IsaacCurtis:TheReal#85 said:

Agree about the overall direction......

Snip

 

...That is a lot of upgrading.

 

Good post man. Didn't want to quote it all to save space. Weren't you disparaging the Higgins pick in the 2nd round thread?

:sheriff:

12 minutes ago, Jason said:

I was wondering about you the other day.  Glad to see you back.  I love what they have done this offseason.  

Thanks Jason! How are things for you?

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6 minutes ago, Bunghole said:

Good post man. Didn't want to quote it all to save space. Weren't you disparaging the Higgins pick in the 2nd round thread?
 

I was at first, disappointed with Higgins in the 2nd.

 

Apparently they were targeting LB Jordyn Brooks but Seattle took him at 27.

https://www.cincyjungle.com/2020/4/28/21239220/seahawks-news-bengals-jordyn-brooks-nfl-rumors-tee-higgins-draft

 

I have grown into liking the Tee Higgins pick a lot.  They said he was a first rounder who slid because of the number if WRs in the draft

and most years would have gone mid 1st at least.  After the pick he said he has always been a Bengals fan and modeled himself off A.J. Green.

Boom!  What else could you ask for.

 

I also liked LB Baun and OT Josh Jones but one thing I said was that both of them slid for (unstated) reasons.  Red Flags.

Since all the other teams avoided them in the first and second rounds, something schtunck.  Very pleased with Logan and
the other LBs.  

 

See if any good O linemen shake out of the bushes during camp and preseason and things look good.

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Fine with everything so far and i'm Hopeful.  I don't have any reasons to see why not.  

 

New era at Quarterback.  The guy is certified.  Thats enough right there to fill me with sunshine.  A first round tackle who i'd like to think is chomping at the bit.  Luxury at wideout and running back.  Got some new plugs for the second level of the defense.  A competent secondary.  

 

I'm thinking nine or ten wins.

 

 

Edited by Jimmy D
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Certainly the best off season I have ever seen ON PAPER.  Just hope the injury bug can stay the F away this year.  Would be nice to see AJ Green running routes again and Jonah Williams laying people out.    Hopefully Dalton can get us out to a 5-0 start so we can have a QB controversy, that would be awesome. 

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I was a bit critical of passing on OL Charles in the 4th, but after listening to Taylor's reasoning, I will defer to him.  I love how Burrow is stoked that Taylor asked him for his 10 favorite LSU plays.  Seems like everyone is pulling in the same direction.  I can't wait to watch the process.  These guys are going to be easy to root for!

 

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2 hours ago, Bunghole said:

Good post man. Didn't want to quote it all to save space. Weren't you disparaging the Higgins pick in the 2nd round thread?

:sheriff:

Thanks Jason! How are things for you?

Great.  Despite the corona issue.  My company is essential so I'm still working, and I bought a new car back at the end of March. (Head to the general forum to see what.)

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Wonderful off season. I am concerned about the O line but not everything can be fixed in one off season. I thought we had a great draft and really like the Higgins pick. Gives Burrow a WR to grow with and he's young at 21 years old. I look at last year as a wash. Lost AJ, Jonah and Boling immediately. Then the Cordy fiasco wtf was that? The first 8-9 games were really brutal with only 1 of the first 4 being at home. Looking back I feel like Zac was dealt about the shittiest hand one could be dealt and now hopefully we get to see what he can really do as a coach.

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hey Bung.. welcome back!!!

 

I love this offseason so much...spent some cash in free agency to bolster the defense

 

and no #1 pick QB has ever some in has ever come in with so many weapons...

 

A+ for the Bengals offseason... I sure as fuck hope there is a season

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4 hours ago, SF2 said:

Certainly the best off season since I have been watching ON PAPER.  Just hope the injury bug can stay the F away this year.  Would be nice to see AJ Green running routes again and Jonah Williams laying people out.    Hopefully Dalton can get us out to a 5-0 start so we can have a QB controversy, that would be awesome. 

Isn't every off season ON PAPER? LOL

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1.  I'm concerned about the offensive line.  As I have said before...  We were at the bottom 3 last season.  A couple of additional players with one player drafted in the first last year.  Does not help that our second year rookie has not played a down but is expected to be okay...  Not sure about our talent evaluator or line coach.  It's a roll with what we have and hope for the best type of year.

 

2.  All of our wonderful new Offensive toy's will not be able to make much noise with...  See #1 above.  Not much available for line help after the 2nd round IMHO and that's why we drafted a metric buttload of defense.  Which leads me to #3.

 

3.  Defensively we weren't much better in our linebackers and I can see why that was a focus.  Gotta start somewhere.  I guess.  Here's to hoping that someone next season can actually cover a tight end...

 

4.  Overall we picked up some really good to great player's.  It just seems a little unbalanced and as such I pray/hope/cross my fingers that we don't have a collapsing line that plays turtle with our new precious shiny toy behind them.

 

I'll close with a few final thoughts.  I hope I'm wrong about our line but could possibly see a mid ranking line help our new toy feel comfortable without happy feet syndrome becoming the norm.  We have one of NFL's finest offensive line advisors but he can only help with what he's been given and he depends greatly on our obviously Offensive line challenged evaluator...  Lastly, I'm not sold on our Offensive line coach.  You're either a bad coach or given a shitty line by your evaluator or you have some very bad luck or a combination of all the above.  Okay that's more than a few thoughts.

 

We'll go to war with what we have.  Keep on digging.  Etc...

 

P.S.  Ask your Mom how much she wants for some of those sweet Bengal's masks she made. 

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The Bengals have had a better than usual off-season. But that's not a high bar.  We overpaid Reader and Waynes considerably. Reader is a good player, Waynes is average. 

 

We've continued to ignore the O-line. That will certainly keep the Bengals out of the playoffs. We're still probably the 4th best team in the division. Let's hope Burrow makes good progress and the game slows down for him by end of the season. Then if we fix the O-line for 2021, we'll be in business. 

 

I'll guess the Bengals win 6 games +-1. 

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21 hours ago, Bunghole said:

Good post man. Didn't want to quote it all to save space. Weren't you disparaging the Higgins pick in the 2nd round thread?

:sheriff:

Thanks Jason! How are things for you?

 

Guilty as charged on the Higgins pick. But not for the reason that a lot of others were (wanting OL help).

 

Nor was I a big Mims guy, I was wary of taking a boom/bust, raw guy (Ross). I wanted a productive guy with some polish.

 

I just thought Pittman was/is a superior player. Bigger. Stronger. Better blocker. Better special teams guy (returner and blocked kicks). Think he can be an elite possession receiver, while Higgins is more of a jump ball specialist.

 

And I thought we could have traded back and gotten a player similar to Higgins later. I heard they listened, but offers were likely down in the 40s, so I guess I would have passed too.

 

Worry about his separation. CFP performance vs elite DBs. And poor pro day timings.

 

Still, he is here now. Bengals fan/AJ fan. That should help in the locker room. And it seems he can play slot and wide, so he fits easily with any 2 (or 3) of AJ, Boyd, Ross, and Tate. That is a plus. And I did not realize Higgins just turned 21, so he should get a little stronger.

 

He's a WR#2 at best in my book, however. Which is fine, we need one. But I think Pittman will be a star.

 

 

 

 

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Well, with Andy gone, we have some cap room to play with. And options.

 

Extensions. AJ's could actually create more cap room this year. Mixon's will not. If we want to look ahead, WJ3 could possibly do an extension, for more moderate $$ per year. And a modest extension for Ross might be wise (though not at anywhere close to his 5th year option).

 

With what is leftover, we could go for some immediate vet help on the OL (Peters), DL, or TE. Or even a backup QB. 

 

Or we could try to land a bigger fish who gets cut like Andy did.

 

Or we could hold onto it for injury insurance later on.

 

I am in favor of spending on some vet help now.

 

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1 hour ago, IsaacCurtis:TheReal#85 said:

Well, with Andy gone, we have some cap room to play with. And options.

 

Extensions. AJ's could actually create more cap room this year. Mixon's will not. If we want to look ahead, WJ3 could possibly do an extension, for more moderate $$ per year. And a modest extension for Ross might be wise (though not at anywhere close to his 5th year option).

 

With what is leftover, we could go for some immediate vet help on the OL (Peters), DL, or TE. Or even a backup QB. 

 

Or we could try to land a bigger fish who gets cut like Andy did.

 

Or we could hold onto it for injury insurance later on.

 

I am in favor of spending on some vet help now.

 

"I am in favor on spending on some vet help now"

His name is Jason Peters...

2yr 12mil...hed sign and...be worth it..

Cutting Shaun Williams would cover half of it alone..

 

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Saints aren't going to pay Larry Warford his 7.75 mil salary. We could probably get him for a pittance, ie a late round pick swap next year. He's certainly a much better RG than XSF and would help if we're going to start Fred Johnson at RT. 

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1 hour ago, sparky151 said:

Saints aren't going to pay Larry Warford his 7.75 mil salary. We could probably get him for a pittance, ie a late round pick swap next year. He's certainly a much better RG than XSF and would help if we're going to start Fred Johnson at RT. 

They best get a RT ...Peters...now!

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