Shocker: Bengals Player Accused of Punching Woman

In case you don’t see the trend here, I feel the need to post every time the Bengals have a player with a legal infraction so they can be properly embarrassed. You try to take shortcuts in the draft selecting questionable dudes, it’s going to come back to bite you. Hopefully this will deter other teams from making the same mistake in the future (though talented bad boys will always have a home as long as Jerry Jones is around). So yeah, here’s a great one for you. The Bengals had a star LB developing in Odell Thurman whom they selected in the 2nd round a few years ago. Thurman had slipped because of his questionable character. He wound up suspended by the league, so the Bengals were hurting for an LB. What’d they do? They went out and took another questionable dude in the supplemental draft — Ahmad Brooks — who was kicked off his team at Virginia.

Well, didn’t take long for Brooks to get in some trouble. He’s being accused of hitting a woman who was trying to break up an altercation. Though many women are out for money grabs with professional athletes (Randy Moss had a case dropped recently), it’s just the fact that Brooks is involved in this situation that’s embarrassing. But when you’re the Bengals and you try to take shortcut after shortcut, drafting bad character players to REPLACE other bad character dudes, the story’s not going to end pretty. And unfortunately they haven’t learned their lesson.

Bengals Draft DT with Criminal Record

Clearly disturbed by the Miami Dolphins infringing upon their reputation as the most delinquent team in football, the Bengals responded in the only way they knew how: they used the NFL draft to stockpile on questionable character characters. That’s right, the team with more jail birds than Pro Bowlers added yet another bad dude, drafting DT Jason Shirley from Fresno State in the 5th round. And whatever the Bengals lost from their criminal record when they cut Chris Henry, they certainly got back with Shirley:

The 6-foot-5, 330-pound former Bulldog was suspended for Fresno State’s first two games for conduct detrimental to the team.

Shirley was then arrested after crashing his car into an apartment building Oct. 8.

He was charged with three misdemeanors: hit-and-run, driving under the influence, and driving with a blood-alcohol content of .08 percent or higher, according to The Fresno Bee.

Shirley was suspended from the team for the season, but returned four weeks later when athletic director Thomas Boeh reversed his decision. Shirley had medical documents that showed a concussion he received days before the crash, the Fresno Bee said.

His reprieve didn’t last long: Shirley was dismissed from the team almost one month later. He was cited on suspicion of driving with a suspended license and expired tags.

I do have to say it is reassuring that Marvin Lewis says the Bengals did their homework on Shirley before taking him. Clearly he fits right in with the team concept. Give him one or two years in the league, that rap sheet will take up half the page here at LBS. I sure am looking forward to his time in Cincy. Carry on Bengals, carry on.

Chad Johnson Is Not the Problem in Cincy

I’m sick and tired of people questioning Chad Johnson. I’m sick and tired of people making an issue out of Ocho Cinco. I’m sick and tired of people saying he’s a cancer who needs to go. Chad Johnson is one of only three good things the Bengals have going for them — Carson Palmer and TJ Houshmandzadeh being the others. Chad Johnson is one of the top receivers in the game — has been for the last six years. He plays hard, he plays to win, and he works his butt off. Outside of his endzone celebrations, he’s the model citizen. He’s exactly what the Bengals should want on their team, not what they should want to get rid of, or be pushing out the door making him want to leave. When I ranked the Bengals arrests, was Chad Johnson on the list? Didn’t think so. The only list you’ll see Ocho Cinco on is the one for Top 10 receiving yards, catches, and TDs in the NFL. He’s done everything you could ask of a player. He’s a second round pick who’s developed into a star. So why is everyone portraying him as the problem?

Chad Johnson has become the scapegoat for all that is wrong in Cincinnati, unfortunately. He’s been horribly miscast by the media, being classified in the same problem child group reserved for the T.O.’s and DeAngelo Hall’s. But there are fundamental differences between Ocho Cinco and all these other bad seeds. Chad Johnson shows up at voluntary camps to improve and work with his teammates (up until this one). Chad Johnson camps out at the practice facility overnight so he can get every last minute of his preparations and workouts in. Chad Johnson loves his fellow receivers and is just as happy, if not happier, when they do well. Chad Johnson loves to win and only wants to win. Right now he’s upset with the organization because he feels like he’s one of the only people their passionate about winning. That’s what he cares about. That’s why he works his butt off — to win and go back to the playoffs. He tasted glory a few years ago when the Bengals had a solid team in ’05 and lost to the eventual champion Steelers.

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Shaun Smith Confirms Chad Johnson Punched Marvin Lewis

Browns defensive tackle Shaun Smith was at the Central Maryland Browns Backers banquet recently and spoke at length. Amongst other things, Smith discussed his time with the Bengals, for whom he had two stints, one in ’04, and the other from ’05’-’06. Smith offered a lot of insight including why the Patriots have been so successful, why young quarterbacks so often fail, who will get a big contract from the Bengals, and most notably, what happened at halftime of the Steelers/Bengals playoff game in ’05 between Chad Johnson and Marvin Lewis. Go to the 5:30 mark or so to watch, or you can continue reading this entry where I’ve loosely transcribed Smith’s comments:

Continue reading to see Smith’s description of the incident between Marvin and Chad, as well as Smith’s thoughts on the Patriots’ success, young QBs, Brady Quinn, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

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Carson Palmer Wants Changes in Cincy

palmerThank goodness. As a long suffering fan, it’s nice to hear a player share your thoughts. Carson Palmer is not one to shy away from an interview, nor a difficult question. He speaks his mind and does not back down from what he feels. And recently he talked to the Bengals official site and expressed his thoughts on the team:

Asked if he thought the same coaching staff could turn it from being stale, Palmer said, “I don’t think so,” but he also said he doesn’t know if Lewis will make those changes.

“We need a lot of changes,” said Palmer, who did respond to a question about discipline, a subject he has often discussed.

“When you look at the most successful teams in this league, they’re very disciplined,” Palmer said. “And we’re obviously not one of the most successful teams. I don’t think we’re the most disciplined team and that’s definitely an area we need to improve on.”

Unfortunately, the changes to which Palmer was referring did not include Marvin Lewis. Lewis turned around the franchise but he did it by selling the team’s soul. He went in for a Dennis Erickson-like fix and it wound up biting him in the ass. I’ve called Marvin out as an enabler in the past and would like to see him gone. Regardless of whether or not that happens, it’s great to hear Carson unsatisfied with the way the the season went and harping on the issue of discipline. After all, it becomes hard to win (not to mention embarrassing) when your top weapons can’t even make it on the field because of suspensions for off-field incidents.

Chris Henry Is My Hero

Not long ago, I mocked the Bengals by ranking their multiple arrests by severity of offense. Not only did my girl man Chris Henry top the list, but he also placed 2nd, 8th, and 12th, blowing away the competition. And just as I was plotting a post welcoming Henry back to the Bengals this weekend (he had completed his eight game suspension by the NFL), he goes out and does the unthinkable. Well, I guess unthinkable if he were anyone other than Chris Henry. At this point, it’s kinda surprising that he went this long between offenses. Check out the latest alleged Henry incident:

A valet parking attendant at Newport on the Levee allegedly got into a confrontation with Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry and another man over a $5 parking charge Tuesday.

According to the incident report, the valet parking attendant approached Henry and Desious Dyneal Alston, 24, after they parked a Land Rover without paying and started walking away Tuesday. The valet, according to the incident report, said Henry started arguing with him about parking when [Jason C.] Baker approached and tried to resolve the argument.

According to the incident report, Baker told police that Henry came up to him and, chest to chest, said, “(Expletive) you. (Expletive) this. Don’t you know who I am?” before throwing a $5 bill on the ground and saying, “You better pick that up (expletive).”

Wow, leave it to Chris Henry to go to the “Don’t you know who I am” card. Somehow I don’t think that’s the card you want to be pulling out of the community chest when you’re Chris Henry. Still, he has to be awarded bonus points for equal parts courage and stupidity. Chris Henry — you are my hero.

Marvin Lewis Lets His Players ‘Act a Fool,’ Will Let Chad Johnson Celebrate

Honestly, this was just too good to pass up. When an NFL head coach straight up says “Act a Fool,” you better believe I’m going to use it. So Bengals receiver Chad Johnson has already said he’s going back to his ’05 style of talking, celebrating, and getting fined. How does his head coach Marvin Lewis feel about it you ask? Well, he told Michael Irvin and Mike Fisher on FOX Sports Radio that he’s OK with it:

Well he knows if he causes a penalty he’s never going to play. So that’s not an issue. And he’s never cost us a penalty that way and he never will. But he can dance all he wants as long as he’s in that end zone and I hope he gets to dance every chance he gets, and that’s fine as long as he as long as he doesn’t do the things that we know will draw the flags that’s fine but you know he can have all of the fun he wants and that’s part of it. He can score a touchdown and you get a chance to act a fool just as long as you stand on your feet and don’t use that ball as a prop.

There you go. So you wonder why Chad proposes to cheerleaders and river dances? It’s cuz his coach let’s him act a fool. Marvin, you’re only digging yourself a bigger hole in my mind.