The Cincinnati Bengals are in the midst of a losing season, and a season in which they have had issues on both sides of the ball. Saturday night in San Fran, the team was unable to stop rookie quarterback Shaun Hill from exposing them with a solid night throwing the ball, and Frank Gore chewed them up on the ground in the teams latest setback 20-13.
The other issue though has to do with offense, and the constant sights on the field and sidelines of wide outs Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh either throwing fits or complaining. Both egos have been taken to a whole new level this frustrating season, to the point where just about each and every time they leave the field head coach Marvin Lewis has to step in and control one of them.
Recent reports state that the two receivers are trying to run the locker room, and I can tell you from being in the Bengals locker room early in the season the focus of the post game interviews always seem to be on Johnson, who is the unofficial spokesman of the team. Houshmandzadeh is not far behind. His antics everytime he pulls in a pass seem to be getting old, and the whining that he does when he doesn’t get a call also does not endure himself to officials for when he maybe should get a break.
So what do the Bengals do with these two immature players? Some speculation is that the team will shop Johnson around this offseason, maybe in hopes of getting a high draft choice in return to be able to draft some defense. Johnson has 85 catches this season for 1265 yards and 6 TD’s. He has to date 551 career catches for 8190 yards and 47 TD’s.
The future of the wide out core though seems to be leaning towards Houshmandzadeh, who already has 101 catches in 14 games for 1028 yards and 11 TD’s. He has taken over as Palmer’s favorite target, and while his yards per catch is lower than Johnson’s, long term he may be the better answer. Bottom line though is that Lewis, if he wants to get back control of his team, has to find a way to get these two egos in check.