Updated: 4:10 p.m.Even Clinton and Reagan didn't get third terms.
But they couldn't play both safety and slot corner in defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer's scheme. And so Crocker is back for his third tenure with the Bengals after his inevitable signing hours before Wednesday's practice.
And two days shy of last year's return under eerily similar circumstances with the secondary devastated by injury. Last year Crocker signed the Thursday before the Sept. 30 victory in Jacksonville. This year it is the Wednesday before the Sept. 29 game in Cleveland, the 10-year anniversary celebration of his third-round selection by the Browns out of Marshall. Both moves came even though Crocker hasn't been near the Bengals since a January Wild Card playoff game.
At some point you hope the Bengals didn't win the battle Sunday but lose the war. Not only did cornerback Leon Halll miss Wednesday's practice with a hamstring problem, but so did starting safety
Crocker says he actually feels better this year than last year because in 2012 he was still coming off knee surgery. Mentally, well. The system is still the system. Most new guys never appear during the Wednesday media session because they're squirreled away learning the playbook.
Crocker's not a new guy.
"If I don't know it by now," Crocker said, "I never will. If something ain't broke, don't fix it. That’s kind of Zim's motto. His system has been in place."
The signing of Crocker, 33, and the release of right tackle Dennis Roland fires up a highway full of flares.
How badly hurt is the hamstring of top cornerback and the slot magician Hall? When is 2012 first-rounder
Lewis did say that Hall and other injured players have bounced back well enough that they have a shot at playing this week. But with safety Reggie Nelson also not practicing with an unknown ailment, the reasons to go get Crocker seemed to pile up. While the move seems more about the slot than safety, it also appears to signify the Bengals don't think third-rounder
Even though Crocker hasn't practiced or played since last season, Zimmer knows if he needs him he's going to be in the right spot. The Bengals signed inexperienced corners
The Bengals hope it is the same result as last year, when they won on the road and he intercepted a pass late to seal it while playing 19 snaps for a third of the plays.
"Why can't I play that many again?" Crocker asked.
SLANTS AND SCREENS» How times have changed. Left tackle
» WILL linebacker
"It shows he trusts me a little bit," Burfict said. "He wanted to call one play and I said, 'Coach, that's not going to work.' Let's just go base and hopefully we get Rodgers to start scrambling and we plaster their guys and it worked."