9/13/2005 - Geoff, A couple quick questions. Are the Bengals wearing all white this weekend due to the heat or is it some other reason? Also, what was the reason Chris Henry was inactive? Was it that he didn't know the playbook or was it that Washington was just higher on the depth chart with Perry and Walter being special teamers? Thanks,
J. J. Beckley, WV
J.J. Given that the Bengals played their two home preseason games in black jerseys and don't wear white tops again until November, the guess here is that the heat didn't have much to do with it and it has more to with head coach Marvin Lewis' penchant for mixing it up.
One of the big questions this week is if Henry is going to be wearing his white No. 15.
You hit the wide receiver thing pretty good. With Kevin Walter and Tab Perry must plays because of special teams, the Bengals able to only dress five receivers because of the structure of their roster, and Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh the starters, you figure it's going to come down every week to Washington or Henry to dress. Unless they sit a linebacker (a special teams travesty), I don't see how they can suit up both, unless fullback Kenny Watson's trip to injured reserve shuffles it.
The opener is always a good time to stick with the veteran and I think that was a big reason why the rookie Henry was inactive. You've got to go with experience and every rookie right now is feeling their way around the offense or defense, plus Henry played virtually no special teams in college. But Henry is going to play at receiver this year at some point, and he's going to play a lot. He's got too much talent to sit on the bench, and I'm guessing he'll be out there sooner rather than later. If you can sit him and develop him early, why not? But if Washington plays well, they'll have to figure out a way to dress six receivers. But, believe me, they haven't forgotten Henry, and they certainly won't by mid-season, if not this Sunday.