Hobson, There are a lot of people who have mentioned Odell Thurman as a defensive ROY candidate with 70 tackles, 1 sack, 4 forced fumbles and 4 interceptions. No one is talking about Chris Henry for offensive ROY. Among rookies, he is second in receiving yards, 3rd in points scored, and second in touchdowns. The consensus has been Ronnie Brown, Kyle Orton, Heath Miller or Carnell Williams, but shouldn't people start looking harder at Henry?
David, San Francisco DAVID:
No question. The short list has to be Henry, Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown, Cleveland wide receiver Braylon Edwards, and Jacksonville wide receiver Matt Jones. But the favorite is probably Tampa Bay running back Cadillac Williams because of his fast start and the fact he plays for a media darling team.
Steelers tight end Heath Miller leads all rookies with six touchdowns, one ahead of Henry and Dallas running back Marion Barber, but he's not even in the top 50 of AFC receiving yardage. Henry's 25 catches trail only Jones' 28 and Edwards' 27 among rookies, his 343 receiving yards trail only Edwards' 426 and his 13.6 average trails only Edwards' 15.8.
Henry is getting a much higher profile than Edwards for the Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year , chosen by a panel of 50 media members spread through the country. But it's going to be tough to fight the glitz of Williams, the fifth pick in the draft, and Jones, another first-rounder who is a real vote grabber because he is on a team that looks to be a play-off lock and because he got a lot of ink right from the college all-star games documenting his transition from quarterback.
Cadillac has cooled a bit, and his rushing numbers and all-purpose numbers are behind Brown's, but he's in the play-off hunt, Brown isn't, and the voters like running backs if there is no quarterback. Before Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger won Offensive Rookie of the Year last year and Arizona receiver Anquan Boldin won it in 2003, running backs won it nine out of 10 years with the exception being Randy Moss.
Bears quarterback Kyle Orton's stats are so brutal he won't be a factor. Henry's best hope to edge Cadillac and Jones is to go off in the next five weeks in games that people are watching.
The last Bengal to win any AP Rookie of the Year is a wide receiver and it was 20 years ago when Eddie Brown caught 53 balls for 943 yards and eight touchdowns at a 17.8-yard average. Henry projects to 36 catches for 499 yards for seven touchdowns at a 13.9 average.
What could also hurt Henry in a ballot, besides his third-round draft position, is that Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh are so well known. Attention is like the football. There are only so many to go around.
But Henry is clearly a guy who helps makes this offense special and he should have huge numbers as he matures, particularly in the red zone. The fact that three of his TDs have come from at least 25 yards is a bonus this year and shows how much of a factor he's been.
You're right. The voters should be talking about him.