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Hobson's Choice: No revenge, just division

Q: People and the media have spoken of revenge. But don't you feel that true revenge could only come from winning it all? Would it not make a more sweeter revenge? Maybe its just me but I like the sound of that better.
**--John, Cincinnati

JOHN:** The talk of revenge and all the other incessant chatter about hex, lies, and videotape in the 259 days leading up this rematch is just that. Talk.

It doesn't seem like it matters much to the players. The standings pretty much tell them which games mean the most, not who sang what or who did what or who dissed whom.

It's a product of football being a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, 365-day industry with about only 20 games thrown in between. The beast has to be fed, space has to be filled, and air time has to be consumed. It's an exception now when there isn't a controversy of some bulletin board sort.

Bottom line? The Bengals are jacked up for this one not because Bill Cowher made fun of them. They're jacked up because Bill Cowher's team is always in the way of the AFC North title.

Everything else?


Q: There could be a changing of the guard occurring, as Eric Ghiaciuc takes over for Rich Braham this week, particularly if the second-year center plays reasonably well. Frankly, I think the organization would like to see that occur.

But what about Richie? How about offering him a coaching position? He is very knowledgeable, well-regarded by his teammates, loyal, a fearless competitor and a hard worker. I know that a team cannot offer every retiring vet a coaching position, but I think Richie has special skills, knowledge and abilities to nurture our young offensive lineman. What's your take?
**--Rodney C., Williamsburg, Va.

RODNEY:** It's an interesting question. You're exactly right. The guy would make a heck of a coach, but it sounds like he's not ready to give up playing, as evidenced by the "One More For 74" T-shirts.

Braham, who turns 36 in November, has always said he waits until close to the end of the season to see how his body feels before deciding if he'll go for another one. His latest knee injury, which has been described as a bone bruise, could impact his decision. But until then, there had been no talk of retirement and he must be playing well because Ghiaciuc hasn't been able to move him out of there.

It will be an interesting call. If Ghiaciuc plays well in his absence, does that mean they won't re-sign him? I would think the coaches would love to keep him around as a backup center and guard. And even Carson Palmer has been seen wearing one of those "One More For 74" T-shirts.

As for coaching after his career, a lot of guys who seem perfect for it don't do it because of the crushing time commitment. It's not as easy as it looks.

Q: These seem to be a lot of questions. However, all items relate to defining terms and options for the Physically Unable to Perform List (PUP) and a suspended player.

PUP List: Chris Perry, Adam Kieft, Jonathan Fanene. Is the length of time six weeks or six games? For example, would the length of time, six weeks, include the bye week? How quickly must a decision be made about the player, immediately at six weeks? When is the player eligible to start practicing with the active team members? If a person is not activated from the PUP List, must they be put on waivers before they can be placed on the IR?

Suspended List for Odell Thurman: Does the team have to make a decision immediately after the fourth game to activate the player or not? What are the team's options after the fourth game pertaining to the player?
--Bob, Wilder, KY BOB:
The PUP list is good for six weeks, not six games, so the bye week counts. After those six weeks, there is a three-week window where the player can start practicing. Once he starts practicing, he can practice for three weeks. At the end of those three weeks, the Bengals have to put him on the 53-man roster, cut him, or put him on season-ending injured reserve.

So, conceivably, the whole process could take 12 weeks.

As for Thurman, he comes back Oct. 2, after the fourth game. But the Bengals will probably get a roster exemption for a week or two.

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