An oldie but a goodie if you’re a football junkie. Plus more on the late Greg Cook and his relationship with Bill Walsh
Even if they can convince Carson Palmer to return, I think the Bengals should draft a quarterback somewhere in the 2-4 range (that’s rounds, not overall picks). I would have been fine with them grabbing a guy last year if they found one they liked because Palmer had already shown he is a head case with a sore arm, and I don’t expect either of those things to change.
This year they basically have to pick a quarterback, one to groom behind a decent veteran starter or Palmer, who basically fits that category anyway. That being the case, I am afraid they might reach for Cam Newton in the first round, which has disaster written all over it. Ryan Mallett is terrifying as well. Both are headcases not worth a franchise’s trust, although that doesn’t mean there is no chance they can develop into good NFL quarterbacks. I’d just rather someone else took that risk.
I think drafting a quarterback early is almost never a good idea (this will change if the owners get the rookie wage scale rehab they are pushing for). Even when they drafted Palmer, that was sort of a default pick. They couldn’t trade down, and there was no one else remotely qualified for the No. 1 pick. Plus they were in such bad shape from an overall roster standpoint, they didn’t have to worry about pushing him into action early to try to win.
The guy I’d really like to see them pick up is Colin Kaepernick. I think he’s worth a second-round pick as a guy with great raw ability and four years of starting experience.
A little later than that, I wouldn’t mind seeing them take a flier on Andy Dalton or Christian Ponder. Dalton is limited physically, but I think he could excel in the quarterback-friendly West Coast Offense new coordinator Jay Gruden is reportedly bringing in.
The Bengals’ 27-21 loss to the Steelers has me pondering the catch-22 of success and potential.
I’m happy they came back to make a game of it even if that made the feeling of loss that much more acute when Carson Palmer’s last pass fell out of Jordan Shipley’s hands and to the ground on 4th down. I’m glad I actually think they should have beaten a team certainly headed for the playoffs. That was a foreign feeling for pretty much all of the 1990s and most of the rest of the past decade, too. This Bengals team is the quintessential NFL team that’s not quite run right or coached well enough. The talent is there to win despite the flaws, and they are competitive despite making the same critical errors over and over again. A couple teams have so much talent they can barely screw it up. A couple more are so bad they can’t win without doing everything right and getting breaks. The Bengals are a lot closer to the former. If not, I wouldn’t be disappointed right now. It’s nice to have expectations again and not look at this as a team that had a flukey good record last season. I knew this would be a tough year because of the quantity of tough teams on the schedule, but I thought they’d stay in the race much longer than this. And for much the same reason, I’m still optimistic they aren’t that far away, so what feels worse tonight should make the rest of the season worth watching and the offseason somewhat hopeful.
It beats the 1990s, but it’s not exactly fun, either.
I guess it’s a good type of different, for what that’s worth.