The Bengals have a lot of off season decisions to make with free agents.
The free agent list includes names like: Michael Johnson, Rey Maualuga, Andre Smith, Robert Geathers, Terrance Newman, Thomas Howard, Manny Lawson, Bernard Scott, both kickers, and Kevin Huber, among others.
Years ago, when I hosted the Friday Bengals Show with Bob Trumpy, he would bring up the Bengals need to identify and keep the "core" player of their team.
I would present the question to listeners and compile the results each year.
Who are the five players you must keep around and build around over the next five years? If you were "freezing" five players today, and tossing the rest back into the pool, who would you keep and why?
Below are the previous rankings I found while digging through my folders today:
2006: Palmer, Thurman, C. Johnson, L. Jones, Steinbach
2007: Palmer, Joseph, Houshmandzadeh, L. Jones, C. Johnson
2008: Palmer, Geathers, Joseph, Rivers, Housmandzadeh/Hall (tied)
2009: Palmer, Rivers, Maualuga, Whitworth, Hall
I have not done this topic since 2009. Who are the five core players to keep over the next five years for this team?
I talked to a UC official today who confirmed that someone from the football staff was in contact with each of the previous staff's commitments.
Albert Breer @AlbertBreer (NFL Network)
Carolina requested permission to interview Hue Jackson about its OC opening, w/Chud gone. The Jets have also expressed interest in Jackson.
Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora (CBS NFL)
Chargers will interview Whisenhunt Sat. Also talking to Arians. McCoy and Jay Gruden are on their radar too
Bruce Feldman @BFeldmanCBS (CBS College football)
Just spoke to someone at UC, who said after coaching change EVERY committed recruit was contacted by a Bearcat staffer.
Recruits: Tubberville pulled scholarships without enough notice
Even without Tuberville's side of the story – NCAA rules prohibit coaches from publicly acknowledging individual recruits before they've signed letters of intent – the language in those accounts is damning enough. A player finds the situation "disappointing." A local coach thinks it's "ugly." A parent just calls it "bad." Among his core constituencies on the recruiting trail, Tuberville is off to an 0-for-3 start.
More Freezer Bowl stuff
Yesterday was anniversary of Freezer Bowl, Bengals-Chargers:
January 10, 1982.
Let's say a husband does laundry. If, during the act he happens to shrink his wife's sweater, what does he deserve?
A. Credit for helping do laundry
B. Criticism for shrinking the sweater
C. A pass to no longer do laundry
Watch Maryland 8th grader Matt December hit this shot in a church league game.
6:05, Sports Talk
Observations from lunch with Peyton
I took lunch (Subway) to Peyton on Thursday. I was sitting on a bench, outside the cafeteria, waiting for her class to come down the hall. A kid stopped in the hallway, looked at me and said, "my dad says your wrong about the Hall of Fame." Everyone is a critic! Once at the lunch table, I think I scored major cool points with the 5th graders when I began discussing Taylor Swift and boyfriend Nick Styles, of One Direction. I may have lost some cool points when I tried to sing 'We Are Never Getting Back Together'. I learned that One Direction is better than the Jonas Brothers were in their prime. Joke of the day from Braden. He asked me, "If the Rolling Stones die do they become the Grave Stones? Gotta love lunchroom humor.
The Dalton Dossier
Locally and nationally there seems to be a growing debate about Andy Dalton's future. What is his upside vs his limitations? Is he a franchise QB? Are the Bengals married to Dalton? Should they be? John Thornton asked throughout the season, on The Roundtable Show, if Dalton was a QB that you could win a Super Bowl with? I maintained I did not know, that I hope so, but my jury is still out. I don't believe I have enough evidence to make a final decision. 30% of voters in my poll question have already decided he is not a franchise QB. I believe there are legitimate concerns about Dalton. Yet, I realize he is two years into a career that has seen him lead his team to back to back playoff appearances. He has 47 TD passes in his first two seasons. Only Peyton Manning and Dan Marino have more in their first two seasons. When evaluating Dalton you must factor in a lack of #2 WR, an OL that dealt with injury, a running game without a home run hitter, and the fact that offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is still growing as an NFL coordinator.
The Bengals chose not to sign a veteran number two WR for this season. They put their eggs in the basket of Sanu and Jones. Just when Sanu was starting to have an impact he was injured. I like his upside. But is he a wide receiver to put opposite AJ Green who will command attention, or more of a slot guy? Can the Bengals roll dice again next year that Sanu and or Jones are answers? I think next season is a very important year for Dalton, Marvin and the organization. Let's discuss your assessment of Dalton tonight at 6:05.
Just because I love stats, I figured up some numbers on Dalton.
I file these under: The QB gets way too much credit when the team wins and way too much credit when his team loses.
Record: 19-13 , TD-INT: 47-29, comp%: 60.2%, QB rating: 83.9, yards per: 219
Record: 0-2, TD-INT: 0-4, comp: 57%, yards per: 192
vs playoff teams (including playoff games)
Record: 2-11, TD-INT: 12-14, comp: 57%, yards per: 223
vs non-playoff teams
Record: 17-4, TD-INT: 35-19, comp: 62%, yards per: 217
vs Top 10 defenses (points per game)
Record: 6-10, TD-INT: 15-19, comp: 57%, yards per: 204
vs defenses ranked top half (1-16)
Record: 8-10, TD-INT: 18-20, comp: 57%, yards per: 198
vs defenses ranked bottom half (17-32)
Record: 11-5, TD-INT: 29-13, comp: 68%, yards per: 242
Cross Mike Zimmer off the list in Cleveland, the Browns hire Rob Chudzinski.
(USA Today photo)
Cardinals interview Jay Gruden
Jay Gruden has been the Bengals offensive coordinator the past two seasons and is credited with the development of quarterback Andy Dalton, a second-round pick in 2011.
He took some criticism this season, however, for the way the Bengals offense played late in the year and in a loss last week to the Houston Texans in the first round of the AFC playoffs.“I still feel like we underachieved a bit on offense,” Gruden said on Thursday. “We can do better.”
Gresham to Pro Bowl
Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham has been added to the AFC squad for the Pro Bowl, the NFL announced today. The game will be played in Honolulu on Jan. 27.
Gresham was a first alternate in last month’s voting, and he will replace Pittsburgh’s Heath Miller, who will be unable to play due to an injury. Gresham was a third-year player in 2012, and he also went to the Pro Bowl last season. He was a Bengals first-round draft choice in 2010.
The Bengals now have three players headed for the Pro Bowl, as DT Geno Atkins and WR A.J. Green were voted to the AFC team last month, both as starters. The three players have a total of only eight years’ NFL experience, as Atkins and Gresham were third-year players in 2012 while Dalton was a second-year player.
“It’s great to hear Jermaine is joining our group,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. “He’s been a very fine player ever since we drafted him, and he keeps getting better every week.”
Gresham ranked second on the Bengals in 2012 with career-highs in receptions (64) and receiving yards (737). He was third on the team in TDs (five). He is the first Bengals TE to have 50 or more receptions in three consecutive seasons.
College football hot on cleats of MLB
College football was most popular with the 18-to-24-year-old demo and Southerners, according to Harris. Baseball was most popular with 50-to-64-year-olds and Midwesterners. The online poll was conducted from Dec. 12-18, 2012.
Brandon Phillips hints at playing for Team USA in WBC.
Recent experience suggests Chapman faces uncertainty
Despite plenty of examples to draw from in recent years, Reds skipper Dusty Baker won't exactly have a foolproof blueprint when it comes to managing Aroldis Chapman's highly anticipated move to the starting rotation this season.
Indeed, one doesn't need to go back any further than last year to see both extremes of the high-risk, high-reward transition.
Rose preaches patience to tarnished stars
"I don't know who did what, and I really don't care," Rose said. "All I can tell you is if there's drugs involved, the most sacred thing in baseball is the stats. We've been taking stats since 1869 ... and whenever you do something that can alter the statistics of the game, it's not good for the game."
Wildcats zone out in second half of bizarre game.
Check out the stadium renovation project UK announced
Construction will begin this year and is estimated to be complete by July 2015. When all is said and done, Commonwealth's current capacity of 67,942 will be maintained or slightly reduced while the value of all remaining seats will be enhanced. This will be accomplished by improving concessions, restrooms and security.
Project at a Glance
Upgrades to the Nutter Training Center for the daily benefit of the Student Athletes
Spectator driven improvements (improved concessions, restrooms, and security)
Multi-purpose recruiting room
16 - 20 Private suites
New home team facilities
Approximately 2,000 new club seats
New press facilities
A team store
New full service kitchen
Improve the UK brand at the stadium
Maintain or slightly reduce seating capacity while increasing the value of the remaining seats
Shannon Russell on a huge, gut-check win for Xavier last night.
Shaq Thomas visits old home, increasingly happy with new one
Paul Dehner Jr, GoBearcats.com
"I feel stable; I feel like I have family here," Thomas said. "I've been here for two years, I know everybody now. It definitely feels like home. It's very different just for everybody, even my teammates and coaching staff and academic staff and everybody, trying to help me out and try to get the best out of me. That's what I like about it."
Thomas appears on the brink of paying back the goodwill. Midway through his first season coming off redshirting last year, Mick Cronin shows signs of confidence in the 6-foot-7, 190-pound guard/forward. Against Notre Dame, Thomas played 24 minutes, his highest total of the season. It marked the second time in the last four games he cracked 18 minutes.
Cronin deserves credit for rebuilding UC basketball
Dan Hoard, GoBearcats
Of course, the key for any coach to win over fans is to win games. Cincinnati has increased or equaled its win total in each of the last five seasons, made it to the Big East Tournament championship game for the first time last year, and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001. Simply put, Mick Cronin has successfully rebuilt Bearcat basketball.
Ex-recruit on Tuberville: 'It's a bad situation'
Atlanta Journal Constitution
“The thing is, we’ve talked to some other kids committed to Cincinnati. They say the same thing, that they haven’t heard from the staff. Basically (Tuberville) isn’t calling anybody, he’s trying to get the kids to de-commit on their own.
“It’s a bad situation.”