I'm a little late in getting this started, but hey, given how spotty my blogging record has been recently, the very fact that I'm populating this space is a win, no?
Speaking of winning, the Bengals won yesterday. That doesn't matter. What does matter is that their pass rush was again dominant. Yes, they did what they did against a bad Buffalo offensive line, but overall performance of the defensive front has been enough to make me a little giddy about what this team's defense can do against the quarterback, and I tweeted as much as the Bengals were piling up sacks yesterday....
Say what you want about the Bengals, but they deserve a degree of credit for the way they've transformed the D from a slow, plodding, liability two seasons ago to a unit that heads into this season with tons of upside, namely up front, where they have depth and versatility that will make them an absolute bitch to prep for and block when the real games begin.
On the downside, the run blocking continues to be pretty brutal, and I'm heading into the season worried about the heavy lifting Andy Dalton will have to do as a result of having no running game to count on.
The right side of the O-line is porous, and Joe Mixon has often been corralled by defenders almost instantly after he's taken a handoff.
As giddy as I am about the possibilities of the pass rush, I'm equally troubled by the appearance of the running attack being stuck in the mud.
This puts the onus on Bill Lazor. Good offensive coordinators find a way to make do despite their unit's shortcomings. Lazor's offense looks like it'll have a major shortcoming.
Other things from yesterday worth mentioning...
John Ross can be 2013 Marvin Jones, minus a few touchdown receptions. I believe this.
Randy Bullock saves us from a week of John Brown takes. Thank you, Randy.
Andy Dalton is a grade A dude. Elite, even.
Jeff Driskel >>>>>>> Matt Barkley.
And holy hell the Bills are going to be bad.
Here's some stuff...
I wrote two things over the weekend for The Athletic....one is about meddlesome Reds ownership, the other is about how Andy Dalton's presence all but guarantees that the Bengals aren't going to be as bad as a few national publications would make you believe.
In short, 4-12 my ass.
I don't exactly think the Bengals are going to go 12-4, but I'd feel very comfortable making a wager that they won't be 4-12.
Signing Matt Harvey is a bad idea. If he's here on a one-year "prove-it" deal, and he "proves it," he still won't help the Reds get to the postseason, and he'll leave for a hefty contract at the end of the season. If he signs a deal for beyond 2019, then clearly they're not familiar with the work of Harvey's current Reds teammate, Homer Bailey.
If Urban Meyer is as worried about how he's perceived as I know he is, he tweets less and he talks more. Not from a prepared statement, not with time limitations, not while not making eye contact with anyone, but instead in a public setting, taking tough questions, and answering them like a human.
He has no obligation to do this, of course. But if you're tired of the way people are wailing away at Urban, then it's on him to change the direction of the conversation.
No tweeted apology will accomplish that goal.
I typed this sentence about Hayden Moore in an email to someone today...
We can talk about the other QBs in a bit, but with Gino Guidugli now coaching quarterbacks, year-to-year continuity at offensive coordinator for the first time in Moore’s career, and what I think will be an improved line, and a promising run game, I think Hayden is actually equipped to have a better senior season that people expect.
I actually believe the UC QB is a tad underrated.
FC Cincinnati stole one on Saturday night, which is what really good teams do. Also, soccer in a quagmire looks like it's a blast.
Also...Manu Ginobli, who announced his retirement today, is the most underrated NBA player of the past 20 years.
Those were sports opinions. I'll try to do better tomorrow. I'm just happy to be blogging. Check out the radio show today on ESPN1530.