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CTA513
12-27-2006, 03:02 PM
Its been rumored that he was going to retire and it looks like its going to happen.


Notes: Football Rockwell's final chapter
By GEOFF HOBSON
December 26, 2006

Updated: 12-27-06, 5 p.m.


Braham
Dave Lapham, the Bengals radio analyst who himself played 10 seasons along the Cincinnati front, framed Rich Braham’s retirement best Wednesday.

“He’s a Norman Rockwell portrait of an offensive lineman,” Lapham said. “In everything. I’ve never seen anyone tougher. His pain tolerance has been unbelievable.”

One of the longest and toughest careers in Bengals history ends Sunday when Braham retires with a pre-game ceremony at Sunday’s regular-season finale at Paul Brown Stadium as the seventh player to play at least 13 seasons in Cincinnati.The first 40,000 fans receive a poster of Braham at a game where he he won't dress.

"It will be pretty emotional, but I think it will be kind of neat,” Braham said. "To sit there and get a happy farewell from great fans."

Braham’s agent had said Tuesday his client had yet to make up his mind about returning for a 14th season after missing most of this one with what had been called a bone bruise but was really a fracture of the tibia. While Braham told some of his mates about his decision last week, he didn't make it official with the team until Wednesday.

Head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed the move at his Wednesday news conference and later in the day Braham appeared at his own news conference with Bengals president Mike Brown and offensive line coach Paul Alexander.

“Richie has not missed a Saturday night at the hotel this season. That tells you right there what kind of pro he is,” Lewis said. “He’s been there for his teammates. He’s been on the road with us. I had to tell him to quit answering the questions in the meetings. It’s because of habit, and that’s what he means. If he ever wanted to be a coach, he’d be a great football coach, but I think he’s probably smarter than that.”

When Braham told quarterback Carson Palmer he was retiring last week, Palmer told him he wished Braham had been born eight years later and he was born eight years earlier because "we would have had a heck of run together."

Braham, 36, recognized as the glue of an offensive line that paved the way for last season’s division title and record-setting offense, hasn’t played since the second game of this season when he got hit in the back of the knee blocking on a running play by Rudi Johnson.

After a rough start that included switching left guard Eric Steinbach to center, second-year man Eric Ghiaciuc has started the last 10 games and looks to have solidified his position as a long-term center.

The Bengals originally thought Braham could come back in late November, but was never able to put together a string of practices. Braham said he knew he was finished when he thought he could play against Baltimore Nov. 30 but the knee just didn't respond the day of the game.

"It felt good until you practice on someone like Sam Adams and you're like, 'Oooh, it still hurts..' It got to the point I could barely walk."

But clearly it wasn't an easy decision for a guy who has returned whenever his career in Cincinnati looked to be over, as it did before the 1997, 2003 and 2004 seasons while cobbling together 142 starts and 146 games at left guard and center.

After the Bengals matched the Patriots offer sheet in restricted free agency in 1997, Braham ran his streak to 44 straight games at left guard the next season despite a broken toe.

He then switched to center for the 1999 season, where he has made his last 98 starts. He played every game in 2001 after being diagnosed with a herniated neck disk after the third game, played every game in 2002 even though he had arthroscopic elbow surgery during the bye week, and played in 10 games in 2004 after a preseason knee scope.

"I love the game," Braham said. "Every Sunday it's awesome. You got a new challenge, play against the best in the league every week. That's what is fun about it."

Braham and right tackle Willie Anderson are the only Bengals to have played with both Boomer Esiason and Carson Palmer. Braham arrived via the waiver wire from Arizona on Nov. 18, 1994 as a rookie after the Cardinals selected him in the third round.

“He basically took care of me. My first two or three seasons I was playing left tackle, he was playing left guard, he took me under his wing," said Anderson, a first-round pick in 1996. "He’s a guy that’s held this team together for a long time. His value to this team has been long underrated. It’s not been known until the last couple of seasons to the fans and outside the organization how important his role is and was on this team.”



http://www.bengals.com/news/news.asp?story_id=5807

redsfan30
12-27-2006, 03:06 PM
Good luck to Richie!

On a side note, I normally don't get on writers too badly, but Geoff Hobson is the worst writer I've ever read in my life.

His grammar and sentence structuring sometimes is so bad it takes you 10 minutes to read through something that should take you two.

Doc. Scott
12-27-2006, 04:58 PM
Good luck to Richie!

On a side note, I normally don't get on writers too badly, but Geoff Hobson is the worst writer I've ever read in my life.

His grammar and sentence structuring sometimes is so bad it takes you 10 minutes to read through something that should take you two.

Worse than Fay? At least Hobson has better than a sixth-grader's vocabulary.

nycredsfan
12-27-2006, 06:03 PM
According to MS Word, that Hobson article is written at a 10th grade level. Not bad compared to this article (http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061224/COL09/612240424/1071/SPT04) by Fay, which is written at a 7th grade level.

WVRed
12-27-2006, 06:10 PM
This has me wondering if Ghiachuic is the long term answer now at center. Do the Bengals look for someone to replace Braham on day one, or do they focus more on defense?

remdog
12-27-2006, 08:43 PM
I'm wondering how this will affect Ben Wilkerson. He was the number one rated center in college prior to a knee injury and a projected first-round draft choice. The Bengals brought him along slowly for two years. In the game that he subbed for Ghiaciuc he reportedly played well but I don't think he's played since. I'm not even sure if he's dressed for games. Do the Bengals think he'll be ready to play next year or have they given up on him entirely? Or, something in between?

Rem

UKFlounder
12-27-2006, 08:51 PM
Richie had a heckuva career in Cincy.

I think Wilkerson will also get a look as his replacement, though Ghiachuic has done well this year.

If Steinbach leaves as expected in free agency, Ghiachuic might get a chance at guard, so center is possibly a 1st day possibility.

gonelong
12-27-2006, 09:32 PM
According to MS Word, that Hobson article is written at a 10th grade level. Not bad compared to this article (http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061224/COL09/612240424/1071/SPT04) by Fay, which is written at a 7th grade level.

You have to write to your intended audience.

If you have heard the banana phone ...

Hobson needs to dumb his writing down quite a bit while Fay is probably right about where he needs to be.

GL

bthomasiscool
12-27-2006, 09:39 PM
Richie had a heckuva career in Cincy.

I think Wilkerson will also get a look as his replacement, though Ghiachuic has done well this year.

If Steinbach leaves as expected in free agency, Ghiachuic might get a chance at guard, so center is possibly a 1st day possibility.

I think if Steinbach leaves, you have to start Whitworth at left guard. This guy has done extremely well except vs. the speed rushers (Freeney), making him a pretty good fit for left guard. We will miss Steiny's great athleticism though if he does leave.

CTA513
12-27-2006, 10:26 PM
I'm wondering how this will affect Ben Wilkerson. He was the number one rated center in college prior to a knee injury and a projected first-round draft choice. The Bengals brought him along slowly for two years. In the game that he subbed for Ghiaciuc he reportedly played well but I don't think he's played since. I'm not even sure if he's dressed for games. Do the Bengals think he'll be ready to play next year or have they given up on him entirely? Or, something in between?

Rem

Ghiaciuc and Wilkerson will probably be battling for the spot next year, but Ghiaciuc has a bit of an edge since he has been able to get more live game experience due to Wilkersons injury. I dont know who will be out who, but either way they will have two young centers for the future.

remdog
12-27-2006, 10:31 PM
With Rich retiring maybe this will prompt the Bengals to try to retain Steinbach rather than trying to find a draft pick to work into the line. Anyone know what kind of crop of O linemen are coming out of college this year?

BTW, I forgot to mention that Rich had a great career and the Bengals will miss him. Thanks, Rich! :clap:

To think, he was a free agent pickup. Every once in awhile someone makes a steal that way in the NFL.

Rem

LawFive
12-27-2006, 11:17 PM
IIRC, when Ghiaciuc was drafted a couple years ago, the Bengals said it was for the specific purpose of grooming him to be the new center once Braham retired.

Danny Serafini
12-27-2006, 11:45 PM
I think if Steinbach leaves, you have to start Whitworth at left guard.

That's the same thing I'm thinking. I suppose they may consider Stacy Andrews an option, but I imagine Whitworth has a nice leg up on the battle entering training camp.

Oxilon
12-28-2006, 12:00 AM
Yeah, going into next year I'd imagine the line to be:

Levi/Whitworth/Ghiachuic/Williams/Willie
And with Andrews competing with Whitworth for the LG position, and Wilkerson competing with Ghiachuic. I'm sure the Bengals will use mid round pick on an OT too, seeing how Steiny is a goner and Willie is getting old.

guttle11
12-28-2006, 12:06 AM
Yeah, going into next year I'd imagine the line to be:

Levi/Whitworth/Ghiachuic/Williams/Willie
And with Andrews competing with Whitworth for the LG position, and Wilkerson competing with Ghiachuic. I'm sure the Bengals will use mid round pick on an OT too, seeing how Steiny is a goner and Willie is getting old.

I think Steinbach is getting the franchise tag.

He'll be a Bengal at least 1 more year. They need him.

Boss-Hog
12-28-2006, 08:14 AM
I think Steinbach is getting the franchise tag.

He'll be a Bengal at least 1 more year. They need him.
I believe using the franchise tag on him guarantees him a top five salary for all offensive lineman (not just guards). That being the case, there's no way they franchise him because the main reason he's not already signed is they don't want to pay a guard (even a good one) tackle-type money, especially since they signed Levi and Willie to big extensions in the past year.

OesterPoster
12-28-2006, 01:05 PM
^^^ What Boss-Hog said. ^^^

No way you give a franchise tag to an offensive guard. You pay that kind of money to tackles, but not guards. Whitworth will be just fine at the guard spot, and he can move out to tackle if needed for Levi. I suspect Wilkerson will be a guy who can play anywhere along the interior line for injuries to Williams, Ghiachuic, or Whitworth...or if Whitworth has to move out to tackle for Jones. Andrews will back up Anderson.

I hadn't really given much thought to who the Bengals tag before now. I can't think of anyone on defense who is "franchise" worthy. Geathers perhaps? He's a restricted free agent who'll be getting a healthy pay raise for his double-digit sack total this year.