The road to the start of the regular season began last night with the Hall of Fame Game between the Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals. When watching a preseason contest, fans normally like to watch the 1st team offenses and defenses. (At least that’s what my friends do). I approach watching the game a bit differently. I actually enjoy watching the 2nd and 3rd stringers because these guys are fighting for roster spots, and possible playing time during the regular season. You get to watch the rookies play, and see what kind of impact they may have for the future. So to give you some quick thoughts of the Bengal players last night, here’s what I saw.
So the 1st teams played one series. One for the offense, one for the defense. On offense, Carson Palmer and Terrell Owens played catch a few times. It looked like they were just trying to get their timing down on some short and intermediate routes. Due to injury, Jonathan Joseph didn’t start at corner. This gave Adam “Pacman” Jones an opportunity to start. He made a few nice plays. He covered Miles Austin tightly and batted away a pass.
(T.O. and Ochocinco)
Now let’s get to what the preseason is all about. I wasn’t able to catch the 4th quarter (I missed Jordan Shipley’s return) because my coveted HBO Series Entourage was on last night. If any of you are viewers on here, how great was Johnny Drama’s Least Interesting Man in the World Line. Great Stuff. Anyway, let me get to a few guys who impressessed, and a few who didn’t.
DT- Geno Atkins- The Bengals have been looking for a pass rushing defensive tackle for years. Starters Domata Peko and Tank Johnson are strictly run stuffers. The doubters question his size, 290 pounds for a defensive tackle is a bit small. Although he played against 2nd stringers, Atkins was consistently in the backfield last night causing chaos. He used his great motor by collapsing the pocket and forcing Dallas quarterback Stephen McGee out of the pocket. The 4th rounder from Georgia led the team with 6 tackles (3 for loss) and a sack.
DE/OLB- Michael Johnson- You can see why the Bengals have moved Johnson everywhere on the field. Last night, he took snaps as a down defensive end, and an upright SAM outside linebacker. Johnson is a 2nd year player from Georgia Tech. He’s tall, 6’7, and a lean 260. He’s quick off the ball, and another Bengal who consistently caused pressure in the backfield with his 2 sacks. His reading the run instincts need to improve as he got beat a few times. Johnson looks like a 3rd round steal from last season’s draft at this point.
(Atkins and Johnson converge on McGee)
Who Didn’t Impress
Before I get into this, I pray for you Bengal fans out there that Carson Palmer stays healthy. That’s all.
QB- J.T. O’Sullivan- How did this guy have a starting gig in San Francisco. He’s absolutely DREADFUL! I know the 2nd string offensive line were lining up against the 1st string defensive line, but still. He threw more balls into the ground than Donovan McNabb has in his whole career.
QB- Jordan Palmer- He’s lucky older brother Carson is on the team. Any other team, he’s cut. He vastly overthrew every receiver as if he was Rick Ankiel throwing a fastball.
S- Gibril Wilson- He looked out of position to me on nearly every snap he played.
DE- Antwan Odom- Odom suffered a season ending achilles tear last season, I think he was taken out more for pre-cautionary reasons.
FB- Brian Leonard- Hopefully, for Leonard, it’s not serious. Leonard fears that he tore some ligaments in his foot. This would be a blow for the Bengals as Leonard is an important 3rd down passing option out of the backfield.
S- Chris Crocker- Crocker left the game with an ankle injury. It doesn’t seem bad.
About the Author
Written by Adrian Fedkiw
I currently work for the Sports Network. It's the best job ever! I am a 2010 graduate of Temple University where I majored in broadcast journalism, I LOVE SPORTS! That's why I am here. I have a vast knowledge and want to share my athletic intelligence with the world. Some people like to spend their time shooting down aliens in Halo; I like to spend my time watching sports, current and old. It's my passion! I got asked one time how I can watch a game over again when I already know the outcome. 5 minutes later, he's watching Happy Gilmore reciting all of the lines from the movie. Hypocrite! As for my favorite sports teams, I've been a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan. My favorite athlete is Allen Iverson. He didn't like practice that much, but when it came to gametime, no one let it all out on the floor like Iverson. He is absolutely beloved in the city of Brotherly Love. For college athletics, obviously I pay close attention to Temple. (Yes, football too) Even before I stepped foot on Temple's campus for the 1st time in 2005, I was a fan. Oh the good old days of John Chaney! Some other tidbits about myself, I love cheesesteaks, I hydrate myself with Welch's Grape Juice and Snapple. I love the HBO show Entourage. Also, when is Kenny Powers making his much anticipated return in Eastbound and Down!