Updated: 5:55 p.m.
Yeah, Chris Perry agrees with you now that we're in the land of hindsight.
The Bengals should have taken Oregon State running back Steven Jackson with the 24th pick in the first round of the 2004 draft instead of trading down and taking him two picks later.
"You never know. Maybe I would have been at New England," Perry said after Wednesday's practice. "But you can't talk about it. It's something I can't control. I'm just tying to make the best out of this situation."
For all the double talk, this situation is going to be resolved next Monday or Tuesday, when Perry is going to be either activated on the 53-man roster or put on season-ending injured reserve. Monday would be a fitting day because it's the year-anniversary of his dislocated ankle in Cleveland, a devastating injury from which he says he can regain his speed and elusiveness.
But he simply doesn't know when.
And after missing 36 of a possible 58 games with injury (the 37th will be Sunday) he's sick of guessing. But he admits he has wondered, "Why me?"
Perry "Anybody would if you had some talent and you see other running backs passing you by," Perry said. "You the same people you came out with, some people you're still close to, people in the same position you're in. Steven Jackson. I know him. He's been doing great and I'm happy for him. Like any other running back, you feel like you can compare with anybody."
Perry has held steadfastly to Marvin Lewis' edict of not talking about injuries. So while he's been pleasant he has said absolutely nothing about his ankle.
How about this torturous exchange Wednesday?
Q: Are you ready to play?
A: Am I playing offense or am I just getting thrown out there to the wolves?
Q: What if you're playing running back and they split you out as a receiver?
A: Oh, OK. I would love to do that. It's a day-to-day thing. It's not as simple as going through a practice. It's going through a practice, running real hard, running real hard, and then coming back the next day and doing the same thing over and over again. That's something I'm still trying to do."
Perry, whose contract is up after the 2009 season, said he's amenable to either option and if he's IR-ed, "I'll get a head start on my rehab."
Note: For the first time in his four seasons with the Rams, Jackson has been injured (he's played in just six games) and is under four yards per carry at 3.6. But in his career he's got 3,689 yards on 856 carries for 4.3 yards per carry and 27 touchdowns as well as 171 catches.
"He's ramping up, it's just a matter of whether we feel that he's at the point physically where he can play NFL football day-in and day-out," Lewis said of Perry. "Chris has worked very, very hard and spends just about all day, every day here. It's not lack of effort on his part. We have to make a determination and will next week."
AndersonINURY UPDATE: Whether it's keeping with his routine of the past few years of taking Wednesday off or a signal he'll miss his fifth straight game, right tackle Willie Anderson (knee) wasn't on the field at the beginning of practice. Neither were the three players Marvin Lewis said wouldn't practice early in the week but would play Sunday: Wide receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh (back) and Glenn Holt (concussion), and linebacker Landon Johnson (back). Cornerback Deltha O'Neal, dealing with back and knee issues the past month, also sat.
Anderson raised some hopes last Friday when he worked for the first time since playing against the Jets Oct. 21 and he was not declared out of this game when Wednesday's injury report surfaced.
Linebacker Rashad Jeanty (knee), safety Herana-Daze Jones (knee), and safety Marvin White (hip) were limited. Cornerback Leon Hall (shoulder) had a full practice.
FISHER ON MARVIN: As co-chairman of the NFL Competition Committee, Titans coach Jeff Fisher has gotten to know one of the newest members quite well the last couple of years. Sunday is the third time Fisher has opposed Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis (1-1) but they know each other a lot better than they did when the Bengals won in Nashville in 2005.
"I've got a great deal of respect for what he's been through; some difficult times and what he's been able to accomplish," Fisher said Wednesday in a conference call with Cincinnati media.
On Monday, Lewis praised Fisher and the Titans for sticking with their plans despite going 17-31 in the three previous seasons before getting off to this 6-4 start. On Wednesday, Fisher underlined the importance of continuity when it comes to the Bengals' problems.
"You're going to go through tough times for whatever the reasons are," Fisher said. "The Bengals' reasons are obvious what happened early in the year with the injuries and such. You go through tough times and you stick to your plan. Marvin's plan is effective. It works. He's got vision and he understands what it takes to win in this league. I'm very fortunate just speaking for myself to have an owner (Bud Adams) that understands that."
"The Browns understand the importance of continuity," Fisher said of Bengals ownership. "Especially if you're doing the right things for the right reasons and that's what Marvin and his staff (are) doing."
FROM CARL TO CHAD: This is how long Fisher has been coaching the Oilers/Titans. As the defensive coordinator of the Oilers on Nov. 13, 1994 at Riverfront Stadium, he presided over their 34-31 loss to the Bengals at the gun on Doug Pelfrey's field goal in a game best known for Bengals wide receiver Carl Pickens' 11 catches for 188 yards working against Oilers cornerback Cris Dishman on a day Dishman apologized to his coaches, teammates, and the city of Houston.
The next day Fisher replaced Jack Pardee as head coach.
"Thanks for bringing up a fond memory," Fisher cracked Wednesday. "That was a very, very difficult game for me only because I was aware of what was going to take place on Monday. It's a difficult situation. It's the reality of the National Football League. Change, is at times, inevitable.
"We were just outmatched at that particular time. I remember Carl Pickens and Cris Dishman in that matchup and Carl won most of it and that was the difference in the ballgame."
On Sunday, a Jeff Blake bomb away from what was Riverfront, Chad Johnson can pass Pickens with six catches and become the Bengals' all-time leading receiver with 531 balls.
"I'm very fortunate," Fisher said of his tenure, longest currently in the NFL with one team. "I credit Mr. Adams and ownership and the people in the organization."
"There's a lot of games between then and now," Fisher said. "As coaches we don't forget those things. Any coach will remember those types of matchups and the rivalries. Time has gone by fast, but there's a lot of time ahead."
FOREVER YOUNG: Titans quarterback Vince Young, experiencing some muscle soreness in his leg, says he'll play Sunday. He also said the Bengals front four has a better pass rush than the Denver defensive line that beat Tennessee Monday night. Even though Denver is ranked 11th in sacks per pass and the Bengals are ranked 26th.
Young, who sat behind Carson Palmer at last year's Pro Bowl, said he learned a lot about preparation from him.
"He (knows) the game. He's got some guys that can really catch the ball over there," Young said in Wednesday's conference call. "Just sitting at the Pro Bowl with him, paying attention to his preparation and getting ready to play. There's a lot of different things I took from him being down there at the Pro Bowl."
Young said when he was in high school he went to a football camp with Palmer and has been watching him for a long time. He spent every morning with Palmer in Hawaii and says what everybody else does:
"He's a good guy."
Palmer said he was surprised at how accurate Young was during those workouts after hearing about how he could only run. Palmer recalled the 7-on-7 passing drills with Young and Peyton Manning and said "he was as accurate as any quarteback there."
So it's not surprising to Palmer that Young has set career passing highs in his last two games and is coming off a 305-yard game in Denver on Monday night.
As for Palmer, he's coming off the first four-interception game of his life. On any level.
"I'm over it. I still get disgusted, embarrased, frustrated when I do that. But you can't do that in this league," Palmer said. "Especially at this position. You can't dwell on the past.
"We could be up a whole bunch of points and I'm always thinking about the one play I missed. I always feel like I think about it too long. I'm always conscious of the bad things. The read I miss or protection adjustment as opposed to things that went right. And that's something that always helped when I get to game day because I remember mistakes in a certain play or certain scheme and that thing always stuck out in my head so I don't make it again."