James Rapien

James Rapien

James Rapien came to talk sports and chew gum, and he's all out of gum.Full Bio


Bengals: Emailer remains optimistic. Do you agree?

I've been pretty hard on the Bengals since free agency started. They lost their two best offensive lineman and haven't done much to improve the roster. One fan believes this team will make a playoff run in 2017 if they can add some talent on offense. Check out what Zim emailed me over the weekend below. 


This Who Dey offseason has been one that has been met with lots of skepticism to say the least. People are upset and demand moves!!! You can somewhat group me in with those people as well but let me tell you why you shouldn't pull that trigger so fast on the death of the Bengals this Free Agency period Mr. Quick Draw McGraw!!

The Bengals system which I have faith in is predicated on this years draft. 11 Picks. We already have studs at every position on defense ( I will highlight later). If the picks are used correctly you are going to fill in holes for a bargain of the price. Why spend $$ extra money on Free Agents at top dollar if you are coming off a 6-9-1 Season? The guys we liked the most in Free Agency such as a Sheard or Weaton - didn't want 1 year deals so with that said if I have a choice of resigning Eifert and Burfict (Who will command the highest in league at given position ) next year by not spending this year then guess what Im going with the draft and high dollar Free Agents bye bye. Free Agency first week guys are reserved for teams that are on the cusp of a SuperBowl Run.. - The Patriots. Or For teams that dont have the core we have - The Browns & Jags. If you aren't either one of those type of teams then leave the big dollar free agency alone. Look at the Giants this past year. Spent all that money and look where it got them. No where. They weren't a super bowl contender so they should've followed the Bengals formula. 

Lets go into the players lost and gained : 

- Whitworth - People are upset with him leaving. He is being paid $13 Mill first year for a 35 Year old. I dont want to pay that for any 35 Year old. Period. When the Bengals drafted Fisher and Obgheui with 1st and 2nd round picks this was the plan all along. To move on. Who knew Whit would still be a beast. This is the one person leaving I regret the most however. - Zeitler - Bengals have a budget. They have a plan for each position and with the system of quick passing and getting the ball out of Andy's hands faster I can say I am with them on the value of a guard. Zeitler is the highest paid Guard in the NFL ( Why the Browns paid that much for him and they have Grecco who was good was just what I call a "Stunter Birdman " Make it Rain Move. Im not in the business of paying anyone the highest in any category unless his name is "A. J GREEN", PERIOD!

Bengals countered with the addition of Andre Smith. No he aint Zeitler but he knows the system and coming out of college always was projected as a guard anyway. 

The line got worse but please don't sleep on Redmond, Westerman, & Johnson...all will contend for starting roles this upcoming year and rightfully so.  Last time I checked Matt Ryan & Tom Brady dont have elite O-Lines...they are good but the system is based on single coverage matchups and ball coming out in less then 3 seconds... This is why a big time WR is needed right now! Passing game breaks open & now lanes the size of bowling alleys are now open for the running game. 

- The Departures of Peko, Dansby, Burkhead. - Dansby is 35... Need I say more?. Peko - not resigned and should've been gone last year. Burkhead is good and would love to have him back but there is a 21 Year old sitting waiting to be drafted in rounds 1-4 that's faster and is $700,000 a year for the next 4 years. I will take the cheaper back vs a guy who now is getting close to $2 million dollars and failed to beat out any other RBs in 5 years on this squad. - Lafell signing - Great mentor for AJ. Great insurance policy for the Bengals if they cant get a pure #2 in this years draft with the #9 Pick or #41 Pick. It has to be that high in my eyes for elite level talent to take the top off a defense and demand single coverage on AJ for at least part of the game. Corey Davis, Ross, & Mike Williams dominated in college. This in my eyes with our current weapons articulates to 700-1000 yards first year with single coverage all year based on the attention the defense must pay to other wide outs. THE EMERGENCE OF THE TERRIFIC TRIO OF  - GREEN , DAVIS (I HOPE) ,& BOYD = IS BORN (The Reincarnation of TJ/ Chad/ & Chris Henry R.I.P) If they don't draft a WR early it will be the same results as last year. Red Zone Deficiencies and damn near last in 4th Quarter scoring. 

Why am I optimistic? Because there are only about 4-5 Franchises in the NFL that have an All Pro caliber at every position. Especially on defense. - DT - GENO ATKINS (Hardison, Billings, & Williams will erupt this year) - DE - DUNLAP (Pass rusher is needed but not 1st round!!!) - LB -BURFICT (Vigil Starting outside Minter new Weak side and Maualuga on running downs and Rey as a great rotational guy and yes you guessed it 1 LB will be drafted this upcoming draft as well.  - CB -KIRKPATRICK & PACMAN (Pacman only allowed 2 touchdowns this past year and is still in the top 25 CBs in the league... he is paid the 28th highest so whats the problem?) We also have 5 other formidable corners on the team that would start for half of the NFL - Russell, Dennard, WJIII, Shaw, Benwinkre) and of course back to the 11 picks...we will be drafting another corner and another cb/safety hybrid this upcoming draft)-Safety - Iloka is a stud and if wasn't on the Bengals would be viewed in the same light at Chancelor. Shawn Williams is top 10 hardest hitting safeties in the NFL. Go to a game and just listen. The sounds of cracking bones echo through Paul Brown when Shawn comes down hill. 

The name of the game is offense. "But Zim DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS". Yes in 1972 and last time I check Dick Butkus aint running out there this Sunday with the rules skewed in favor of an electric show led by the likes of AJ Green aka the "G.O.A.T" & the "Red Head Slinging Rifle carrying Dalton from Katy". Look at the Superbowl. The defense of the Falcons is not better then the Bengals. The difference is when you play up and not from behind you are able to rush the passer because the play calling is now predictable. Keeping the defense off the field is the new defense in the NFL. You do that and go into "Nascar" package time then you will see a spike in MJ / Dunlap/ & Atkins sacks numbers I guarantee and this great with hunt for the Tazmanian Devil in the form of a DE is then diffused.  We played from down 3-7 points all game last year. The Defense never failed us. We were in every game except 2 (Dallas & N.E). We limit the opponents to 18 -20 points a game... We score more with the new threat of : -AJ GREEN ON ON ONE SIDE - ROSS / WILLIAMS / DAVIS OTHER SIDE - RB - Drafted Round 1-3 ( And the return of Gio )- Eifert Red Zone -Boyd single coverage in the slot and all over the field. Lafell comes in 4 WR sets and anytime there is a injury and lastly the emergence and grooming of Cody Core. 

MY ENTIRE PLAN PREDICATES on maximizing AJ Green in the prime of his career. Who wouldn't want that? 

We would win 5 more games this year. If that happens then the following year yes! Free Agency Spend spend spend ....but you must be on the cusp of the Super Bowl to do so. You cant bet all chips down coming off a 6-9-1 season. We aren't there yet. But if the Bengals draft in this order : Round 1 - WR Round 2 - RBRound 3 - DE / OLRound 4 - OL / DE other 7 picks dont even care WE WOULD WIN THIS YEAR. A PLAYOFF GAME AT THE VERY LEAST. REALISTIC OPTIMISM 101☺😋😎--- 

Cartel Living CEO 

Twitter: @ZimCartelliving 

Instagram: @Zim_whodey

Do you agree with Zim? Can the Bengals not only return to the playoffs, but win a playoff game next season? I'm not as optimistic, but I do think they need to get better on offense. 

Follow me on Twitter.

Pro Football Focus thinks the Bengals should take a wide receiver in round one.

Check out mock draft 2.0.

The Bengals should’ve paid Andrew Whitworth.

You can subscribe to my daily Bengals podcast on iTunes or audioboom

Email me: JamesRapien@espn1530.com

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content