Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hey, it's Thursday already!

What Bronson Arroyo has done with the Cincinnati Reds this season is nothing short of amazing. Think about this, the Reds will probably win 80-games this season, at most. Arroyo won his 15th game of the season Wednesday night. And his earned run average dropped to a sparkling 3.84. Remember, this is on a ballclub that has been out of a pennant race since June 1st. Now, you can argue that Arroyo pitched without the pressure of a pennant race (and you'd be right). But the other side of that discussion has to be this: he won a lot of these games with AAAA talent behind him.

I firmly believe that, to have any kind of a competitive chance next season, the Reds will have to trade either Arroyo, Aaron Harang or Francisco Cordero. They consume far too much salary (approximately $37 million of a projected payroll of less than $70 million) and the Reds need to shed some of that to make budget and to hopefully attract better talent at short stop and in the outfield. But Arroyo should be the last option when trade time comes.

Harang is damaged goods. There is a strong line of thinking he hasn't been the same since Dusty Baker foolishly used him in relief, during a marathon game in San Diego last season. This was just a few days after a start and Harang make his next scheduled start three days after his relief appearance. Add to that another sub par year in 2009 and an appendectomy that KO'd him from pitching past late August and you can see why, at $12.5 million for 2010, Harang would be tough to deal.

Cordero will be the odd man out. But his $14 million price tag for 2010 will greatly limit his list of potential suitors. Best guess here, is that the Yankees (with an aging Mariano Rivera) and the Phillies (with Brad Lidge masquerading as Eric Milton) may be the most likely destinations for Cordero.

Arroyo? After the kind of season he had this year, how could you think of him as anything but the "ace" of the pitching staff? Volquez gone until late 2010, Cueto struggling to pitch deep into ballgames, Harang's appendectomy, Bailey's inconsistency, meet the new 'ace.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I heard Tony Dungy on a national radio show this week. And he was talking about how insignificant the Time of Possession stat is. Dungy’s rationale is that it doesn’t matter how long you have the football, it’s what you do with it once you get it. And if you were watching the UC-Fresno State game on Saturday, you saw exactly what Dungy was talking about. Fresno crushed the ‘Cats in time of possession. UC had the ball a grand total of 16-minutes and 18-seconds. But UC won the game, 28-20. So Dungy’s theory has some validation. But you can only play this kind of game once in a great while. All I could think of, after Tony Pike hit Marty Gilyard with the TD pass that made the score 28-17, was how short a time the UC defense had to catch its breath.

Games like the one the Bearcats played Saturday grind a defense down. Now, it turns out, Fresno State’s offense ran out of gas late in this game as well. The interception by Carey was big. And Fresno running back, Ryan Mitchell, just about unstoppable in the first three quarters looked ‘winded’ in the final minutes of that game. But when West Virginia, South Florida and Pitt pop up n the schedule in the next few months, UC won’t be able to play this kind of game. Its defense will need to take the ball away more than it did Saturday. It will need to get off the field on third down better than it did Saturday. Allowing Fresno State to convert third down on 12-of-20 tries won’t cut it against teams that are coming up.

But along the way to great seasons, good teams have games like the Bearcats did Saturday. UC fans don’t like this memory, but Ohio State had this kind of game at Paul Brown Stadium in 2002. In 2006, the year the Florida Gators won the national title, they played not go great on the road but won at Vanderbilt by six, the came home the next week and beat South Carolina only by one. So it happens. You don’t play all that well, but you find a way to win. UC did exactly that Saturday.
Hey, it's Tuesday. Go do something about it....

All three Bengals games so far this season have come down to the final drive of the game. So far, two wins, one loss. They could easily be 3-0 and just as easily be 0-3. It shows just how few plays are the difference in most NFL games and how close most of these teams are.

Even the cynic in the crowd would admit to the possibility of the Bengals going 5-2 in their first seven games. Who's out there that could stop them? Houston? Really? Da Bears? You think? The Browns? Get real. Only the Ravens look like a team that could handle the Bengals at this point. I know, I know, this team has done nothing, even in the last three weeks, to earn our long term trust back. But a month ago, nobody would have predicted how this season would have started. If you say you did, YOU LIE!

South Florida look good in its upset win at Florida State Saturday. This is the biggest opponent (and best) that UC will play so far this year. After dispatching Miami (which the 'Cats should be able to do without problem this Saturday) they'll have ten days to get ready for South Florida. It's a Thursday night game in Tampa. Give Brian Kelly ten days to get ready for any team and he could come up with a legitimate way to stop Florida IMHO.

South Florida has Jim Tressey as its defensive coordinator. He's there, after his philosophical fall out with Kelly after the Bearcats Orange Bowl loss this past January. He knows the Bearcats offense inside out. But Tressey isn't playing in the game, just coordinating the Bulls defense.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's Friday!

Random thoughts on a random Friday.....

I've just finished engaging one of the OSU football loyalists at My mission was to state a case for the University of Cincinnati football team and how it would fare in a game against the Buckeyes. You can read the debate here. I think I held my own......

UC by 16, incidentally, against Fresno State Saturday. Illinois plays the Buckeyes a lot tighter...

Paul Brown Stadium will be awash in Black and Gold Sunday. My guess is 60% of the stadium will show up in Steelers colors. It's not a testamonial to the Steelers far reaching appeal (even here in Cincinnati) but more to Bengals ticket holders selling tickets for this particular game. They gave up hope long ago and used the money they got from selling tickets to this game to pay for the entire season.....

The Ravens are the best team in the AFC. Defense has always been there for the Ravens. But now, with Flacco coming into his own and the Ravens ability to run the ball effectively, this is the AFC's best team....

Best team in the NFC? New Orleans, just edging out the Giants. But the Giants are very, very good.....

You down six and you have the length of the field to navigate for the game winning touchdown. Who do you want quarterbacking your team? Brady? Peyton? Eli? Brees? Palmer? Brady's done it a lot. But Peyton has done it better. Peyton, for me....

I'm happy the Reds are playing well. But you have to understand, there's a large difference between winning when you're out of the pennant chase and without pressure and winning with the daily pressure of a pennant race. We've seen these late season heroics from Reds teams in the past and they've fooled us, cajoled us into believing that it's a sure sign the next season will be better. I'm sorry. I'm not buying this latest swell...

The Reds need a left fielder AND a right fielder next season. Jay Bruce can't hit a breaking ball and struggles with left handed pitching. At least for next season, he's looking like a platoon player.

If the Reds payroll is really going to be less in 2010 than what it was this year, I don't see them having the money to re-sign Jonny Gomes...

If the Miami RedHawks don't beat Kent State Saturday (a very real possibility) they won't win for at least another two weeks. Next up is a home game in Oxford against UC then off to the Chicago area to play Northwestern.....

So let me get this straight. Plaxico Burress shoots himself in the leg and gets two years in prison. Donte Stallworth kills a guy with his car and gets 30 days in the slammer? Really?

UC gave Mick Cronin an additional two years on his contract that now takes Cronin to 2014 at UC. Good deal, for both parties. Cronin inherited a mess and his team is just digging out of it. UC doesn't need to be shopping for a new head basketball coach anytime soon. One or two more bad losses by Notre Dame, and UC athletic director, Mike Thomas could be shopping for a new head football coach.

You heard it here first: UC will play for the Big East title on the night of December 5th (I predict ABC makes UC at Pitt it's primetime game that night) and the Bearcats will be undefeated going into the game....which means they may be playing for a spot in the BCS Championship game. Yep, I've devoured the Kool Aid....

I'm talking sports Sunday from 9am-Noon on 700 WLW. Among my guests, Don Banks from Sports Illustrated....

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I don't know if you subscribe to the web site It's a site totally dedicated to Ohio State University sports. But if you do, you can catch an on line debate I'm having with one of their writers about which team is the better team in Ohio: the Buckeyes or the UC Bearcats. I'm, of course, taking up the cause of the Bearcats. It's an interesting give and take and I'm told it will be posted sometime Thursday afternoon.

The Bengals Antwan Odom was named AFC defensive player of the week Wednesday. This was more of a slam dunk than anything Kareem dropped in his NBA career. Odom had five sacks in last Sunday's game against Green Bay. You could have done a better job blocking Odom than the Packers' offensive line.

Ochocinco said today he's planning a "Spanish" celebration, should he score this Sunday against the Steelers. Perhaps Charo will be paying a visit to Paul Brown Stadium.

The Reds have scored 30 runs in their last three ballgames. Back in June 30 runs would have been about 12 games worth of scoring. All this is great. But has anyone noticed it's happening against the Pirates? If I'm not mistaken, the Pirates have season ticket holders that have a higher on base percentage than some of their players. I remain constant in my criticism of this Reds franchise: they make bad decisions at critical times. Examples? Signing Corey Patterson in 2008 for $3.5 million when no other MLB team would even look at him. Signing Willy Tavares to a two year, $6.8 million deal or paying $10 million to put a scoreboard in left field this winter (remember the ballpark was just six years old when that happened) rather than spending $10 million to acquire better baseball players.

And they wonder why most of their fans are coming to GABP disguised as empty seats these days.
Happy Wednesday!

Just posted to my web site is an interview I conducted with NBC Sports and Sports Illustrated columnist, Peter King. We discuss the NFL season in general and the Cincinnati Bengals in particular. It's easy to find. It's on the front page

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's Tuesday!

And to get things rolling, I've got the latest Broo View Podcast loaded and ready to go. You can find it on the front page of my web site My guest this time is the author of the book "Game Six", just out this week. It's the story of the greatest World Series game ever played, Reds vs Red Sox 1975.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Good Monday Morning!

OK, show of hands: who thought it was deja vu all over again (sorry Yogi) when the Packers recovered that on-sides kick? You, not rasing your hands YOU LIE!

Two very basic things won that game Sunday for your Cincinnati Bengals. 1: the ability to run the football on offense. 2: the defensive secondary's outstanding play.

The Bengals rush blocking was terrific. 141 yards on the day for Cedric Benson, 149 rushing yards total. That controlled the clock, kept the Packers offense on the sideline and broke the will of a very proud Packers defense

The play of the secondary, particularly corners Leon Hall and Jonathan Joeseph allowed the safeties to cheat up and play run defense. It was a big reason why Ryan Grant was ineffective most of the afternoon and a big reason why the Bengals Front 7 was so dominant.

It was only one game, but it sure makes this coming Sunday's game against the Steelers all the more interesting doesn't it?

Random thoughts, bouncing around in my head like a stray ping pong ball....

Did anyone else think it might've been a better deal if the Steelers had beaten the Bears Sunday? I can't envision Pittsburgh losing two straight. But, you never know.....

The Steelers offensive line is atrocious. Antwan Odom may have ten sacks this coming Sunday....

Best team in the game right now is the Giants. They got into a track meet with the Cowboys Sunday night and won. Good offensive line again for the Giants this season....

Is Rex Ryan, the new Jets coach expecting? Dude is one good prime rib dinner away from a coronary....

Isn't it amazing that Rick Minter, who is the longest tenured UC head football coach at least in the last 50-years had three current NFL head coaches as assistant coaches on his staffs? John Harbaugh (Ravens) Mike Tomlin (Steelers) and Ryan (Jets) all spent time assisting Minter when he was head coach of the UC Bearcats....

Are you taking note of a shift in power in the NFL through two weeks? The 49ers are 2-0, the Jets are 2-0 and the Ravens are 2-0....

UC is now 14th in the country, according to the latest AP Rankings. That's one notch below Ohio State and just two behind Southern Cal. The Bearcats should be 5-0 when they begin Big East conference play. Could they run the table? Health will be a mitigating factor. But now that South Florida has lost its starting quarterback, the only stumbling blocks may be at Pitt and a home game against West Virginia...stay tuned...

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's Friday!

The first Bengals Report podcast of 2009 is ready for you to download. You can find int on the front page of my web site Mark Hardin and I break down the Bengals tough opening game loss to the Broncos.

Here's who I like this Sunday. I like the 'Skins to beat the Rams. That's my lock. I'll take the Giants over the Cowboys. You're saying, Ken, in the Big D? New stadium? Yeah. I think the Giants are the best team in the NFC. I like the Packers over the Bengals. Sorry. It's a Lambeau and the Bengals haven't won a regular season game there in team history. Their only regular season wins on the road against the Pack have come at Milwaukee.

Here's who I like Saturday. I like UC. I couldn't care less about Oregon State's 26 game home winning streak over non Pac-10 teams. The folks out in Corvallis haven't seen an offense like UC runs in forever. UC comes home 3-0 to play Fresno State next Saturday.

I like Florida over Tennessee, big. Lane Kiffin, welcome to the SEC. Your mouth is going to get a lot of points scored on your team.

I'm on the radio a lot this weekend. 3-6:30p on 700 WLW Saturday, when my guests will include Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports. We'll be talking about boxing (Mayweather vs Marquez Saturday night) and UFC 103 (Rich Franklin fights Saturday night too). Authur Mark Frost will join me to talk about his new book "Game Six". It's the story behind the greatest World Series game ever played, 1975 Reds and Red Sox.

Sunday, I'm on from 9am-11:30am on WLW, when my guests include Peter King from NBC Sports and Sports Illustrated and George Wendt, "Norm" from Cheers. Then, I'll be back on 700 WLW and 1530 Homer after the Bengals-Packers game to take your phone calls.

And after all that, I'll be talking to you on Sports Rock, on WLWT Channel 5 after Sunday Night Football. Our guest hosts will be "Wildman" Walker and former Bengal Eric Thomas. We'll break down the Bengals-Packers game, with reaction from that Bengals locker room after the game.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

So why is Brian Kelly taking his team halfway around the world, again, this weekend to play a football game? Simple answer: the Big 10 is ducking him. Kelly says he wants as many out of conference games for his Bearcats against BCS teams. And the Big 10 has been more than reluctant to schedule Kelly in "home and home" series. The Buckeyes, the Boilermakers, the Wolverines would be more than happy to have UC come to their places to play. But return the trip to Nippert Stadium and it's 35,000 seats or a game at Paul Brown Stadium? As Tony Soprano would say, "Feggadaboudit".

No Big 10 school (or any legit contender from the Big 12 or SEC) would ever dare come to Cincinnati, where Kelly's offense would run them off the field and risk losing a game and incur the wrath of their fans. But Oregon State, the Bearcats opponent this week, is willing to do it because the Beavers are in the same boat at the 'Cats. They too are searching for quality BCS opponents to play.

Kelly said today he doesn't think his team will have a tough time adjusting the the time change. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:45pm Cincinnati time, roughly 45 minutes earlier than the 'Cats start time last week against Southeast Missouri State.

OK, so I've have about 48 hours to digest and break down that final play that Denver pulled off to beat the Bengals. Here's my take: the Bengals were simply out of position. You had three Bengals, two of which were safeties, converging on Broncos receiver, Brandon Marshall, the intended target. That's OK. What wasn't OK was that there was no Bengal playing 'centerfield'. There was no Bengals safety playing deep.

Here's what had to be done: a safety needed to be stationed at the Bengals 38 yard line. Because history told us that that was the furthest point from where the Denver place kicker could have successfully kicked a field goal. And in a 7-6 game, at that time, it would have been the difference.

Instead, the only other safety on the field, Chinedum Ndukwe was moving toward the pass from Kyle Orton, roughly on the Broncos 40 yard line even though three of his teammates are there to defend.

We all know by now that the ball was tipped by Bengals cornerback, Leon Hall (and if he didn't touch it, the ball would've sailed out of bounds) and into the arms of Brandon Stokely who took it to the house for the game winning touchdown.

At issue is field presence. The Bengals simply didn't have it Sunday and the Broncos stole a win away from them.

Now, the schedule has the Bengals off to Green Bay this Sunday, then home to play the Steelers, then at Cleveland and at Baltimore. There is a real possibility this team begins the season at
1-4. At that point, we can all start talking about UC and Xavier basketball.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Just posted on my web site, is the lastest Broo View Podcast. My guest this week is NFL senior writer, John Czarnecki, from John isn't so keen on the Bengals making the playoffs. You can find the podcast on the front page.


senior NFL writer, Pete Prisco from will be one of my guests this Sunday morning on 700 WLW. Pete is picking the Bengals to make the playoffs in his pre-season predictions.

Also joining me Sunday morning is Peter King from NBC Sports and Sports Illustrated. Peter cut his teeth at the Enquirer all those years ago.

Joe Posnanski will be another guest. Joe has a book just out on the 1975 Cincinnati Reds. I've read it. It is terrific. Joe does something so tricky so well in this book: he takes a subject matter and characters that are well known and gives both a fresh take. If you're a baseball fan, you'll love it.

If you don't live in the greater Cincinnati area, you can listen on line at

Tonight on WLWT channel 5 at 6p we'll have the latest on the Cincinnati Bengals. You'll hear from Carson, Marvin and others.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Good Monday Morning! And happy Labor Day!

Part of being a fan, is blind faith. When you’re a fan, you blindly believe your team always has a chance. You believe on Opening Day the Reds are going to contend, no matter what logic may dictate to you. The second Sunday in September, you slap on your number 9 or 85 Bengals jersey and blindly believe the Bengals are going to contend. You just know it.

We have a lot of people here in the Tri-State who blindly follow the Reds and the Bengals. Not so much that they run out and buy tickets, of course. Losing will do that to a franchise. But in their hearts, in their words, fans around here want to believe.

I will give you two reasons today why you should believe in your Cincinnati Reds: Jay Bruce can’t possibly be as bad as he was before he got hurt in July. And there’s a lot of talent bubbling just below the major league level.
The best days for your Cincinnati Reds lie ahead, which isn’t saying much since the Reds have made the playoffs a grand total of twice since 1979.

But be very careful what you buy into. For example: The Reds recent winning streak continued last night, with a 3-1 win in Atlanta. Bronson Arroyo look good on Friday night. Kip Wells pitched decent baseball Saturday night. This is great. Except the Reds are doing something they’ve mastered over the last 14 seasons: they’re winning when the heat is off. They’re out of the pennant race, playing with zero pressure. There is a stark contrast from what they’re doing to what’s going on with the Dodgers and Rockies, or the wild card battle in the American League between the Rangers and Red Sox. We’ve seen this before, haven’t we? The Reds have padded their resume by playing well, when there’s nothing to play for.

Ask yourself this, before you get all geeked about what they’ve done in the past week or so. When and if this team actually makes it to the playoffs again, do you really believe the “Everyday 8” will be populated by players like Laynce Nix, Paul Janish and Craig Tatum? That’s not a knock on those guys. But like of lot of the “Everyday 8’s” we’ve seen around here in recent years, they’re back of the roster players, bench guys at best. You can get an occasional start from players like that, maybe a hot bat or two off the bench. But what contending team right now would have them in their starting line-up. In a word: none.

Look, I love it when the Reds win. I’ve told people in their late teens and 20’s, who have no reccolection of this team being any good, that Cincinnati is a different town when the Reds are winning. Downtown has a buzz. The stands are full most nights. There’s baseball chatter all over, even among some people who don’t know if a baseball is blown up or strung together.

But, in light of this lastest winning streak with no pressure from a playoff chase, let’s not lose sight of one thing: This team needs a lot of work and a lot of re-tooling before next Spring if it hopes to contend. Believe in hope. Just don’t believe in false hope.

Anyone running around town today, giddy over the way the Bengals looked in their pre-season finale against the Colts needs to have their medication adjusted. The only thing that Thursday night told us was this: a bunch of guys the Bengals hope never get on the playing field beat a bunch of guys the Colts hope never get on the playing field. Plain, simple, end of story.
Here’s all you have to ask yourself: did you see Carson Palmer play? No.
I think Peyton Manning is still sitting on the bench.

So here you go. This is what you’ve got to be real about, one week before games start to count. The Bengals offense goes as far as the line holds up. Anymore, Carson Palmer has all the agility of a refrigerator. If the line can’t give him time to throw, if he has to leave the pocket consistently, bad things will happen. Remember, a lot of these guys blocking were in the same group that allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to become fertilizer last Fall. I like Andrew Whitworth. I’d love Andrew Whitworth at guard, not the position he’s playing. And don’t kid yourself; the reason why Whitworth is playing left tackle is because the Bengals knew on draft day Andre Smith wasn’t going to be in camp on time. There was no way they were going into camp this year, waiting for Smith to show up to play left tackle. Remember, Smith was a left tackle in college. He almost immediately became a right tackle here, because the Bengals knew in April he’d be tough to sign. They tried to tell us, a tackle is a tackle, that a player who’s played left tackle could easily move over to play right tackle. Repeat after me: not true. To accept this is to minimize the role of a left tackle. They are not interchangeable parts. Andre Smith is a left tackle.

Football truism here: the three most important positions on the offensive side of the ball, in this order, are quarterback, left tackle and wide receiver. Running backs you can find anywhere. There’s always a Cedric Benson floating out there in mid-season. There’s always a Bernard Scott available in the late rounds of a draft. Good interior lineman, by and large, are not that difficult to find. Quarterback, left tackle, wide receiver are not interchangeable parts. Once you get by Whitworth and Bobbie Williams you have nothing but questions along that offensive line.

And one thing about Andre Smith: what did the Bengals expect when they finally signed him? Weight has always been an issue with this dude. He showed up a week ago today and was as big as a Marriott. Personal discipline has been and issue with this guy, at least as far back as the end of his last season at Alabama. Improper dealings with an agent cost him a chance to play in Alabama’s bowl game. Then, there was the issue of leving the Combine early and changing agents like socks.

The minute the Bengals found out they’d be picking after the Jets, who were going to take Mark Sanchez from day one, and before the Raiders, who are as stupid with money as friends of Bernie Madoff, the minute all of that happened, the Bengals knew they were in for a long negotiation process with Smith. So riddle me this: why didn’t the Bengal dispatch someone from their training staff to wherever Smith was this summer and watch him? Make sure that he was eating right and practicing in as close to camp conditions as possible? Did any of the smart guys at Paul Brown Stadium think that might be a good idea? Problems with NFL rules, figure out a way to get around them. But no, none of that happens and Smith arrives weighing a robust 364. I keep hearing comparisons to Willie Anderson. I keep seeing Freddie Childress when I look at him.

All of that makes me wonder about the Bengals this year. Palmer’s healthy and that’s a plus. Ochocinco appears to be channeling Floyd Mayweather in his physique and workout regime. And that’s good. I like that they’ve re-enforced their front seven on defense.

But in the AFC, you’re going to need eleven wins to get into the playoffs. And getting into the playoffs is the only thing that matters. Eleven wins didn’t get the Patriots in last year. But I thi

Baltimore’s better, the Steelers are the defending Super Bowl champs and other than Detroit, those games against the NFC North could be brutal.

So as we sit here today, I’m hear to tell you I believe your Cincinnati Bengals will be better this season (you’re saying Ken, how could they be any worse than they were last season? These are the Bengals, we should not be asking that kind of rhetorical question). But I don’t see eleven wins on this schedule.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

It's Thursday. Go out and celebrate.

With one episode to go in the Bengals' Hard Knocks series, I'll rate the show a hit. For the average fan, it's painting a realistic portrait of what this team is really all about. Marvin Lewis is tough again, changing his demeanor back to what it was when he got herein 2003. The front office values winning at the bank more than winning on the field. It's revealing that, once and for all to the average fan. And the players are coming off basically as who they really are.

Ochocinco has stolen the show. We could've figured that ot the minute the series was announced. But we've also seen some clips that have been truly enlightening.

For example, in segment four, aired Wednesday night, Mike Zimmer talking to Tank Johnson about his perceived negative attitude offered a glimpse of what Tank is now with his third team in the last three years.

Carson Palmers blunt assesment of an offensive tackle that caused his brother Jordan to take a sack and fumble gave us, in one sentence, more candidness than the elder Palmer has displayed in the last year.

And when Mike Brown told his latest millionaire, the balloonish Andre Smith, that he was 'out of shape' I about fell on the floor laughing.

In truth, the show has done its best to depict the Bengals as a struggling, but legit, NFL franchise. We know about the struggles. But since we live with it every day, we also know the Bengals are far from a legit NFL franchise. But it's been fun to watch.

Speaking of Smith, despite what the NFL network reported two nights ago (that he'd only be sidelined 7-10 days with his stress fracture), I'm hearing it will be more like the next month. And don't rule out a longer stay on the sidelines. Stress fractures are tricky things, particularly in over sized athletes. The NBA Houston Rockets can fill you in about Yao Ming. The Portland Trailblazers can do the same with Greg Odom. And being a 364 pound man (Smith's reporting weight) will complicate things for the Bengals 1st round pick.

More troubling is his weight. He reminds me of the Bengals 2nd round pick in 1989, a rather robust guard out of Arkansas named Freddie Childress. Freddie was described on draft day as a strong, nasty blocker. But he ate himself out of the NFL. Unless someone from the Bengals is constantly monitoring Smith, he could be headed down the same road Fat Freddie traveled.

I may be wrong, but I may be right.

Carson Palmer isn't playing Thursday night in the exhibition finale against the Colts, nor should he. It would be irresponsible for Marvin Lewis to risk his 'franchise' in such a meaningless game. The only argument against Palmer sitting is that he's only had a few game snaps in this pre-season. But after watching the Broncos last Sunday night, I'm not sure you couldn't quarterback the Bengals to a win over Denver on opening day.

I'm glad the Reds are hot. But what does it mean? Nothing. This is still a AAA ballclub that is in NO, repeat NO danger of competing next season. And if the economy continues to stink, don't look for Bob Castellini to spend a nickel more than the $72 million he spent this year on salary. In fact, it will probably be a lot less.