Cincinnati Bengals History | 2008 -



With a club-record 23 players sent to the Reserve/Injured list, the Bengals struggled to a 4-11-1 finish. And that list of 23 did not include the biggest missing name, QB Carson Palmer, who stayed on the roster all season but played in only four games due to an elbow injury. Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced Palmer at QB. The team partly salvaged the season, going 4-3-1 in the campaign's second half, but that was after an 0-8 start. Though the offense was near record lows in many statistical categories, the defense was promising under new coordinator Mike Zimmer, rising to a No. 12 NFL yardage ranking, the team's best since 2001. For the third straight year, all home games were declared sold out before the season began. The Bengals' 13-13 tie on Nov. 16 vs. Philadelphia was the NFL's first deadlock since 2002, and some players on both teams would admit that they had been expecting the contest to continue when the 15-minute overtime ended scoreless, not realizing that NFL games still could end in ties. It was the first overtime tie in Bengals history. The Bengals had played one other tie, at Houston in 1969, but that game went just the regulation four quarters, as overtime was not yet in the rules. On Aug. 29, star WR Chad Johnson legally changed his name to Chad Ochocinco, a Spanish reference to his uniform number (85). But he was not permitted to have the new name on his jersey until 2009, after he had fulfilled contractual obligations regarding the purchase of existing licensed "Johnson" merchandise. In 2012, while with the Miami Dolphins, Ochocinco would change his name back to Johnson, and the league subsequently determined that in all future references in league material, the player would be known as Johnson, regardless of the year involved. The 2008 preseason ended with dramatic final cuts, as those released included three Bengals with six Pro Bowls among them — OT Willie Anderson, HB Rudi Johnson and CB Deltha O'Neal. On May 19, the Bengals waived talented but troubled LB Odell Thurman, who had been a rookie sensation in 2005. Thurman had not played in 2006 or '07, suspended by the NFL for various behavior issues, and on May 19 Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said the team "had not seen the right steps taken" by Thurman to justify another chance to play for Cincinnati. Thurman would not play again anywhere in the NFL.

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League Rankings

Table inside Article
OFFENSE32 (245.4)29 (95.0)30 (150.4)
DEFENSE12 (325.5)21 (120.1)15 (205.4)
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Year Totals

Table inside Article
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Individual Leaders

Table inside Article
Shayne GrahamScoring
Ryan FitzpatrickPassing
Cedric BensonRushing
T.J. HoushmandzadehReceptions
T.J. HoushmandzadehReceiving Yards
Kyle LarsonPunting
Antonio ChatmanPunt Returns
Glenn HoltKickoff Returns
Shayne GrahamField Goals
Leon HallInterceptions
Chinedum Ndukwe, Antwan Odom, John ThorntonSacks
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Coaching Staff

Table inside Article
Marvin LewisHead Coach
Paul AlexanderAssistant Head Coach / Offensive Line
Jim AndersonRunning Backs
Bob BratkowskiOffensive Coordinator
Louie CioffiAssistant Defensive Backs
Kevin CoyleDefensive Backs
Jeff FitzGeraldLinebackers
Paul GuentherAssistant Special Teams / Assistant Linebackers
Jay HayesDefensive Line
Jonathan HayesTight Ends
Chip MortonStrength and Conditioning
Ray OliverStrength and Conditioning
Ray OliverAssociate Strength and Conditioning
Mike SheppardWide Receivers
Darrin SimmonsSpecial Teams
Bob SuraceAssistant Offensive Line
Ken ZampeseQuarterbacks
Mike ZimmerDefensive Coordinator
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2008 NFL Draft: April 26 - 27

Table inside Article
1Keith RiversLBSouthern California9
2Jerome SimpsonWRCoastal Carolina46
3aPat SimsDTAuburn77
3bAndre CaldwellWRFlorida*97
4Anthony CollinsOTKansas112
5Jason ShirleyDTFresno State145
6aCorey LynchSAppalachian State177
6bMatt SherryTEVillanova*207
7(sent to St. Louis in trade on 9-1-07)217
7aAngelo CraigDECincinnati*244
7bMario UrrutiaWRLouisville*246

*NOTE: The Bengals received four compensatory picks (Nos. 97, 207, 244 and 246).

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