Re: Bengals Season Preview.
I like that you are positive about most things but per usual with the Bengals alot of things need to break right for them to be a playoff team let alone a Super Bowl Contender. The way I see it 3 things need to happen in order for the Bengals to be a playoff team:
1.) Cornerback play-If Deltha Oneal returns to 2005 form, the group of Bengals corners could be scary good. I like Johnathan Joseph's ability to lock down teams 2nd/3rd reciever but if he could learn to catch INTs that gives you two ball hawking CBs along with Madieu (who I feel may have a huge year). Leon Hall is great depth if nothing else but I really like what I've seen so far (superb coverage/tackling skills). It's a nice upgrade from 3rd and Tory. However, Deltha is the key to this group.
2.) Oline play-Is Willie healthy enough to play all 16? Will Levi's knee hold up/can he repeat his performance in 2005? Will Stacy Andrews be an upgrade over Steinbach (I think so personally, Steiny's a good player but Stacy has much more potential)? Can Ghiachic make all the line calls like Richie used to make? Those questions need little explanation but if the line has problems, Carson won't be as deadly as usual (see last year...don't get me wrong Carson is a great great QB but his line always being in flux definately held a role in some of his struggles along with his knee)
3.) A third reciever needs to emerge. I hopeful that some combination of Tab Perry/Skylar Green/Glenn Holt/Reggie Kelly/Daniel Coats/Kenny Watson can catch a few balls each game to take some the pressure off of TJ/Chad. If a third viable reciever emerges, coupled with Chris Henry's reinstatement after week 8, the Bengals passing game could be virtually impossible to stop. However, if no one steps up I feel that the passing game will definately struggle until Chris Henry comes back
Overall, I'm excited/curious about the 2007-08 version of the Bengals...I'm really hopeful that they are able to take the next step to being a consistent playoff team. However, I really feel that if things don't work out like expected that we could have a new head coach in 2008. It's going to be an interesting football season to say the least.