Wednesday, August 4, 2004
Hello from Day 4 of Bengals training camp.
Bengals e-mail Q&A
Question, from Shahid in Clifton: I was wondering which was better to go to, the scrimmage or mock game? In which one will the starters play more?
Q, from Candy in Madeira: We were thinking of taking the kids to Georgetown training camp this weekend. Do you know if they are in pads yet, and if not, when that will be?
Answer: Yes, the team already is in pads. And they will be in pads with contact on Friday night for the scrimmage, which, is the better entertainment value and will more closely resemble real football.
Q, from Michael in Dallas: I am a big Bengals fan. What is going to happen between (Rudi) Johnson and (Chris) Perry? Are they going to split time? I believe that they will phase out Rudi, not re-sign him, and turn to Perry as season progresses.
Answer: That theory is well developed. Coach Marvin Lewis, for having a concrete plan, is remarkably pragmatic. He will let the season unfold and determine a best course.
The plan, as it stands now, is to try to re-sign Johnson. But agent Peter Schaffer seems determined to get Johnson on the market as an unrestricted free agent after a big season. If Johnson prices himself out, Perry becomes the man.
The ideal situation for this season, it would appear, is to sign Perry and have him work his way into the role as the No. 2 back. Perry will probably get a lot of work on third down and in passing situations.
Bengals running back coach Jim Anderson said Perry gives the team its most versatile back since the heyday of James Brooks.
Q, from Mae in Wichita Falls, Texas: Why wouldn't (running back Skip) Hicks be good trade bait? He is just as good as (Kenny) Watson or (Dolphins RB) Travis Minor.
I have watched him for a long time, through high school, at UCLA and during his rookie year for the Redskins. Don't be so hard on the young man. All he needs is a fair chance.
I could go on, but I know you would not be interested in all I have to say. Thank you for your time. From a big Skip Hicks fan from his hometown back in Texas. I don't expect a response from you, but you have a blessed day.
Answer: Thank you. We all should be so fortunate to have such loyal friends and followers.
The answer previously given in this column was an honest one: There might not be much of a market for Hicks. He is working hard, and he made the most of his opportunity to play in NFL Europe.
If Miami is going to trade to try to play the retired Ricky Williams, it is going to try to get more of a sure bet than Hicks, who has been out of the NFL for a couple of years. Minor would have a significant edge on Hicks in that Minor has been in the Dolphins offensive system and worked as Williams' backup.
Hicks probably won't make the Bengals 53-man roster, in spite of doing all of the right things. Behind Rudi Johnson and Chris Perry (when he does sign), Watson provides more special teams experience and speed.
Watson is having an excellent camp, picking up where he left off in the spring.
But you should know Hicks has been pleasant to deal with, has worked hard and has done your town proud. Cincinnati - or Miami - probably isn't the best NFL fit for him right now.
BENGALS / NFL
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