Thursday update: Ndukwe says knee bouncing back; Cioffi interview set; Whit on CBA

Posted Feb 9, 2011

Chinedum Ndukwe

Updated: 2-10-11, 8:25 p.m.

Bengals safety Chinedum Ndukwe, one of the projected dozen Bengals unrestricted free agents who have been regulars, doesn't know where he'll be playing this season. But he believes whenever and wherever it is he'll be able to do it by May 1.

Ndukwe is in the midst of rehab following surgery for a damaged medial collateral knee ligament tackling Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall back on Dec. 12 at Heinz Field. He says he has yet to see the footage. But he knows exactly what happened.

"Pittsburgh's damn grass," Ndukwe said. "My foot stuck and somebody got pushed into my knee. It was either let Mendenhall keep going or save the knee. I didn't think of it like that at that point. I knew I had to tackle him, but I really couldn't get my leg out of there."

Like the rest of the NFL, Ndukwe doesn't know if he'll be a free agent come March 3 or even if the Paul Brown Stadium training room will be open for him. But he says he is certain he will be back running around by May.


» News that quarterback Carson Palmer plans to put his Indian Hill home on the market, broken by Cincinnati Channel 9's Dennis Janson, appears to have no impact on his trade request and didn't take the Bengals by surprise. Indications are they still have no plans to trade him or explore a trade and they are hoping for a reconciliation. The sale seems to have been in the works for a while. Palmer revealed late last year that trash had been dumped on his property during the season.

If he is serious about retirement, he didn't tell Bengals president Mike Brown that was an option when they met Jan. 18. That's when Brown told him they're not in position to trade him and that hasn't changed in the wake of a change at offensive coordinator.

» Sources said Thursday morning that the Cardinals have sought permission to interview Bengals assistant secondary coach Louie Cioffi for secondary coach under new defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who was previously Steelers secondary coach. Cioffi has been with the Bengals since 1997, when he joined Dick LeBeau's defensive staff with Horton as the secondary coach. An interview has been set for the next 24 hours.

» Horton's appointment as Arizona's defensive coordinator continues a good run for the Bengals who played in Super Bowl XXIII even 22 years later. Horton, a cornerback/safety, is the second reserve in that game to become an NFL coordinator. Backup quarterback Turk Schonert is a former Bills offensive coordinator.

Left tackle Anthony Muñoz is a Pro Football Hall of Famer and nose tackle Tim Krumrie coached in the NFL for 15 seasons before leaving the Chiefs last year. Three Bengals from that game worked this Super Bowl in various network positions: Starting quarterback Boomer Esiason (CBS), free safety Solomon Wilcots (NFL Network) and backup wide receiver Cris Collinsworth (NBC).

» The info Bengals NFL Players Association rep Andrew Whitworth had on the breakdown of the collective bargaining agreement talks this week is pretty much what has been reported. He said Thursday night what he understands is that the league balked at the union's proposal of a 50-50 split of revenues and ended the talks.

"It's discouraging," Whitworth said. "It seems like they want to go down the road that the NHL went down. A lockout and no communication allowed between the teams and players. If you don't want to meet, that would seem to say you want a lockout. There have been two years of hard stances. Now's the time to talk. There's no reason not to talk."

The NFL released a statement on Thursday that said reports characterizing the negotiations were "inaccurate."

"Despite the inaccurate characterizations of yesterday’s meeting, out of respect to the collective bargaining process and our negotiating partner, we are going to continue to conduct negotiations with the union in private and not engage in a point-counterpoint on the specifics of either side’s proposals or the meeting process," the league said via “Instead, we will work as hard as possible to reach a fair agreement by March 4. We are fully focused on that goal.”



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