Sunday, September 28, 2008

Taps soon for the Bengals. As far as the 2008 playoff race is concerned, the 0-4 Bengals are dead. This is a team that wasn't very good going into the season. And it's playing down to it's talent. How else do you explain how poorly this team played against one of the worst teams in the league, the Browns? Cincinnati foolishy used a time out on the first play of the third quarter to challenge a Cleveland non scoring play. Why would you do that, knowing you had a quarterback playing in a real game for the first time in almost three years? Don't you think someone on that Bengals sideline would've thought, gee, maybe we should save a few TO's to help Ryan Fitzpatrick out later in this game. The other two TO's were burned because their defense couldn't get the proper personnel on the field. Bad, bad bad.

If you’ve been with me all along on this program, you know where I’ve stood with regard to the Bengals, ever since their reported to Georgetown. I don’t think they’re a great team. I don’t think they stink. 0-4 record aside, they’re not one of the five worst teams in the NFL. There are teams with a win that’re worse: Seattle, Miami and Oakland. But they’re no playoff team. I didn’t think they were in July, and since the last team to start 0-3 and make the playoffs was eleven years ago, they aren’t now. Not at 0-4. The Bengals are like 20-or so other NFL teams. They will finish this year with a record somewhere around 6-10 to

Now, the Reds. I’m not buying any of this stuff that’s been going on since late August. Great, they’re playing better. It would have been a tough job to play any worse than they did in May and June.

Let me ask you a very basic question: as the Reds conclude another bummer of a season, do you honestly think the everyday eight they’ve been running out there has a chance to compete with the everyday eight the Cubs will trot out in 2009?

Ryan Hanigan? Nice story. But if he was this good, why did it take the Reds until late August to bring him up here? Jay Bruce will be one of the three outfielders in 2009. Who are the other two? Do you honestly think the Reds will contend with an outfield of Bruce, Chris Dickerson and Ryan Freel? Move Joey Votto to left field. OK, who plays first? Edwin Encarnaction? Really? The guy who’s committed 23-errors this season?

Now you want him handling the ball four times as much as he would playing third base?

I keep hearing the grand plan includes finding a right handed power bat in free agency? That would be Pat Burrell and who else? And Burrell, who’ll probably sign one more big contract in his career would want to come here because….

At his age, Burrell will want to go somewhere we he can win a championship. And if he is the best right handed bat available this winter, don’t you think the free spending Yankees or Angels or Red Sox chase him?
Money and a chance to go to an instant contender. The Reds offer neither, at this point.

Burrell, incidentally, is Adam Dunn from the right side of the plate. And we already know what they thought of Dunn.

I don’t doubt Walt Jocketty’s baseball brains or Bob Castellini’ wallet. But I’m having a tough time believing that the Reds will be contenders in 2009. Are you?

And I watched a lot of college football Saturday. This is a revelation: I usually don’t. It’s my one day away from sports in any week. I usually catch the highlights on ESPN News. But I watched the UC game Saturday.

I have a simple question: what was UC doing, scheduling a game at Akron?
Whose bright idea was that? As Brian Kelly is fond of saying, the Bearcats are one of only two BCS teams in Ohio. In your wildest, alcohol or other substance induced dreams, could you ever imagine Ohio State agreeing to play a football game in Akron?

Along about six o’clock Saturday night, Kelly had to be cursing whatever athletic director is was that sent him to the home of the Zips. But he was probably busting a sweat over losing another quarterback. Or maybe knowing that he’s got another bus trip next Saturday to Huntington, West Virginia to play a Conference USA team on the road.

His current AD should have bought the Bearcats out of both of these games. Isn’t that what the other Ohio-based BCS team did to UC this past winter?

Maybe Kelly signed off on this. Maybe there’s some sort of payoff coming back to UC down the road. All I know is this, when you’re a major-major, you get nothing out of playing on the road against a mid-major. If you win big, you’re supposed to. If you lose, and don’t win your conference you knock yourself out of any big bowl consideration at the end of the season.
If you win close, this should be the lesson: Act like a BCS team. Don’t ever do this again

Friday, September 26, 2008

I posted this picture back in February, when WTSP-TV (Tampa) meteoroligist, Dick Fletcher passed away. It's Fletch, Don and a me, the primary WTSP-TV anchor team. How good they were to me, how young I look and how this picture seems like only yesterday.
Stumbled onto this on the Washington, DC television web site It's a clip from former WBAL-TV anchor, Don Harrison. I worked with Don in Tampa, back in the early 80's. He was one of the nicest people I ever met in my business, warm, funny and genuinely interested in who you were, not only what you could do. Don, who went onto become the first anchor at CNN Headline News and the 'voice' of CNN liners and promos, was a rare breed. He died far too young. Don Harrison, was a 'pro's pro'.
Well, just in time for this weekend, here is another Broo View Video Podcast,direct fomr the palatial estate in suburban Cincinati. My topic this time, two very intriguing match-ups inside the AFC North.

Notice the shirt, as I show the colors for my beloved Ohio Bobcats whom I believe will win their first game of 2008 Saturday, over VMI, in Peden Stadium.

More later today...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, we gave you Mike Florio's take on the best teams through three weeks of the 2008 NFL schedule. Now, here are his candidates for worst...

It's amazing how, in a league where the system is set up to help losing teams win again, so many of the same teams are the dregs of football, year in and year out.

Sounds as though, from reading this article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Browns are once again in the middle of a quarterback controversy.

Some news in the Washington Post about a couple of former Cincinnati Reds. Has it really been five years since Aaron Boone was traded to the Yankees?

When he was a guest on WLWT's Sports Rock a month or so ago, I asked UC head football coach, Brian Kelly why UC and Ohio State couldn't play a football game every couple of years or so. Kelly answered my questioned by saying it was up to UC to prove that it's worthy of such a deal. Both, of course, are the only BCS conference schools in the state of Ohio. It was a good answer.

But how is UC 'proving' it's worthy of Ohio State by scheduling a game at Akron. Akron! Are you kidding me? This is the same UC athletic department that is trying to get out of a yearly home and home series with Miami, Ohio, a perenniel opponent. UC would gladly play Miami every year at Nippert. But it says it's done traveling to Oxford for games. And now, UC is going to Akron? Whose bright idea was that? Can you imagine Ohio State scheduling at game at Akron, or any other MAC school? And UC will compound this dumb scheduling move with a trip to Huntington, West Virginia next week to play CUSA's Marshall. This is how a BCS conference football team schedules? Good luck building a case to play Ohio State doing that!

Brian Kelly deserves better. UC should have bought its way out of this mess and scheduled two more games at Nippert.
It's posted and ready for your dowload. Bengals Report Podcast. In this episode, Bengals Report executive editor, Mark Hardin and I preview Sunday's Bengals vs Browns match-up. You'll get the inside scouting report and hear comments from Marvin Lewis, Carson Palmer and Chris Perry.

It's on the front page of my web site: But, if you're on the fly, you can download the podcast here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

For yet another time: Marvin Lewis is not suffering from 'job jeopardy'. It came up again in the Bengals news conference today. Lewis was asked if he felt pressure to win this Sunday, with the Bengals 0-3. In a nutshell he said 'no', and if he was under pressure to win, he wouldn't let it affect him. We won't know if that last statement is true because Lewis is under no pressure from managment to 'win or else'.

Two things to remember about Marvin Lewis. 1: He won' t quit, not if he wants to work as a head coach in the NFL again. 2: his boss, Mike Brown isn't in the business of paying people not to work.

But this season appears to be another lost one. No team since 1998, and only three since 1990, have started a season 0-3 and made the playoffs. Now, you could argue, that if 9-7 will win the AFC North, all the Bengals (or the Browns for that matter) have to do is go 9-4 in their final 13 games. But look at their schedule. Do you think the Bengals can win at Dallas, or at Pittsburgh? Do you think they can sweep the Steelers? And games with the Ravens, Houston and Indianapolis await them, as well. I'm still sticking with five to seven wins, but no more than that.

So after three weeks in the 2008 season, who are the best teams in the NFL? Our buddy, Mike Florio from weighs in with this video report.

Biggest surprise for me? Buffalo. Didn't see that one coming.

Tony Grossi, the longtime Cleveland sports writer has an interesting 'take' on this upcoming game between the Bengals and Browns in this Plain-Dealer article.

First thing Thursday morning, on my web site, I'll have the latest edition of Bengals Report Podcast posted. Mark Hardin and I preview the upcoming "Battle Of Ohio" and you'll hear comments from your favorite players.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Posted and ready for your downloading pleasure the latest Broo View Podcast. It's a good one (if I do say so myself!), that includes an interview I did with and former Oakland Raiders general manager, Michael Lombardi. Great thoughts from Mike on the state of the Bengals. You'll also hear comments from Carson Palmer and TJ Housmandzadeh. You can find the latest Broo View Podcast on the front page of my web site: Or you can dowload it here.

Here’s a question to ponder: how many more weeks do we worry about game Bengals strategies and match ups. At what point will it stop to matter. Back in the back old days, in the 90’s, it was tough to deliver the nightly sports and talk about game strategies for the Bengals teams. You could never get to that, because Bengals fans could never get by the fact that the team was bad, and any talk about strategy was dismissed. You didn’t worry about how Tony McGee would do against the Browns strong side linebacker. It didn’t matter. You knew the Bengals were going to lose.

How close are we to that again?

Last Sunday, I asked this question: is this game, the game against the Tennessee Tigans, is this the biggest game the Bengals will play in the last 18 seasons? Not from an on field perspective, but off the field. Was it the biggest game they were going to play, to hold your interest and
not let the mood of the town drift from disappoint, to anger to apathy. At least there was one positive from the wind storm. Not many of us got to see the second half of that debacle.

As I sat in the dark this week and watched the candles melt, I wondered when we’d ever have a winning team to talk about, something that galvanizes the city like the 1990 Reds did, or the ’88 Bengals. College teams are great. What UC did on the football field last season and what Xavier did in basketball a couple of years ago were both terrific. But let’s face it: when it comes to college sports, interest is fractionalized. In Cincinnati, you’re either a UC or X fan. If you’re a Kentucky fan, you’re neither. Then, of course, are the other schools that have pockets of support around here, OSU, Notre Dame, Miami, maybe IU.

The Cyclones wrote a nice story last year. But it’s hockey, always an acquired taste in a non NHL city.

No, if anything is going to lift us from the land of loser-ville, it’s going to be either the Reds or Bengals. And honestly, do you see any reason to believe its going to happen any time soon.

The Reds are playing good baseball right now. But the heat is off, has been since June. We’ve seen this a lot in the last ten years. Reds out of the playoffs, play good baseball in September, false sense of hope, big let down by the following June. Repeat the cycle.

Look at this month. The Reds delayed the Cubs clinching the Central by winning two of three, They won two of three at Milwaukee earlier this month. They won two of three from the Brewers this past weekend. They’ve won 15 of their last 22. But it’s September. When was the last time they did it when it mattered? Hey, the current line up is playing well. But do you believe for a moment the everyday eight the Reds are running out there lately will be able to compete with the Cubs everyday eight, man for man next season? I don’t.

Some magazine, I don’t remember which one most of them give me a headache, but some magazine said recently that Cincinnati is one of the toughest towns for a sports fan. No playoffs in baseball since 1995, one playoff appearance for the Bengals in the last 18 years. But yet, you believe. And better, you support. The Reds went over the two million mark in attendance Saturday afternoon. The Bengals have a waiting list out the door and down the street for season tickets, every seat every Sunday now sold out.

But the economy stinks, gas is four bucks a gallon and you’re lucky if you’ll get a three percent raise this year. You’ve got some tough choices to make now. We all do.

At what point will your patience with waiting for a winner run out? Everybody has their limit. How close are you, to yours?

Maybe it’s a good thing we don’t have blackouts all that often. Having too much time to think is almost as bad as watching the food rot in the refrigerator. But unless I’m reading this wrong, I think you’re in need of something today other than a warm shower and a promise from Duke Energy this will never happen again. I think you’re in need of a dose of hope. What I want to know, is do you see it coming anytime soon?

Friday, September 19, 2008

I once worked out of an office at the old WLWT that Rod Serling, the great writer and creator of "The Twilight Zone" once used. So borrowing a phrase he made popular on that show: submitted for your approval....the latest Bengals Report Podcast. Mark Hardin, the executive editor of the print version of Bengals Report joins me to preview this Sunday's Bengals vs Giants game. You can find the latest Bengals Report Podcast on the front page of my web site:, in Itunes and you can download it here, as well.

It's straight ahead, just over that hill known as, The Twilight Zone...(sorry)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm continually amazed by those who believe that Marvin Lewis is on the 'hot seat'. The latest to weigh in on this is columnist, Don Banks, a really good writer. Look at where he ranks Lewis in this story.

Those who've been around Cincinnati for any length of time know two things. 1: Marvin has to fix this thing to have any chance at another head coach's job in the NFL. 2: Mike Brown doesn't pay people not to work. Bottom line: Lewis isn't quitting and Brown isn't letting him go before his contract is up, after the 2010 season.

More than the status of Lewis, I'm concerned about the play of Carson Palmer. Yep, his offensive line has been pourous. But Palmer has been consistently high with his throws and his timing with TJ Houshmandzadeh and Chad Ocho Cinco has been painfully off. The wind that swirled through Cincinnati last Sunday can't be an excuse. It appeared that the Titans' Kerry Collins handled the wind just fine.

I think the Giants win Sunday, but the Bengals cover. 13.5? No thanks.

Don't rule out a 1-7 start for your Cincinnati Bengals.

More Florio! (I should be his agent). The guhru has the best game of the weekend scoped out: Eagles and Steelers.

Tough to go against the Steelers, even on the road. I'll take Pittsburgh.

One reason why Ohio State never seems to do well in 'big games': take a look at the rest of their out of conference schedule. Sure, they went to LA to play USC. But home games with Ohio University (which should have won that game), Youngstown State and now Troy? That gets you ready for a BCS title run? Really?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hang around Ocho Cinco long enough, and your head will spin. He says goofy things, dumb things and it's all about him. But the artist formerly known as Chad Johnson hit the nail on the head today when he said, in so many words, that it doesn't matter what Carson Palmer, or TJ or he (OC) does. If the Bengals offensive line doesn't turn its game around, nothing matters. And he even gestured to the area of the locker room where the lineman call home. He added that the Bengals have one of the better lines in the NFL. But the mere fact that he was willing to 'call out' other members of his team (and he was correct in his assessment) showed a lot of guts.

Now let's see if that translates into a better performance in New Jersey Sunday. It would appear, from this article in the New York Post, the defending Super Bowl champs aren't exactly shaking in their boots, awaiting the Bengals.

Meantime, deep in the pages of is this take on Carson Palmer, through Scouts Inc, compiled by James Walker

Scouts Inc.'s take on Carson Palmer
September 16, 2008 3:00 PM
Posted by's James Walker
In our weekly visit to the film room, we check in with Scouts Inc. to examine the early-season struggles of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer.
Here is comprehensive analysis from Scouts Inc.'s Keith Kidd:
"Why is Carson Palmer struggling? After studying the Bengals' offense this weekend, there is no doubt the pounding he took in Week 1 from a Rex Ryan coached Baltimore Ravens defense has affected the way he plays in the pocket, and a broken nose he suffered in the preseason can't help. Palmer remains one of the league's top quarterbacks in my mind, but the tension with #85 Chad [Ocho Cinco] appears to have increased and he is not in sync with his receivers. And, on top of that, the Bengals don't have a legit third receiver right now. The offensive line is not playing well and say what you want about Chris Perry, but he is not a younger version of Rudi Johnson. The Bengals better right the ship quickly because they could be in for a long day against a very good New York Giants defense on Sunday."

And here's our buddy, Mike Florio, from in his TV segment about one of the marqui match ups in week three: Cowboys vs Packers!

Posted and ready for you to download, my latest edition of Bengals Report Podcast. Bengals Report executive editor, Mark Hardin and I are breaking down the Bengals loss to the Tennessee Titans. You'll hear comments from Marvin Lewis, TJ Houshmandzadeh and Chris Perry. The Bengals Report Podcast is on the front page of my web site:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Did you see the blown call in the Chargers-Broncos game Sunday? Then, you might be interested in this take, by our pal Mike Florio from

Hoculi may have blown it. But I give him credit for owning up to it, over the PA during the game and face to face with Chargers' coach, Norv Turner. But, of course, that changes nothing. It was a bad call.
Just posted on my web site: is the latest Broo View Podcast. I have the complete interview I conducted this past Sunday on 700 WLW with former Cincinnati Reds pitcher, Tom Browning. We visit about the 20th anniversary of his perfect game, which happens to be tonight! If you're in a hurry, you can dowload the podcast here.

The Sports Network asks an interesting question about Marvin Lewis today. My answer, if he has, it happened the day Mike Brown brought Chris Henry back to this team.

Monday, September 15, 2008

As Cincinnati picks up the pieces from the fury of Ike (and let me just say this: if all it takes to bring us to our knees is a stiff wind, than all these enemies of the USA can forget about nuclear weapons) it's a good time to examine the state of your Cincinnati Bengals. Notice, I didn't say 'our' Cincinnati Bengals. They're all yours until further notice.

Why should we not have seen this coming? This is, after all with few exceptions, the same team that we have hear last year. And how did that work out? The owner undercut his coach and brought back the poster child for "Bad Bengals" (Chris Henry) and the coach and his staff summarily cut the locker room cop and conscience (Wille Anderson), a running back who has performed well in bad weather (Rudi Johnson) and a cornerback who would be a decent nickel back in a young secondary (Deltha O'Neal).

This is a football team without direction and without a plan. Do yourself a favor and vote on this poll I have at the top of the page. I'll bet the final prediction tally will be 3-13, or worse.

The Bengals, and rightfully so, continue to get lampooned by the national media. In his Monday posting on, former NFL personnel direction Mike Lombardi gives the Bengals a "D" for their efforts this week. I think that's generous.

Meantime, over at, scroll down to see what Clark Judge thinks about what's going on here in Cincinnati. He also thinks Marvin Lewis is in trouble in this post. I don't agree. Marvin isn't quitting and the Bengals owner doesn't pay people to not work. This situation exists through the 2010 season.

It appears as though referee Ed Hoculi won't be working the Super Bowl next February. Not after blowing that call in Denver Sunday. And not after the NFL said this today.

See, and you thought you had a tough weekend....
The idea came from Paul Daugherty, who sits in this chair weeknights at six. And it’s such a basic question, we need to talk about it today: was Sunday the most important game the Bengals will play in the Marvin Lewis era?

Let’s put it in context. It’s no secret to you and me: this franchise has struggled mightily and because of itself for the past 17 seasons. One winning season, one playoff appearance. It has paraded mediocre talent, at best sometimes, into stadia and has forced us a bar hung too low for far too long. It told us in 1996 it needed a new stadium, flirted with the city of Baltimore for a little leverage and finally wrangled a sales tax hike from you to get Paul Brown Stadium built. I thought it was a good idea then. I still think it was a good idea. But when the bricks and mortar and rebar went up, the blocks and tackles and wins went down. We became the butt end of jokes, you, me and the team we root for every Sunday in the fall. Jay Leno got us every night.

But all that changed in 2003, when Marvin Lewis arrived. He came here with a resume like no other head coach since Forest Gregg. Lewis had a super bowl ring. He had a reputation of building solid and aggressive defenses. He even made Steve Spurrier look good, no small trick in that one year in DC. Lewis breathed fire into a moribund franchise, shook up the locker room and got this town on its football toes again. Suddenly, it was fun to be a Bengals fan again. The 70-percent off sales on Bengals jerseys at Lazarus were postponed until after Christmas.

2005 was great. But we both know where things went after that. Too many injuries, too many arrests. But you were loyal. You got mad, because it reflected badly on your city and you know you love your city. You got mad because it reflected badly on your team. And you know you love your team. But you kept faith. You kept buying tickets, buying tickets, watching the games on television. You kept the faith.

But as we both know, even loyalty has its limits. And I sensed this, for a lot of Bengals fans. I’ve taken your phone calls this week, talked with you out on the town and listened to the talk shows. I saw your tickets for sale today on ebay: four, 40-yard line, face value 68-dollars apiece, all four for you at 100-total.

I sense that with a lot of Bengals fans, after last Sunday’s stinker in Baltimore, enough was enough. Bring back Chris Henry, let Willie go, lay an egg on opening day. Enough.

So I’m asking today, is this game against the Titans the most important game this franchise will play since the final year of the Sam Wyche era?
If the Bengals are beaten this afternoon, are you done watching them on Sunday? Are you done buying tickets? Will you find other things to do Sunday afternoons this fall? Is it that important?

Or, is it only one game? It has to be either-or? The NFL season has been called a marathon. But it really isn’t. Its 17-weeks, you play 16 and if you’re good enough you play on. It’s four months, one game a week. And while each week is important, generally you only have to win ten times to get into the playoffs. The Bengals have lost once. If they lose today, they still have 14-chances to win ten. So is today really a must win? On the field, no. Off the field, in the department known as your loyalty and interest, is it?

If a generation is defined as 25 years, then an entire generation of people in our town have grown up knowing nothing but losing football. Just about. It’s been 18 years, save one. The Bengals, like every other NFL ftanchise are enjoying their halcyon days. The NFL’s popularity is at its zenith. The television ratings and revenue are at all time highs. Unable to get 40-thousand into Riverfront Stadium on some Sundays in the 90’s, the Bengals now have a waiting list for tickets.

But it won’t always be that way. The economy, if you haven’t noticed, is in the dumper. Gasoline will be in the mid-four dollar range by later today and rumored to being more than five bucks a gallon by the end of this week. People are losing their jobs, or are afraid they might. Tough choices about how to spend income have already begun. To most of us, buying an NFL ticket is a luxury. Repairing a washing machine isn’t. Maybe that sounds silly to you, but it shouldn’t.

We invest our money and time in things we believe will give us a good return. Our sports teams are that way. They eventually have to give us a reason to believe and then invest. The Bengals haven’t done that a lot in this last generation. Sometimes, you just reach a point where enough is enough. After back to back losses and all that's transpired off the field, have you reach that point today?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Well, finally. It's taken five years, but apparently Marvin Lewis is beginning to call players out. It happened today, when Lewis made an appearance on Sirius satellite radio.'s Peter King was one of the show's co hosts, according to this.

Meantime, up in Columbus, sometimes Columbus Dispatch writer, Rob Oller has a less than flattering look at both of Ohio's NFL teams.

And our good friend, Mike Florio, from has this look at the biggest disappointments from week #1 of the 2008 NFL season.

While you're at it, don't forget to vote on the poll we have going right now. It's at the top of this blog page.

Bad news for Ohio State: no Beanie Well, apparently for the big game against Southern Cal. Here's the latest from

The latest edition of Bengals Report Podcast has just been posted! In this edition, executive editor Mark Hardin and I preview this Sunday's Bengals vs Titans game. You'll hear comments from Carson Palmer and Marvin Lewis. You can download it here. And you can get my latest Broo View Podcast on my web site:

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The latest Broo View Podcast is posted and available for your downloading pleasure on my web site: If you're in a hurry, it's also here. My guest is former NFL linemen, Ross Tucker, who joined me last Sunday on my radio show "Sunday Morning Sports Talk" on 700 WLW in Cincinnati.

If you're not living in the beautiful and 'battleground state' of Ohio, you can always dial me in on line on or on XM channel 173. I'm on from 9am-11:30am EDT Sundays.
I asked this question on Channel 5 the other night. Which would you rather be: a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, a team that will be lucky to win 6 games this season, or a fan of the New England Patriots, which just lost it's all world quarterback?

Well, which would you rather be? Let me know. I'll read the best answers you send in on my comments link this Sunday morning on 700 WLW beginning at 9am.

As for what the Pat may do without Tom Brady, here's an interesting 'take' from our buddy Mike Florio, at

With Bill Belichick and his 'system', the Pats may be able to squeeze out a playoff berth using Matt Cassell. And not to jump on Florio's jock too much, look at number 6 on his list of ten thoughts from opening day in this, from

Monday, September 08, 2008

Just added to my web site: is the lastest edition of Bengals Report Podcast. You can download it here. But check out my web site for more cool audio and the latest in sports.

I'll have the lastest Broo View Podcast posted on later today.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

For openers, the Bengals were putrid Sunday. They couldn't block and they couldn't tackle. Maybe they looked good getting off the team bus. This, I'm afraid, is going to be a long season.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. The Bengals didn’t look so hot during the exhibition season. In fact, they looked bad. The line couldn’t keep the other guys off Carson Palmer’s nose. The defense still hasn’t figured out how to tackle. And a lot of Bengals were hurt. Indisputable facts, part of the fabric the Bengals brought with them to their opener against the Ravens.

For the record, the Ravens are hurt, didn’t score a whole lot of points in their exhibition games and they started a rookie quarterback today. Amazingly, well maybe not so, the Ravens managed over 350 yards of total offense, 229 of those yards were on the ground.

All of that is the obvious. Let’s get into this season a little deeper, put a little more thought into it. I like lists. You like lists? Check things off as you go? I do. It’s a fascinating study of the Irish: make a list, then worry about it the rest of your life. But that’s another story for another day.

Here are 10 things I need to see happen, this season. We’ll do it in David Letterman descending order…

10: Press coverage from the Bengals cornerbacks. If I see Leon Hall or Jonathan Joseph backing off the line of scrimmage like they did last year, I’m throwing a shoe through my television set. Remember, this Mike Zimmer guy, the new defensive coordinator, is supposed to be more aggressive than Chuck Bresnahan. And if you don’t press coverage the Ravens pedestrian wide receivers, who are you going to cover that way?

9: Tackle. End plays with the other guy on the ground. And I’ll call out the guy I want to see this from: Marvin White, the safety. Big hits are great. Shoulders into receivers are electrifying. Now try wrapping up the guy and not let him run by you. Remember the exhibition game against the Packers?

Me too.

8: I want to see Chris Perry carry the ball at least 20 times a game. If he’s carrying the ball that many times, the Bengals are winning. But more to the point: Perry appears to be the kind of back who has to carry the ball a lot to get into a rhythm. And don’t give me: he’s too fragile to carry it 20. If he is, why did you let Rudi walk?

7: I want to see Ocho Cinco get hit hard and get up. I want to see if his torn labrum can stand a hit. Because if it can’t, why didn’t you go out and sign a street free agent on cutdown day…like Ashley Leslie? I need to know Ocho’s shoulder will stand up from the abuse you know the Ravens are going to bring today.

6: I want to see Carson Palmer standing after every play. The offensive line was abysmal this exhibition season. It couldn’t stop tackle stunts, it couldn’t stop edge rushers and it allowed Palmer to be sacked, hit or pushed around on virtually every play this summer. This is a group that’s on the spot all year. And so are the smart guys in that Bengals front office. You know who you are. You let Eric Steinbach take a hike to Cleveland and you just cut Willie. OK smart guys, this group you got better start behaving like an NFL offensive line.

5: I want to see if TJ Houshmandzadeh’s leg problems are over. Because, I’ve got to tell you, without him, this team is out of business. If you’ve got them projected for six wins, it’ll be four without him. He’s the best receiver on the field and the double teams he draws opens up everything else. No TJ, no Ocho Cinco, no running attack, no good.

4: I want to see Jerome Simpson do something. It’s not his fault the Bengals spent a second round pick on him. But it’s his problem now. He got second round money and he’s had a largely unheralded summer. This is the guy who the Bengals think will be their #1 or #2 wide receiver in a couple of years. He’s a #3, at best now. He needs to get open and get up and catch the ball.

3: I want to see Ben Utecht catch the ball, five times, minimum per game. This has been a chronic problem with the Bengals offense since, oh Tony McGee ran out of gas? Utecht needs to show that he wasn’t a product of great players around him in Indianapolis. And Bengals offensive coordinator, Bob Bratkowski needs to show us that he knows what to do with a tight end, now that he’s got a legitimate one.

2: I want to see the interior of that Bengals defensive line shut down anybody’s running attack this season. John Thornton is still on the roster and Domata Peko got a hefty contract this winter. Great, now stop somebody. If the interior defensive line doesn’t play better against the run this season, we’ll all be talking about the Reds on November first.

1: I want to see this team begin behaving like it belongs in the NFL. I want to see discipline on the field, and off. I’ve had enough of false starts, off sides and delay of games. It’s the troika of bad football and we’ve had enough of that since 1990. Off the field? Build homes, go to schools and read to kids, take your kids to Skyline, call you parents, help your wife paint the house. Do anything but go trolling for the night life on your day off, or worse, the night before a game. We’ve had that, too.

I don’t think this is a particularly good football team right now. But it has a chance to be, as the season progresses. I’m willing to watch and give it a chance. I’ll bet you are too. Now let’s see if it’s worthy of our time and patience.

Friday, September 05, 2008

As promised the latest Bengals Report Podcast is now posted on my web site: And if you're ready for it now, it's here too. Good stuff with the executive editor of Bengals Report, Mark Hardin.

Sunday morning, I'm talking sports again on 700 WLW in Cincinnati. Bengals Sunday Morning Sports Talk will feature a number of good guests. At 9:30am, my guest will be former NFL lineman and current Sirius Radio host (don't tell him we'll also be on XM channel 173) Ross Tucker. He this to say about Chad Ocho Cinco in a posting on

Also, my good buddy Mike Florio will join us from, around 10:05am.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Good Morning!

Just back from three days in Chicago. Nothing big, just a little R&R. Dented the car bumper, ate pizza and stone crabs (though not together or on a pizza) and had a rollicking good time in the 'Second City'

While I was gone, I hope you had a chance to latest to my latest Broo View Podcast. If you didn't get the chance, check it out here. My special guest is former NFL defensive back (Rams, Bills and others) Matt Bowen, from

Sometime Friday, on my web site, I'll have the latest edition of Bengals Report Podcast, as executive editor, Mark Hardin and I kick off the regular season.

Saw this when I arrived home Wednesday night from Chicago. Hmmmm. Well no Beanie may mean a better chance for my beloved Ohio Bobcats Saturday, right? No? Oh well...

Finally, for now at least, is there anyone out there who'll give the Bengals a little positive pub?
Not here, from They won't get any, until they start winning, on and off the field.