September 30, 2014

ESPN Says Bengals Post Lockout Grade C-

If I had this issue, it would definitely be in the bathroom just in case.

For the price of a large quantity of toilet paper, I was able to acquire a subscription to ESPN The Magazine.  This is only useful to me for the purpose of the ESPN Insider access, as the Magazine pages are too thick and rigid to wipe with but in the end they have the same thing on the pages.  All that said, I was mildly surprised to see that the Bengals, dead last in ESPN The Magazine rankings of North American pro sports franchises, were not the bottom of the AFC grades for moves made since the end of the lockout.  Matt Williamson gave the Bengals a C-, third worst among AFC teams.  He gave the Bills and Browns a D+ and D respectively.  Williamson calls Clements a “starting quality cornerback” but terms the addition of Manny Lawson “curious”, which I lauded in this week’s WhoDeyWeekly podcast.  I won’t disagree that adding a pure 3-4 linebacker is a little unexpected, but it is well know that Marvin Lewis has toyed with the idea of running multiple fronts for several seasons.  Williamson also calls new Bengals QB Bruce Gradkowski the “perfect bridge quarterback until Andy Dalton is ready for action.”  That is pretty high praise for an unabashed Steelers fan.  Hopefully, this band of misfits will surprise a few teams on the way to a respectable season, especially the hated Steelers.