Monthly Archives: January 2021

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Last year, Bengals great and Mobile native Willie Anderson Jersey made the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. It looks like he’s going to take them one at a time after his bid to crack the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s finals ballot didn’t reach the list of 15 Tuesday night when the shrine released the finalists for the class of 2021.

Two offensive linemen, Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli and Steelers guard Alan Faneca, made a list again that includes first-time eligibles quarterback Peyton Manning, defensive back Charles Woodson and wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

Anderson, regarded by many to be the best right tackle of his era, was in his eighth year of eligibility and made the semifinals for the first time when the 48-member board of selectors, of which Bengals.com is the Cincinnati representative, cut down a list of 130 players to 25.

“It was the first time as a semifinalist. I wasn’t holding my breath,” said Anderson from his home in Atlanta shortly after the vote was announced. “I was honored they looked at my career and moved me up to the 25. I still think my career is a Hall of Fame career. Maybe the next couple of years we can get to show them more information about my career and they keep paying attention to what I accomplished.”

His absence came as a surprise to some Hall voters. The Bengals have the fewest players in the Hall and Anderson was bidding to become their first finalist since left tackle Anthony Munoz Jersey went in on his first ballot in 1998 in a finals group that included Bengals all-time passing leader Ken Anderson Jersey.

“I’m shocked he’s not there,” said voter Clark Judge, host of the Talk of Fame Network. “Not only is he a great right tackle, but it’s past due for the Cincinnati Bengals to get recognized. Because he was the best right tackle of his era and Michael Strahan had spoken so fondly of him, I thought he was a cinch. It’s a lesson to me not to count anything before it happens.”

Strahan, the former Giants pass rusher, is on the NFL’s list of all-time top ten sackers and backs Anderson’s candidacy. He’s one of the nine that Anderson faced during his career and one of the eight that Anderson held without a sack.

“He’s one of the best tackles of our time … I consider him to be right there as the best right tackle of his generation,” Strahan told Bengals.com. “When I found out Willie wasn’t in the Hall of Fame, I was surprised. Unbeatable.”

It also shows how tough it is to move guys off the finals ballot even though they’ve been voted down several times. Only six of the 15 are finals newcomers.

Boselli, passed over on the left side for Hall-of-Famers Walter Jones, Jonathan Ogden, Willie Roaf and Orlando Pace, is in the finals for a fifth time. Faneca has been there six times while safety John Lynch (eight) and defensive tackle Richard Seymour (three) have been called again.

Rick “Goose,” Gosselin, a long-time influential Hall voter and former Dallas Morning News NFL columnist, had words of encouragement.

“I was surprised. I was hopeful as one of the new names I wanted to see. But he took a step in the right direction,” Gosselin said. “All 25 are worthy of being there. He’s in the discussion. He’s in the forefront of our minds right now. He’s on the map.”

Gosselin agrees with Judge that perpetual absence of Bengals in Canton continues to be stunning.

Anderson, 45, who retired after 13 seasons at the end of the 2008 season, would have become just the Bengals’ third Hall finalist with Munoz and Ken Anderson

Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens, elected in 2017, played only the last of his 15 seasons in Cincinnati. Wide receiver Charlie Joiner, who played in Paul Brown’s last 39 games as Bengals head coach before playing 164 for the Chargers, was elected in 1996.

That was the same year that Ken Anderson made his first of two appearances as a modern era finalist, defined as players retired less than 25 years. Anderson and Bengals interceptions leader Ken Riley Jersey, fifth on the all-time list, were among finalists for this year’s Hall senior candidate, chosen from a field players retired longer than 25 years.

Former Cowboys receiver Drew Pearson got that nod and he’ll join this year’s 15 modern era finalists that need 80 percent of the vote for induction.

“The Bengals have not been given the fairest of shakes by this group,” Gosselin said. “One player? One? Come on. A team that’s been to two Super Bowls has one Hall of Famer? I can’t explain it.”

Anderson’s Canton resume includes 15 games against Hall of Fame pass rushers and allowing one sack. All-time leader Bruce Smith got it in Anderson’s rookie year with five seconds left in a game Buffalo led by two touchdowns. And according to Pro Football Reference, Anderson had just 13 career holding penalties.

But his run-blocking was just as elite. From 1996 to 2001, when the Bengals had seven different starting quarterbacks, Anderson helped running back Corey Dillon Jersey average 1,252 yards in those six seasons. In 2000, with Anderson leading the way, Dillon averaged 4.6 yards per carry (1,435 yards) while starting quarterback Akili Smith Jersey averaged 4.7 yards per attempt.

“Tell him not to get down,” Judge said. “He was a terrific right tackle. Plenty of guys have had to wait. He’s obviously got the attention of voters.”

The Alabama Hall-of-Famer is just taking them one at a time. He’s taking the advice.

“It’s an honor to make the 25,” Anderson said. “Hopefully I’ll get to the 15 and move on from there.”

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The only way Indy can leapfrog Tennessee for the division crown is with a win and Titans loss, because if they end up with the same record, Tennessee will remain ahead of the Colts.

The Titans’ chances of winning in Week 17 could depend on what Houston does with Deshaun Watson. The quarterback injured his throwing hand late in the Texans’ Week 16 loss to the Bengals, and his backup is A.J. McCarron Jersey. With nothing to play for, Houston could choose to protect Watson but also greatly hurt its chances of upsetting the Titans.

Whoever wins the AFC South will end up with the No. 4 seed in the AFC and play the best wild card team in the first round. The Chiefs, Steelers and Bills already have more than 11 wins and couldn’t be passed by the Colts or Titans.

In a span of three days, the Bengals’ defense fell apart in yet another loss and the team traded away Carlos Dunlap Jersey.

Once a cornerstone player for the franchise, Dunlap was with the franchise for the past decade. And for eight of his seasons in Cincinnati, he was teammates with Adam “Pacman” Jones.

Jones, who has been out of the NFL since late 2018, took to his Instagram story on Thursday to rip the Bengals and their coaches to shreds. His rant primarily targeted Zac Taylor’s coaching staff.

“Y’all need to fix the coaching staff. Special teams suck. The defensive coordinators need to be fired,” Jones said. “But then y’all are cutting (traded) Carlos (Dunlap). I understand what y’all are doing, but I don’t. Y’all are giving up the season I guess. The Bengals won’t win but one more game.”

You can watch the entire rant here (WARNING: explicit language):

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Jones’ frustration has been echoed by other Bengals fans as well. The former Pro Bowl cornerback spent the majority of his 12-year career in Cincinnati and spent his prime years with the team, so he still has an emotional connection with the team and has played with many players that are on the current roster.

Geno Atkins Jersey played with Jones for as long as Dunlap had, and Jones expressed disgust at how Atkins has been used this season.

”The best (expletive) 3-technique playing (expletive) nose guard. I ain’t ever seen Geno (Atkins) line up over the center. Never in my entire (expletive) career. Geno over the (expletive) center every (expletive) play now.”

We’ve never seen this before simply because former head coach Marvin Lewis led the team for so long, there was never an opportunity for players of his regime to criticize his replacement and his assistants—until now, that is.

Jones may not speak for everyone of the old regime, but it’s hard to disagree with where his anger stems from.

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Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow Jersey believes he will be ready to go for the team’s first game in 2021.

In his first interview since suffering a season-ending knee injury on Nov. 22, Burrow told Fox Sports 1 that his rehabilitation process is on track for him to be able to practice during the preseason and be ready for the beginning of the regular season.

“I think I’ll be ready,” Burrow said Thursday. “I think it’ll be just fine.”

Burrow underwent reconstructive knee surgery in Los Angeles on Dec. 2 to repair multiple ligaments in his knee. Sources told ESPN that the 2020 top overall pick suffered a torn ACL and MCL and also suffered damage to his meniscus and PCL.

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Prior to the injury, Burrow was in the midst of a strong rookie season. In 10 games, Burrow completed 65.3% of his passes for 2,688 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions.

On Thursday, Burrow said he was “obviously devastated” by the injury.

“I wanted to finish out the year and finish strong,” Burrow told FS1. “I thought there were a lot of winnable games in this part of the schedule that we had. And then the injury happened, and that was devastating for me.”

The 2019 Heisman Trophy winner said he is past the worst part of his rehab process, telling FS1 that after needing help to do simple tasks in the first seven to 14 days after surgery, he is starting to feel more independent.

Burrow was also asked about Bengals coach Zac Taylor, who went 4-11-1 in his second season with Cincinnati. Team president Mike Brown released an unprompted statement Monday that said the franchise was “bullish” on the foundation the 37-year-old coach is building.

After tweeting his support Monday, Burrow said he clicked with Taylor immediately and is optimistic about the team’s direction moving forward.

“I think Zac is going to be a great coach for a long time,” Burrow told FS1. “I’m happy to be in the position that I’m in and to help build this organization, but it’s going to be on Zac’s back. He’s the leader of what we’re trying to do, and he’s awesome.”

Dave Lapham Jersey, former offensive lineman for the Bengals and current Bengals Radio Network analyst, went on 700 WLW to talk about the current vacancy in the Bengals’ offensive line room.

Jim Turner will soon be officially fired as offensive line coach, and the Bengals need to find someone to replace him. Lapham suggested that a name close to the Bengals could defect from another AFC North team.

“A guy that I would look at if I were the Cincinnati Bengals, Brian’s (Callahan) dad Bill (Callahan) is the best offensive line coach in the National Football League. And he was unable to coach—he had to coach from home [on Sunday] for the Cleveland Browns because of COVID-19. His assistant Scott Peters did as well,” Lapham said. ”Scott Peters is the expert in martial arts, hand fighting, those kind of things. Scott Peters is a young rising star I think. I might investigate because obviously, Brian and Bill (Callahan), they will be able to basically tell each other everything there is to know about Scott Peters and more. Brian can get all the intel you need and want and I think Scott Peters should be a guy they contemplate.”

Callahan is given most of the credit for turning around the Browns’ offensive line, which had several rookies involved, and helping establish a top-tier rushing offense.

Peters only has one year of coaching experience, but he was an eight-year veteran at interior offensive line.

Lapham also mentioned Frank Pollack, who coached the Bengals’ offensive line in 2018. He was not retained after Marvin Lewis was fired and Zac Taylor brought in Turner. Pollack is currently with the Jets, but may be a casualty of the changing of the guard in New York after head coach Adam Gase was fired.

One of Taylor’s first hires was Ben Martin, who has been an offensive assistant working with Turner. Some have pegged him for the job since he will return for next season, though Lapham doesn’t think he has much of a chance.

Whoever it is will have a huge input this offseason, as the Bengals desperately need to address the line in free agency and the draft.