Guest update: Bengals Line
Mike Zimmer, defensive coordinator
James Urban, WR coach
The Cincinnati Chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America today named DT Geno Atkins as the Bengals’ 2012 Most Valuable Player and OT Andrew Whitworth as the recipient of the organization’s annual “Good Guy” award.
The voters are the beat writers who cover the team on a daily basis.
In his third season, Atkins has gained recognition as one of the NFL’s elite DTs, earning his second Pro Bowl spot and his first as a starter. His 12.5 sacks led all NFL interior linemen and was a team record for a Bengals defensive tackle, topping Dan Wilkinson’s 8.0 from 1996.
“Over the past two seasons, one of the constants of this team has been the performance of the defensive line, and the catalyst of the pass rush has been Atkins,” said PFWA spokesman Joe Reedy, Bengals beat writer for The Cincinnati Enquirer. “As defensive line coach Jay Hayes said earlier in the year, it's ‘freakish’ how he gets to the quarterback. Since coming into the league in 2010, Geno has been on a steady pace to becoming one of the top interior defensive linemen in the NFL.”
Whitworth, who played his seventh NFL season in 2012, is the 11th recipient of the PFWA’s “Good Guy” award, given for excellent relations with local media.
“Whit has always been one of the go-to guys in the locker room and has set an example as a team leader to help us bring our readers the information that they so strongly desire,” Reedy said. “His candor and perspective during the week and following games has been much appreciated. As a veteran and the team's NFLPA player rep, he has also been an invaluable resource on league matters.”
Whitworth is now the fourth Bengal to have won both the Good Guy and MVP awards. He was named MVP in 2010. Others to win both awards have been OT Willie Anderson, WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh and QB Carson Palmer.
Other past MVP winners were QB Jon Kitna (2002-03), HB Rudi Johnson (2004), Carson Palmer (2005), Willie Anderson (2006), T.J. Houshmandzadeh (2007-08), CBs Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph (2009), Whitworth (2010) and QB Andy Dalton (2011).
Past “Good Guy” winners have been FB Lorenzo Neal, Anderson, HB Brandon Bennett, LB Brian Simmons, DT John Thornton, Houshmandzadeh, DT Bryan Robinson, G Bobbie Williams, Palmer, HB Cedric Benson and S Chris Crocker.
The Bengals today signed six players to Reserve/Future contracts. All six were on the Bengals’ Practice Squad as the 2012 season concluded. They will count on the team’s Active List beginning Feb. 4, the Monday after the Super Bowl.
The six are:
* TE/LS Bryce Davis (Central Oklahoma)
* DE DeQuin Evans (Kentucky)
* WR Justin Hilton (Indiana State)
* OT Dan Knapp (Arizona State)
* QB Zac Robinson (Oklahoma State)
* LB J.K. Schaffer (Cincinnati)
Start times announced for Reds game...and yes, we have a 4:10 opening day.
See you tonight
It's the season ending edition of Bengals Line at Holy Grail Banks.
Food, football, prizes and more....6-9pm.
Due to UC basketball, the show will air on ESPN 1530.
My opening observations
*Many fans are angry, some are fed up, some say they are done. I'm disappointed. I thought this team had grown beyond what I saw Saturday. Instead of advancing their story, this team has presented as many, if not more questions than a year ago at this time. The 2005 and 2009 teams have nothing to do with this version of the team. Too many people want to lump them all together. Too many want to pin 22 years on this team. But this year did provide the chance to take the next step from last year and they did not take it.
*I would have lost a bet that the DL would be controlled/outplayed by Houston's OL.
*Play action and cutbacks, play action and cutbacks. Gashed for 140 yds by Foster. Still can't cover the TE
*38 pass attempts and ZERO sacks and only 2 QB hits?
*Defense could not get off field (8 of 17 47%).
*Rey M reverted back to slow and unsure Rey.
*Houston's time of possession 38:49. Highest of year for Bengals D.
*Allowed 420 yards. Plays: Houston 77 Bengals 46.
*Yet the defense allowed just 12 points.
*I convinced myself the offense was going to be ok. I was wrong.
*Can't imagine a game plan with Gresham as a focal point. I don't trust him.
*Gotta trust Green to go make a play.
*First target of Green came at 10:15 of 3rd quarter. First target vs Baltimore came with 1-minute left in first half. Mind numbing.
*Bad omen when Gresham dropped 1st pass.
*As miserable as they looked, they got the ball late with 3 timeouts, 80 yards to go and were an accurate throw away from winning.
*Let's be honest, Dalton was pitiful. He looked confused, antsy and uncomfortable, for 2nd straight playoff game. Let's be honest, he's 34 games into his NFL career.
Heard a caller to postgame say "How much longer do we have to put up with him?" Seriously?. He has limitations, but he must get better.
*His 44.7 QB rating was 2nd worst of career (SF week 3 last year 40.8). Last year in playoffs: 51.4. He threw short to Jones on INT, threw behind Jones on 4 & 11.
*BJGE only 3 carries 43 yards in first half? Only 11 carries 63 yards in a game that never got away from them? Could understand if fell behind by 3 scores.
*0-9 on 3rd down....average yards needed: 8.5.
*Seemed like the offensive situation cried out for creativity to spark something.
*Do the OL issues tie more to Cook's return or the competition faced?
*The offensive scored one TD in their final 37 possessions (Dalton to M. Jones vs Balt): Results of 37 possessions: 18 punts, 7 field goals, 3 interceptions, 3 downs, 3 end game/half, 1 touchdown, 1 fumble, 1 field goal miss.
*Josh Brown returns next year?
*Huber 3 more punts inside 20
*Missed chance to alter perception of franchise by fans and media.
*They lost, on the road, to a 12 win team, as an underdog.
*The core of this team is young
*72% voted the Bengals would win fewer than 10 games in my August blog question.
*I wonder/worry about upside vs ceiling of Dalton, Gresham, and Maualuga. I wonder about Jay Gruden's abilities to adjust. I wonder about OL, #2 WR, and safety.
*I did not see Mike Brown drop a pass, miss a WR or fail to cover the TE, but it won't stop fans from complaining about new scoreboards, scouting, his 'will to win' and the previous 22 years.
*There will be no greater waste of breath, airtime or thought this off season than discussion of firing Marvin Lewis. I heard a caller to the post game mention Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Jimmie Johnson and Bill Cowher as replacements. My head exploded and brain matter splattered over my computer screen.
*I do get a kick out of this:
Rolen boots ball in Game 3, Phillips makes base running mistake, Reds can't hit with RISP=Fans want to fire Dusty.
Gresham drops balls, DL gets no sacks, Dalton can't make plays=Fans want to fire Marvin.
*If you are complaining about Dalton smiling on the sidelines I feel badly for people who watch and talk football with you. Non-issue.
*Best play of day? Reds buying commercial spot for the 2013 season that aired just before kickoff on NBC. Can you imagine eyeballs watching at that point?
*Tough task for Reds and Bengals to convince fans to commit to regular season. Both franchises face win in playoffs or bust.
More of what they are saying
Don Banks, SI: By the eyeball test, Dalton is playing worse the longer he plays in the NFL. He finished 14 of 30 for a mere 127 yards and one interception against Houston, but was just 4 of 10 for 3 yards passing in the first half, and no, that isn't a typo. Dalton threw three interceptions in his playoff loss at Houston last season, and that sort of thing does happen to rookie quarterbacks. But in year two, improvement in that same playoff setting wasn't apparent.
23,158: Saturday attendance in Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, with a 4:30 Bengals kickoff.
Cyclones 12, 228
UC basketball: 8,142
NKU basketball: 2,788.
Bengals: What they are saying
NFL.com: The Cincinnati Bengals were shoved out of the postseason picture by the Houston Texans for the second consecutive year on Saturday, a 19-13 loss that will be hard to digest for a franchise that must assume its January fate is preordained at this point.
Geoff Hobson, Bengals.com:
It is the epitaph of the 2012 season that ended so mysteriously on offense and so well on defense and stalks this franchise into the offseason still seeking head coach Marvin Lewis's first playoff victory. The brutal 198-yard effort that included Dalton's second-worst passing game of his career marked the second time in two elimination games in the last three weeks the offense didn't score a touchdown and no doubt has them going back to the drawing board as the offseason dawns.
Joe Reedy, Enquirer:Same place, same round, same result. Despite being dominated on both sides of the ball, the Bengals had one final chance to mount a drive late but couldn’t. The offense has been sputtering since Mohamed Sanu’s injury and the lack of a second receiver ended up being a major hindrance down the stretch.
Jamison Hensley, ESPN: What it means: The drought continues. The Bengals extended their streak to 22 seasons without a playoff win, the longest streak in the NFL. In order for the Bengals to get the respect they want, they're going to have to win in the postseason. Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis is now 0-4 in the playoffs, which is the second-worst record in league history. This is the second straight season Cincinnati's season has ended with a playoff loss at Houston. This didn't look like the Bengals team that had won seven of its final eight regular-season games.
James Walker, ESPN: The team's youth showed Saturday. Dropped passes, missed assignments and poor execution on third down prevented the Bengals from putting anything together. Cincinnati's ineptitude on offense is best summarized by its failure to make a single third-down conversion on nine attempts.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton was horrible. So was the Bengals' play calling, for that matter. They didn't throw one pass to A.J. Green in the first half. I don't care how much coverage is rolled his way, they have to take a shot to him.
CBS grades: D+ If not for Leon Hall's pick-six, the Bengals might be looking at an F. Quarterback Andy Dalton continues to look uncomfortable in the pocket. He tossed an interception (and should have had another) and misfired on several deep balls that could have changed field position at worse, and been touchdowns at best.
Todd Jones, Columbus Dispatch: For a moment, as the ball sailed in the indoor air of Reliant Stadium, it appeared that four quarters of frustration and two decades of playoff futility were finally going to be wiped away by one legendary play.
Dan Hoard:It was clear that the Bengals coaching staff thought that the Texans defense was vulnerable up the middle and that Gresham would have opportunities, but it’s hard to fathom not throwing to Green at all for a half.
"I think we controlled the line of scrimmage, and any time we do that, it’s going to be tough to beat us." --Arian Foster
UC falls at home to St John's
"Point blank, they just beat us," Wright said. "Every loose ball, every rebound, they just got it and outplayed us. It seems like we just started going through the motions of the game and thinking we'd be able to win it no matter what instead of just playing."
Will Chapman succeed as a starter?
I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt because of the talent that he has; his arm is so much livelier than just about any other starting pitcher’s in recent memory. I’ve said several times that Chapman doesn’t have a real comparison because of the velocity he can attack batters with, but after this season that won’t be an excuse any more. Chapman’s breaking the mold, and from now on he’ll be the example we use when trying to determine if high-velocity relievers can hack it in the rotation.
CINCINNATI, Ohio – A four goal outburst by the Fort Wayne Komets (18-15-1-1) proved to be too much for the Cincinnati Cyclones (20-11-2-0) to overcome as the visiting club earned a 5-4 win in front of a regular season record crowd of 12,228 at U.S. Bank Arena on Throwback Night and Teddy Bear Toss Night.
The Cyclones will return to the ice at U.S. Bank Arena on Wednesday, January 9 when they play host to the Orlando Solar Bears for the first time this season. The game will feature $1 PBR and Miller High Life for fans 21 and up. Plus, we’ll celebrate the Best of the 90’s – with music from the decade. Fans are encouraged to dress in their best 90’s attire, with cash prizes going to some of the most creative! Call 513.421.PUCK or visit CyclonesHockey.com to reserve your seats! Fans can also get the latest team updates throughout the season on Facebook and Twitter (@CincyCyclones).