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News » Cincinnati Bengals Inside Slant 2009-03-01

Cincinnati Bengals Inside Slant 2009-03-01

Cincinnati Bengals Inside Slant 2009-03-01
Carson Palmer is currently working out in Southern California and, according to Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, is "chomping at the bit" about getting ready for the upcoming season.

Palmer though is one of the few absolutes when it comes to figuring out which skill position players will be back with the team.

With wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh and running back Cedric Benson testing free agency, Palmer's choice of playmakers could be even less than last season, when he played in only four games before suffering an injury to his throwing elbow.

"We have some more, I think, apparent needs offensively, whether it be tackle, a center, a running back, and obviously with T.J. in the situation he is in," Lewis said.

After Rudi Johnson was released last year, the Bengals started the season with Chris Perry and DeDe Dorsey at running back. Dorsey was a restricted free agent whom the Bengals did re-sign.

Perry would be a backup option at best. He averaged only 2.6 yards per carry last season and his best game was 74 yards on 20 carries in a Week 3 overtime loss to the Giants. He is also fumble prone, with five (three lost) in the first five games.

The situation at wide receiver is slightly better. Chad Ocho Cinco will be back while Andre Caldwell, who was drafted in the third round last year, looks ready to step in if Houshmandzadeh leaves. The Bengals will also count on second-round pick Jerome Simpson to step up.

"You just have to work through it. You've got some opportunity through free agency. You've got opportunity through the draft. You continue to chisel away and put the football team back together the right way," Lewis said.

When asked point blank if he envisioned a situation where Houshmandzadeh and Ocho Cinco were both not on the Bengals' roster this season, Lewis said: "I don't think that scenario would exist."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 1, 2009

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