Stale Popcorn

Is it just me or are you all out there not sold on the T.O. And Chad Ochocinco combo at receiver? I for one am not sold on them as a tandem, at least not at this time in T.O.'s career. Here are a few reasons why I don't think this pairing will work.

First, I don't think T.O. Can get off the ball anymore. If anyone has recently watched T.O. play, one thing has been glaringly obvious: he cannot get off of press coverage. In the last couple of years, more and more teams have used press coverage on him. Despite how physical a receiver he may appear, apparently its just a facade. The times when T.O. has been most effective is when he has been in the slot or when the opposing team has played off of him. With the Bengals and the roster of receivers that they have, they may be able to put T.O. in the slot a little bit with Antonio Bryant being there, but Bryant has to stay healthy, which has been a problem for him since he had knee surgery a year or so back when he was playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Other than Bryant, all the other receivers on the Bengals' roster are slot receivers.

Secondly, no matter what T.O. and Ochocinco say, they both want the ball. And looking at the Bengals offense last year, their isn't going to be many chances for both of them to get a ton of catches. The Bengals offense last year was powered by Cedric Benson, not the passing game. Sure, they may pass a little bit more this year, but I just don't think they will become a pass-happy team and scrap the whole model for success they built. This will create for some very animated sideline conversations.

And last but not least, the numbers don't lie. T.O.'s numbers have been declining for the last few years. Matter of fact, last year he didn't even reach 1,000 yards receiving. You can say it was because of the system in Buffalo, but when you are the number 1 receiver on a team, you get plenty of chances and I still remember T.O. having "alligator arms" from time to time and dropping sure catches. After all, he is in the top ten in dropped passes almost every year.

In closing, I look forward to seeing how this science experiment works out. There may be some exciting times, but I think there will be more lows than highs. Maybe one of the high points will be all the attention will be on Ochocinco and T.O. and Pacman will be able to fly under the radar. Maybe that's wishful thinking too.

19 Responses

  1. James Rutherford

    I agree hundred percent General you hit all the key points,I am lost for words.

  2. Ryan Jones

    well, we shall see……i think the move is still gonna make their recieving corp the most exciting to watch…..and they may not be the best, but they will produce.

    • I think the excitement will come from all the arguments that will happen on the sideline between T.O., Antonio Bryant, Ochocinco and Carson Palmer.

  3. Justin U.

    He’s not the same T.O. Many will point to his 15.1 YPC average from a year ago (as I heard on ESPN radio) and say “if he caught 75 balls, which he will with a better QB, he would have had 1,133 yards and probably 8 or 9 TDs.” After all, 15.1 YPC placed him 10th on the list for receivers with more than 50 receptions.

    However, T.O.’s 15.1 average (55 Catches, 829 Yards) included a 98 yard TD reception against Jacksonville, who had serious secondary issues last year, and gave up huge games against the likes of Greg Camarillo, Kevin Walter, and Nate Burleson. Had that 98 yard reception been a 15 yard reception, he would have ended the year with 55 catches, 746 yards, and a 13.6 yards per catch average. 13.6 is solid if you’re a tight end, but it would have been T.O’s 3rd lowest total of his career (2002- 13.0, 1999-12.6)

    Furthermore, Jacksonville’s secondary was SO bad that they allowed Owens to torch them for 9 receptions, 197 yards and a touchdown. In the other 15 games of the year, Owens had only 46 receptions, 549 yards, 11.9 average, and 4 touchdowns. These are 3rd string numbers, and the Bengals just paid 2 million dollars for a 36 year old possession receiver.

  4. Justin U.

    Lastly, I say…46 catches, 545 yards, 3 touchdowns and a meltdown by November for T.O.

    • I’m looking forward to the temper tantrum. What’s funny is that with all the attention that Chad and T.O. are getting, no one is talking about Pacman Jones.

  5. I actually think they will work just bv many want them to fail. Plus T.O. I feel understand this may be his last go around so I think he will be good for that team. Good look with the blog tho “Chong” inside joke. Look forward to the next posts…

    • I think T.O. is always going to think its all about T.O. and he isn’t going to help them as much as he is going to hurt them. Right now, he is just saying the right things, but wait until some adversity strikes. We will see the real T.O. resurface then.

      • Justin U.

        Yeah, selfish dudes stay selfish. He didn’t act out in Buffalo because, let’s be honest, it was Buffalo and I don’t think he ever expected to win.

        Sidebar…CHONG! Forgot all about that!

  6. Darlene Stephen

    Defense wins game. Offense just sells tickets.

  7. Dwayne Wilmot

    Mike I am suprised that you would not see the manner in which this will work. Cedric Benson and the O-Line is still the backbone of this team but now defenses will have to decide which to try to take away…8 in the box or 2 high safety look. You have a valid point about TO not doing well versus press coverage but that was when he was the only threat on the outside and you could afford to play with a safety over the top. Now you have Chad drawing attention on the other side which will cause more single high safety looks which will mean more off coverage. Then there is the added spector of play-action which is where 2/3 of your big pass plays happen. Plus Cinci’s pass game suits TO’s current skill set with its deep ins and comebacks. His feet are slower which is why he struggles with press and it causes him to need more time to get to full speed but he is still very dangerous and Chad simply needs a running mate ala TJ. The only forseeable road block to this being a dominant offensive football team will be injuries not ego. Chad does not have a history of being disruptive within a team, Bryant will be allowed to rehab and work back at a more comfortable rate without the stress of being the number 2 wr and TO is playing for his next contract and his legacy. He was on his best behavior in Buffalo and suspect that he knows that if he becomes the ‘story’ for any reason other than his play than this will be his last year in the NFL.

    • I don’t see it working. If defenses are smart, they will play press coverage against T.O. and they will rotate the defender over the top of Chad. That still leaves a formidable amount of run stoppers in the box. I see Cincy struggling this year.

      • T.O is goin to be a distraction more than an asset. Just watch and get your popcorn ready!

  8. Kendrick

    First of all, when you look at the Bengals offense they are a run first pass second offense but this is soley based on necessity within the past year. Now that you have more options with receivers in T.O., Ocho Cinco, Bryant, Caldwell, Grishom, and Shipley, just to name a few, you become more of a passing efficient team. Not to mention you have a former Pro Bowl quarterback in your back field. (Does this sound familiar AKA 2007 Patriots when Randy Moss came to the team). Cedrick Benson will be more than happy to play in the offense because it would take the eighth man out of the box and allow more running lanes, especially if the Bengals use three to four man receiver formations. Back to the T.O. point, T.O. is in the latter point of his career, but to say that he is not a top twenty five receiver in the league is ridiculous. You can look at previous examples; prime would be the 49ers when they had Jerry Rice and John Taylor. Rice was fantastic but half of the reason he was so successful was because he had Taylor lined beside him. I am not calling T.O. or Ochocinco Jerry Rice, but both of them clearly exceed Taylor’s status and are easily the best receiver combo in the league. Let’s not forget, the Bengals have a top ten defense in the league. Im not saying they are going to the Super Bowl but I do believe the winner of the AFC north will be a superbowl representative this year in Dallas.

    • In order for the Bengals to win, they need the running game to set up the pass game. Benson is the most important piece to their team. U can’t be pass-happy and win a championship. Just can’t happen. The Raiders tried it with Rich Gannon and it didn’t work and so did the Patriots and it didn’t work there either. And to not win a championship, that’s always a disappointment, no matter how far u make it. I think that T.O. will eventually become the same guy he has always been, just give it some time. When he feels he isn’t getting enough looks, he WILL blow up on the sideline. Trust me. The only way he can be at least somewhat successful on this team is if the opponent doesn’t play press coverage and he is allowed a free release. And he also has to catch the ball, which has been an issue for him as well. He is always in the top ten for dropped passes every year. Also, having all those other options will make T.O. upset becuse of lack of chances to even attempt to make plays. And some of those options aren’t even proven. Gresham, he hasn’t played in a year and a half. Shipley, no matter how u slice it, is still a rookie as well and Caldwell went into the Witness Protection Agency at the end of the year. The Bengals will not be as successful as everyone thinks they will be.

    • I think that the Cincinnati Bengals will not have a good year. I think T.O. will not be satisfied with being a number 2 receiver and he will go off. The Bengals key offensive player is Cedric Benson. If u look back in recent NFL history, the Raiders and the Patriots were pass-happy teams who didn’t win the Super Bowl and anything less than winning a Super Bowl is a disappointing season in my eyes. And with all these weapons that the Bengals have, Shipley may be ok but he is still a rookie. Gresham hasn’t played on a football field since January 2009 and Caldwell was in the Witness Protection Agency the last half of the year. Doesn’t seem like an offense that is going to put up records to me. The Bengals will not even win their division this year. Point blank.
      Another point that I want to make is that T.O. Would have to be in the slot to be effetive on this team. He cannot get off press coverage and when he does, he is in the top ten in dropped passes every year. T.O. may have been great in the past, but his time is up and the past is the past.

  9. Dwayne Wilmot

    How quickly we forget…a passing team just won the Super Bowl. The Saints were a primarily passing attack that was able to spread the ball around to enough weapons to make everyone a threat. Also the 49ers were a primarily passing attack with Montana, Rice and Co and they managed to do just fine.
    On average most drives start around the 30 yard line and the odds of scoring are at roughly 40%. Those percentages jump up to 65% if you have an explosive play of more than 25 yds on that drive. And statistically speaking if you give up 2 or less explosive plays in a game you give up 13 pts a game…3 or more explosive plays and that number jumps to 27 points per game. My point is this…running the ball is essential to a successful offense but the ability to push the ball down the field ultimately leads to points and wins.
    Also…I don’t know the answer so I am truly asking…Which team with a Top 5 defense has won the SB since the Ravens?

    • How quickly u forget that the Saints’ run offense was in the top 5 in the league too with Pierre Thomas as the lead guy. And also, the 49ers had Roger Craig who was their leading rusher with almost 1500 yards.. Without the run game, the pass game never would be as effective for the Saints nor the 49ers. And also, I believe the Giants were the last team that won the Super Bowl with a Top 5 defense. The defense can’t be crappy http://theeverydaymanssportsblog.wordpress.comand win a championship. They have to be solid at the least and its a matter of who can get the most stops.

  10. Indy

    So far…ur right…will see if “Batman and Robin” works…

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