Found May 02, 2012 on WhoDeyFans:

After looking at the offensive and defensive lines, it is time to look at the most important position on the field: Quarterback. Even though there is no question who the starter will be, there will be important decisions to make regarding this position.

The biggest decision will be how many QBs to carry on the roster. The Bengals typically carry three, but last year they opted to keep just two and use the extra spot on another position. This decision made a lot of sense because, if the Bengals have to go to their 3rd QB, do they really have a shot at winning? Having that roster spot to keep and extra D-lineman or DB could smart. If Mohamed Sanu makes the team, he could possibly serve as an emergency 3rd QB.

On the other hand, Bruce Gradkowski is currently only signed through this year. If one of the two guys shows enough potential, the Bengals might not want to risk losing him and could allow him time to develop with the rest of the squad.

Starter: Andy Dalton

There is no doubt that Andy far exceeded the expectations of most in his rookie season. But for a number of reasons, the effectiveness of the offense lulled in the second half of the season. The quality of opponents’ defenses improved significantly. The running game was largely ineffective. Opponents had more tape of Dalton to study. Fatigue from a much longer season may have complicated things as well.

This year there is the specter of the dreaded sophomore slump which, while common, is not a given. Sam Bradford and Matt Ryan both saw their performance sag in their second year, as did Josh Freeman in his second full year as a starter (third year overall). But QBs Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco both improved in their sophomore season. We hope that Dalton can follow the lead of his AFCN counterparts.

And then there is the tough schedule facing the Bengals this year. The NFL did the Bengals no favors, playing 3 of the first 4 games on the road, including the season opener in Baltimore on MNF, as well as 3 of the final 5 on the road, including tilts at San Diego (ugh, the west coast), Philly and Pittsburgh. Throw in home games against Dallas, the Denver Mannings, and the defending champion Giants, and Dalton has to improve just to keep the team even.

There is nowhere to hide with this year’s schedule. If the Bengals are to manage a second straight playoff appearance, they will have to earn it every week along the way. I can tell you that it will take better than averaging 22 pts/game (especially the 16.4 pts/game scored against teams with winning records) to get there.

Fortunately, Andy and OC Jay Gruden have five months to install and hone Gruden’s WCO. With a year in the system already, Gruden’s creativity and Dalton’s execution need to go to another level. Or two.

Backup: Bruce Gradkowski

Having a proven, veteran backup is a lot more reassuring than days of sorting through guys like Jordan Palmer, J.T. O’Sullivan and Jeff Rowe. Gradkowski might have flaws, but he is easily the best backup QB that the Bengals have had since Jon Kitna.

Assuming that he is happy to stay on, I would not mind seeing the Bengals offer him another one or two year deal at the end of this season to continue to back up Dalton.

Practice Squader: Zac Robinson

The predecessor to Cleveland’s new QB Brandon Weeden, Zac was drafted by The Hoodie out of Oklahoma State in the 7th round two years ago, but he did not make their final roster. He was picked up by Seattle, and later Detroit, but made no game appearances. Since he spent all of 2011 on the Bengals’ practice squad, he is officially a second year player.

Robinson’s scouting report makes him sound somewhat similar to Andy Dalton… only without the confidence, poise and recognition of the defense. (Kind of important elements in the NFL.) With lots of work, Ken Zampese might raise him to the level of almost-suitable backup.

UDFA: Tyler Hansen

Robinson was the QB for the 3-10 Colorado Buffalos in 2011. His scouting report reads much like my own assessment of Jordan Palmer. Give him a pocket and a decent passing lane, and the guy is money. (How often does that happen in the NFL?) Put pressure on him and he falls apart. To be honest, the kid has a long, uphill battle to make the team. If he shows something in camp, he might make the practice squad.

I have no problem with bringing Robinson and Hansen into camp for a look, but it is hard to think that they will really push Gradkowski all that hard. The Bengals will need one of the two on the practice squad to simulate the opposing QB. Anything beyond that would be a complete surprise. Then again, stranger things have happened.


WDW Episode 65 – Recapping the Bengals Draft

What a draft by the Cincinnati Bengals! By most accounts from some of the bigger “draft experts” around the league, the Bengals had one of, IF NOT, the best drafts in all of football. Timm couldn’t make it this week so filling in for us is Sean O’Donnell from and helping us break down the draft is Shane P. Hallam from In this week’s show...

This Roster Is Stacked: Offensive Line

As the old adage says, the game of football is won in the trenches. And in the past few years, as the Bengals have improved their drafts, they have done a better job of selecting those trench warriors who move earth and make the skill players we like look good. Yesterday I looked through the guys currently on the roster on the defensive line, the pivot point of the team. Today I...

Nate Clements may not be with the Bengals much longer

According to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, there’s a good chance that Cincinnati Bengals rookie cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick could end up starting at left corner right away. Everything will depend on whether or not the Bengals are willing to pay Clements $5.5 million in 2012.  If they feel like Kirkpatrick can start as a rookie, Clements could be cut before June 1st. The...

Cincinnati Bengals 2012 Draft Grades

17. CB Dre Kirkpatrick BI liked Kirkpatrick a little better at 21 for the Bengals (26th on my board) and I’m not sure any team from 18-20 would have taken him and if they had, that’s not too bad because this was a very, very deep cornerback class. This isn’t a terrible pick, however, because it at least fills a need.27. G Kevin Zeitler C-I really don’t like this pick. There’s...

Welcome to the Jungle Mohamed Sanu

You know the Bengals have some questions at Wide Receiver. You also knew they were going to address that at some point in the draft. The Bengals went out and got a great possession receiver in Mohamed Sanu. What this guy also brings to the table is the ability to decleate guys when making blocks for the offense. Watch the video below, for every catch there is a shot of Sanu laying...

Who Is Your Favorite Draft Pick?

Marvin and the PBS war room did the nearly impossible: they have elicited praise from the national sports media for their draft. High praise. And they deserve it. From everything we can know at this point, they did an outstanding job, matching need with value with pick after pick. With all of these great picks to choose from, which one are you most excited about seeing play at PBS...

Bengals sign up 14 undrafted free agents

Hot News for C Marvin Lewis

The NFL's Top Twelve Games Of 2012 Includes Raiders Versus Bengals

When the NFL released the 2012 season schedule for each team a couple of weeks ago, nearly every Bengals fan had their eyes on one particular game. Call it the "Carson Bowl", the "PBS Battle", or whatever you like; but on November 25th (Week 12), quarterback Carson Palmer will be making his return to Cincinnati. This date marks the first time that Palmer will...

2012 NFL Offseason Power Rankings: Bengals Climb The Ladder Thanks To A Great Draft

Over a month ago, ESPN released their offseason power rankings for NFL squads and many Bengals fans were surprised that the team was ranked at No.19 on the list. Coming off of a playoff appearance with young players getting another year and full offseason with their coaches and teammates made one think that they'll be a better squad in 2012 than they were last season. Throw...

Cincinnati Bengals Announce Undrafted Free Agent Signings

Soon after the completion of the 2012 NFL draft, teams jump on the phone to sign the undrafted free agents that they liked during the predraft process. Sometimes this process can be maddening because many of the sources are somewhat obscure and we're always bound to miss one. Still we charted it the best we could, charting a total of 14 players. The Cincinnati Bengals officially...

Andy Dalton pleased with receiver selections

Experts, fans, players, coaches, and most anyone else associated with the NFL has raved about the Cincinnati Bengals draft class of 2012. The team filled the voids at cornerback and guard, greatly improved the defensive line, and drafted talented player after talented player. Also of vital importance, however, was the drafting of wide receivers Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones to address...
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