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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
OFFENSE 32 (245.4) 29 (95.0) 30 (150.4)
DEFENSE 12 (325.5) 21 (120.1) 15 (205.4)
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Year Totals

Table inside Article
OFFENSE 984 245 1520 2406 3926 204
DEFENSE 1013 296 1921 3287 5208 364
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Individual Leaders

Table inside Article
Shayne Graham Scoring
Ryan Fitzpatrick Passing
Cedric Benson Rushing
T.J. Houshmandzadeh Receptions
T.J. Houshmandzadeh Receiving Yards
Kyle Larson Punting
Antonio Chatman Punt Returns
Glenn Holt Kickoff Returns
Shayne Graham Field Goals
Leon Hall Interceptions
Chinedum Ndukwe, Antwan Odom, John Thornton Sacks
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Coaching Staff

Table inside Article
Marvin Lewis Head Coach
Paul Alexander Assistant Head Coach / Offensive Line
Jim Anderson Running Backs
Bob Bratkowski Offensive Coordinator
Louie Cioffi Assistant Defensive Backs
Kevin Coyle Defensive Backs
Jeff FitzGerald Linebackers
Paul Guenther Assistant Special Teams / Assistant Linebackers
Jay Hayes Defensive Line
Jonathan Hayes Tight Ends
Chip Morton Strength and Conditioning
Ray Oliver Strength and Conditioning
Ray Oliver Associate Strength and Conditioning
Mike Sheppard Wide Receivers
Darrin Simmons Special Teams
Bob Surace Assistant Offensive Line
Ken Zampese Quarterbacks
Mike Zimmer Defensive Coordinator
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2008 NFL Draft: April 26 - 27

Table inside Article
1 Keith Rivers LB Southern California 9
2 Jerome Simpson WR Coastal Carolina 46
3a Pat Sims DT Auburn 77
3b Andre Caldwell WR Florida *97
4 Anthony Collins OT Kansas 112
5 Jason Shirley DT Fresno State 145
6a Corey Lynch S Appalachian State 177
6b Matt Sherry TE Villanova *207
7 (sent to St. Louis in trade on 9-1-07) 217
7a Angelo Craig DE Cincinnati *244
7b Mario Urrutia WR Louisville *246

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

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