Total Titans’ questions about the Bengals

Thanks to your responses to my post asking for questions about the Bengals. Here are the questions I sent to Chris Maier of Bengals Blitz, MVN’s Bengals’ site. Thanks to Chris for his responses and some good insight.
Total Titans: With Kerry Collins starting for Vince Young, the Titans lose some mobility at the quarterback position. Will the Bengals be able to take advantage of this lack of mobility? Possibly related-is anybody frustrated with Antwan Odom yet?
Bengals Blitz: Losing Vince Young is a positive and a negative. Starting Collins dramatically improves the Titan passing game. Given time Collins could tear up the Bengal pass defense. That said, the Titan offense is not built to beat teams through the air. The receivers are average at best and are not known as deep threats. Tennessee’s offense is predicated on a strong running game that is bolstered by the presence of a scrambler in Young who keeps you from focusing on shutting down the running backs.
As for Antwan Odom, Bengal fans are frustrated by his injury on the first day of camp. His inability to practice and play in the pre-season has limited his action thus far meaning the jury is still out on whether or not he is the pass rusher the defense needs.
Total Titans: We’ve seen rookie linebackers the past couple years come in and make in immediate impact-guys like Jon Beason, Patrick Willis, and A.J. Hawk. Is Keith Rivers another one of those guys, or has the holdout slowed his progress?
Bengals Blitz: Rivers has the look of an impact linebacker. He is quick to the hole, shows good instincts and displays much needed leadership ability. Only time will tell whether he is a good or great linebacker. More than his holdout, Rivers’ play could be hindered by poor play in front of him.
Total Titans: The Jaguars were banged up on the interior offensive line positions, and Titan DTs Tony Brown and Albert Haynesworth dominated the line of scrimmage. Assuming Haynesworth doesn’t miss this year’s game like he did last year’s, will the middle of the offensive line be able to stand up to the pressure?
Bengals Blitz: The Bengals ability to contain Albert Haynesworth could be the key to the game for the Bengals offense. C Eric Ghiaciuc is clearly the weak link up front and I expect the Titans to attack the middle of the O-line to take away the interior run and keep Palmer from stepping up in the pocket.
Total Titans: 9 of 24 for 94 yards? What happened to Carson Palmer in Week 1, and can the Bengals fix that in Week 2?
Bengals Blitz: Carson was under constant pressure from the Raven pass rush and was never able to get in a rhythm throwing the ball. The Ravens also did an excellent job of jamming Chad and TJ at the line which clearly affected their timing. Given good protection and solid line play, Palmer and the offense have the weapons to put points on the board.
Total Titans: The Bengals re-signed troubled WR Chris Henry when Coach Lewis said he was trying to clean up the team. Is Lewis as powerless as that makes him seem? If he is that powerless, will the players listen to him, or is he done in Cincinnati?
Bengals Blitz: The mood in Cincinnati is very negative this year. Chad Johnson’s off-season rants haunted this team like a dark cloud and even after Chad came back into the fold the team has been unable to get out from under it. Re-signing Henry was a in the face to Marvin but as I wrote in an article regarding the team’s final cuts, Marvin may have lost the battle over Henry but he won the war over the final roster. The departures of talented but troubled players like Deltha O’Neal and Ahmad Brooks were clearly to clean up the locker room. As for Willie Anderson and Rudi Johnson, I believe Marvin did not like their work ethic in camp and was worried that neither has much left in the tank.

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