It doesn’t seem all that long ago that I was checking in with bloggers of teams on the Lions schedule without any idea whether or not those games would end up being played.
Fortunately, those games will be played starting the the first preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Is it time for real football already? It is!
I recently caught up with Cody Byers, editor of Stripe Hype, to talk about some Bengals news, what has been going on in camp so far and some things we should look for when they take on the Lions on Friday evening.
Zac Snyder: What do you expect to see from Andy Dalton in his pro debut and what is the talk coming from the local beat writers about his performance in camp so far?
Cody Byers: I don’t see elite corners on the Lions, and with Andre Smith finally getting his head on straight I think Dalton may be given enough time to work. Considering he has Jordan Shipley, A.J. Green Jermaine Gresham, I think he (or any QB for that matter) has an enough weapons to be successful. I don’t expect Manning this Friday, I expect an unpolished College QB who will show a few flashes of talent who will adapt to the speed of the game over time.
Beat reporters are saying he’s getting the everything & the kitchen sink thrown at him from Zimmer. He’s looking positive and over time is fixing mistake and looking solid. Nearly all writers have commented on he’s shown leadership since day 1.
ZS: What player are you most looking forward to seeing play on Friday?
CB: Dalton, before I was the editor at SH I was big into scouting. I actually did a full scouting report on Dalton (and the rest of the QB class) and I fell in love with what he had to offer a WCO team. Since Dalton was my choice for the new QB early on there is a certain level of attachment to him that makes me want to see him succeed even more then the normal fan.
ZS: How do Bengals fans feel about Ochocinco joining the Patriots?
CB: Ochocinco is fine with another team. He was a distraction to the team, and with being notorious his Diva antics it’s you don’t want to risk him effecting the young players on the team. I’ve said once, I’ll say it again; I’m a Chad Johnson fan not a Chad Ochocinco fan. Johnson was a hard working player who during the week had a cot at Paul Brown Stadium where he stayed from time to time. Once Ochocinco showed up he quit working hard, was more worried with social media and reality shows and he started missing the little things that made him elite. Then with age starting to catch up with him it’s a recipe for disaster. Good luck to him and the Patriots.
ZS: Is there a player in Bengals camp that the general NFL fan might not know but has been generating some buzz in Cincy? Who are some under the radar players to keep an eye on in this preseason opener?
CB: A player that’s flying under the radar is Jerome Simpson. The guy was supposed to be the heir apparent for years. He mentally struggled picking up the last OC’s complex Vertical Offfense so he was buried on the depth chart by Laverneus Coles the T.O. He’s a young talent and has the potential to really be a threat on Offense. Look for him to come into his own this season.
ZS: Now that free agency is basically over and the team is in camp, what are expectations like for the Bengals this season?
CB: Honestly .500 isn’t out of the question, but that’s also best case scenario. Their schedule has the NFC West and AFC South. Before their bye (week 7) They have Clevleand, Denver, San Francisco, Buffalo, Jacksonville and Indy. They could have at least 3 wins right there. The most likely outcome for the season is around 5-7 wins (If everyone’s stays healthy).