New lines

Updated: 10:10 p.m.

Bengals left guard Andrew Whitworth is sorry to see Stacy Andrews go, but he thinks his offensive line is ready for whatever comes next. Especially Whitworth, because he could see himself taking that right tackle spot, moving to left tackle, or staying where he is.

Andrews took what has been reported as a $7 million per year deal in Philadelphia for six years and is going to play next to Pro Bowl guard/brother Shawn Andrews.


Whitworth
"Great guy and a great player. I know how close he is to his brother, so that's not really surprising," Whitworth said. "We've got a lot of talented players here. They're going to get their chance to step up."

The first two options at filling Andrews' spot, where he made 25 starts, is either moving left tackle Anthony Collins to the right side and putting Whitworth at left tackle, or keeping Collins at left tackle and moving Whitworth to right tackle.

Either way, the Bengals would have to decide if they're going to stick with Nate Livings at left guard after he started the last six games in place of the injured Whitworth.

(That's only if they decide to part ways with left tackle Levi Jones, which has been speculated heavily if they draft a left tackle in the first round.)

Whitworth, who has started 13 games at left tackle, is confident he can move to right tackle if asked. Even though he's left-handed all the way and never played on the right side.

"It would be a little bit of an adjustment, but it wouldn't take long," Whitworth said. "It really doesn't have anything to do with what hand you are. Switching which way I bat would be harder."

Collins started the last six games as a rookie in place of the injured Jones at left tackle, but also played right tackle during his college career at Kansas.

"He's athletic enough to do it and Anthony's big enough to do it," Whitworth said. "He's a guy who's got his head on straight and has a chance to be a heck of a player.

"We'll piece it together. You look at a line like Baltimore and they had a lot of young guys. Pittsburgh kind of did the same thing. Maybe that's when the line is hungriest, when people don't expect as much because of changes."

Whitworth actually goes back longer with Shawn Andrews than Stacy. They came out of high school the same year and Whitworth made the trip from West Monroe, La., to the Arkansas Razorbacks camp, where he lined up one-on-one against Shawn as a defensive end. Later his group gave Shawn a lift back home to Camden, Ark., which was on their way.

"He was asking me how I beat him in the drills," Whitworth said. "I told him, 'To be honest with you, I could see the shadow of the coaches where they wanted you to block me.' We had a good laugh about that."

Whitworth had been asked about making the moves before Andrews left. When Andrews tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in the next-to-last game of the season, there had been speculation that given his 340 pounds he wouldn't be back in time for the start of training camp.

Andrews only tore the ACL, but he told reporters in Philly on Saturday that he didn't know if he'd be back for training camp.

"I'm really not sure," Stacy said. "I'm just looking forward to getting in and rehabbing and getting better - working with the coaches and catching up on learning the system here and all that."

Eagles head coach Andy Reid said his club's pursuit of Stacy had nothing to do with Shawn's bout of depression that sidelined him from the last training camp.

"That's not why we brought him here, no. We brought him here because he's a good football player," Reid told reporters. "That's the primary thing. Shawn worked very hard to get things straightened out before we brought Stacy here. I'm not worried about that part of Shawn's game. I think it will be a neat experience for them. I think the last time they played together was AAU basketball or something. They haven't had a chance to do this on the football field and I think that's pretty exciting for both of them."

According to philadelphiaeagles.com via the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Stacy and Shawn are the third set of brothers to play on the same offensive line since 1951 and the first since Jay and Joel Hilgenberg on the 1993 New Orleans Saints. Dave and Doug Widell played for Denver from 1990-92.


Houshmandzadeh
SUNDAY CALL: T.J. Houshmandzadeh has made a lot of big plays on Sunday. It looks he'll make another one this Sunday.

The Bengals are still talking to Houshmandzadeh and Houshmandzadeh is talking to other teams. He says all the talking is going to end by Sunday night because that's when he anticipates making a decision.

Before leaving Seattle on Saturday, Houshmandzadeh confirmed a St. Paul Pioneer-Press report that he's headed to Minnesota to visit the Vikings.

He also said the Bengals continue to be in the mix, but wouldn't say if there are any teams beyond Cincinnati, Minnesota and Seattle.

"My agent talked to the Bengals last night and I think again this morning," said Houshmandzadeh of Kennard McGuire. "I talked to Coach Lew (Marvin Lewis) briefly. So we're talking. It's nice to see how teams you haven't played for value you."

Houshmandzadeh isn't getting into any money discussions, but he disputes reports that there isn't a market for what he wants.

"I'm going to prove to these dummies on TV talking about what I can't do why they're not working for an NFL team," Houshmandzadeh said. "I'm a 27-year-old in a 31-year-old body," meaning he's got the body of a 27-year-old.

Houshmandzadeh left Seattle without a deal but with favorable impressions of the city and organization. His two children got a kick out of their plane landing on Lake Washington near the Seahawks facility.

"Training camp right on the lake," Houshmandzadeh said. "And they're a team that has had a lot of success. They had a down year last year (4-12) but they had a bunch of injuries."

The Vikings paid big money to Bears receiver Bernard Berrian last year ($42 million for six years), and they also have an inconsistent second-rounder from 2007 in Sidney Rice, plus Bobby Wade. So given they need an upgrade and have plenty of salary cap room, it is a fit.

The Tampa Tribune disputed a report that Houshmandzadeh was headed to Tampa for a visit Sunday, and Philadelphia appears not to be a destination. It appears the only thing on his agenda is Minnesota, where NFL.com's Steve Wyche says the Vikes are going to make a sincere pitch.

SLANTS AND SCREENS

With Giants running back Derrick Ward visiting Saturday, the Bengals still haven't forgotten about trying to re-sign Cedric Benson. ProFootballTalk.com reported Saturday night that Ward is headed to Denver.

According to reports, the Cowboys have swung a trade for Lions quarterback Jon Kitna. Kitna, a Bengals quarterback who backed up Carson Palmer in two of his five seasons in Cincinnati, had been speculated as a possible replacement for Ryan Fitzpatrick before Fitzpatrick signed Friday in Buffalo.

It appears that Houshmandzadeh and Benson are on the front-burner now and the No. 2 quarterback is simmering. It's a market that ranges from a Super Bowl QB (Rex Grossman) to a couple of first-round picks (Kyle Boller, Joey Harrington) to a former Palmer backup (Anthony Wright). This one may take awhile, as it did in '06, because the guy coming in knows he'll never play if things go as planned...  

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