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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Bengals taking boneheads

In the most recent Sporting News, NFL writer Dan Pompei polled an unnamed NFL general manager about players his team had taken off its draft board because of character issues.

Of the players that general manager's team had taken off its draft board, the Cincinnati Bengals had selected seven of them.

That's a disturbing trend for Bengals' head coach Marvin Lewis.

But the Bengals seem intent on collecting as many bad character guys as they can, including taking three such players in this year's draft,

Given the problems they've had with wide receiver Chris Henry, who seems to get arrested for something once every two or three months, it's surprising Lewis took defensive end Frostee Rucker, linebacker A.J. Nicholson and wide receiver Reggie McNeal in this year's draft.

After getting burned by bad character guys in the late '80s, the Steelers have made a concerted effort to rid themselves of those types. As a result, they've had very few embarassing moments in the past 10 years or so.

That's not to say Cincinnati can't win with the bad guys. But are the headaches they cause really worth it?


tannybrown said...

While I think drafting character pays off in the long run, it seems drafting for talent alone has paid off for the Bengals the past three years. They're a vastly improved team that occasionally has to deal with an embarrasing headline. Occasionally a guy like Jamal Lewis or Ricky Williams does something so boneheaded that it impacts his career, and the team. But for every guy like Williams, there's one like Leonard Little who go out and do terrible, stupid things again and again, but are never punished and still make it to the Pro Bowl.

Character matters in the locker room but I wonder how much it matters off the field anymore.

Dale Lolley said...

It will matter when these guys start drawing suspensions or prison time.

tannybrown said...

Prophesy, Dale! A few days after your blog entry, Nicholson proves you right by breaking into his ex-teammates house just to steal some electronics.

So Dale, who do you like in the Belmont Stakes? ;)