Hobson's Choice: Try the decaf

Q: Leon Hall and Kenny Irons, are you kidding me? 8-8 here we come! Hall got smoked by Ted Ginn and Dwayne Jarrett (4.6 speed) two NFL caliber receivers and he held up great. I like what Kenny Irons will bring to the 30th-ranked defense. What a joke, do you have any idea what the Bengals are thinking? I try to be positive but come on.
--Bob, Sidney, OH

BOB: You've got to get your sun dial fixed. Hall ran a 4.3 for everybody. OK, two All-Americans beat him but remember when Chad Johnson sautéed Champ Bailey twice in 10 minutes? You've got to try the decaf. They could have taken Karl Rove in the second round and it still would have been a great day.

If they didn't take Hall, everyone should have been fired and this would be a test pattern. Solid, smart guy at a spot they've never had enough of either.

As for Irons, well, read on.

But not before you try the hazelnut decaf.


Q: By the Bengals taking Irons in the 2nd round, that has to mean Chris Perry is done, right? If not, that's a terrible pick.
--Chris, Nashville, TN

CHRIS: It certainly looks that way doesn't it? One draft pick says 1,000 words.

The Jets almost nailed them moving up to grab Darrelle Revis at No. 14 in the first round, and the Jets made sure they did it in the second round when they traded up two spots ahead of the Bengals to take Michigan inside linebacker David Harris at No. 47. Imagine Harris in the middle and Ahmad Brooks at SAM.

And defensive end LaMarr Woodley may have been a tweener, but he would have been an athletic tweener.

But they were gone, and in the old days that might have meant reaching for cornerback Josh Wilson or defensive ends Tim Crowder, Victor Abiamiri, and Ikiaka Alama-Francis, a quartet that went Nos. 55-58.

But even though they took the better player, it still smacks of a need pick. This isn't a pick you do if you think Chris Perry is OK. Still, take the need pick instead of the reach, right?

They also may be tired of no long runs since, oh, the '04 election. They've gone 37 straight games without a 40-yard run. That's too much pressure on the receivers and quarterback to stretch the field. Let's face it. The Bengals need some sizzle back there as a complement.

It's too early to wonder if Perry is going to get released. But it does have all the whiff of a PUP, which is what he did last year when he missed the season's first six weeks on the physically unable to perform list.


Q: Why do the Bengals insist on drafting defensive secondary players when the run defense is the obvious Achilles heel of the team? Why would they take a running back as early as 49 when other running backs, such as Michael Bush or Antonio Pittman, would have been available later? It seems like Marvin is completely ignoring the weaknesses in the linebacking corps, as well as an aging, mediocre defensive line. As fans are we really supposed to believe Frostee Rucker and Caleb Miller are the future of our run defense? Anyone feel like holding opponents under 500 yards a game?
--Michael B., Charleston, S.C.

MICHAEL: The run defense certainly didn't let San Diego back in what should have been a rout, and the run defense didn't let Peyton Manning shoot fish in a barrel and Jay Cutler go 99 yards, so we've got a failure to communicate on the Achilles' heel.

If you want to talk pass rush on the line, fine, but Tory James is gone and Deltha O'Neal played like he wanted to be, so now you better go find some cornerbacks because what did they have Saturday morning? Close to zilch.

Now, arguably, the Bengals have the best young duo in the NFL.

As for linebackers, pretend they picked Ahmad Brooks on Saturday instead of last July. There is your first-round backer, and that makes Miller a backup even after a season he was pretty productive as a starter.

So one, I don't think you can jump on Lewis about the linebackers because corners and safeties are bigger needs. And two, he's not the only guy in the draft room. Scouts and coaches are pumping input and Bengals president Mike Brown has the final call in close consultation with Lewis.

OK, you can make the argument they could have gotten a running back on Sunday instead of the second round. But they should be applauded for not reaching for a defensive player at 49 just for need. If they took a guy like Wade or Crowder, can't you just hear the screaming about taking guys early? Remember, no more Mark Romans in the second round, right? A good player, but Marvel Smith was ranked higher in 2000.

The fact is they don't have a healthy running back behind Rudi Johnson who can lug it 20 times a game for a month if he had to. If Perry can't play, this might be like last year's Andrew Whitworth pick in the second round. When left tackle Levi Jones went down, no one was griping about Devin Hester returning the Bears to the Super Bowl.

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