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Cincinnati Bengals 2007 Offensive Preview By Position – Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Posted by Matt on September 10, 2007

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Past ‘Previews’:

We now take our previews to the most electrifying facet of the offense, the receivers. “Ocho Cinco” and T.J. Hoosyourmamma headline a cast of thousands that hopes to be part of the most prolific offensive attack in the NFL outside of Indianapolis. We have a lot of players to cover, so let us not waste any time in getting to business (unfortunately the individual write ups will have to be shorter as there are many more players in this preview).

Cincinnati Bengals 2007 Preview: Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Wide Receivers

#1 Chad Johnson

Everybody knows Chad by now and he’s arguably one of the Top 5 wide receivers in the NFL, among others. Chad has led the AFC in receiving yards the past four years (first time since the merger) and this is despite a slow start over the first four games of last season, or so. With T.J. Houshmazilli recording more total receptions last season, look for Johnson to have another big year as T.J. has to be watched nearly as much as “Ocho” these days by the defense as these two are nearly interchangeable at #1/#2 in this offense.

#2 T.J. Houshmanzadeh

One of the best possession wide receivers in the game today, T.J. opened up his game even more last year recording more receptions than “Ocho Cinco” and notching his first 1,000+ yard receiving season of his career. Housh is easily one of the toughest players on the Bengals roster, along with Rudi, and he likes to play “smash mouth football,” which is a welcomed sight in a division that sports perennial tough teams in Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Reports out of training camp are that T.J. has increased his speed in the offseason and should see time split wide with Chad in the slot, much like Pittsburgh uses Hines Ward in the second and third wide receiver positions now that Santonio Holmes is more of a pure receiver and less of a special teams player. This could be the best season together for the Dynamic Duo out of Oregon State yet.

#3 Tab Perry

Tab is entering his third year as a Bengal out of UCLA and missed the majority of last year with a hip injury but appears to be back to 100% for the start of the 2007 campaign. Normally a special teams specialist for the Bengals, Perry will have to step up his game for the Bengals as the third wide receiver with Chris Henry out for the first eight games of the season. With a big frame at 6 foot, 3 inches tall and 210 pounds, Perry also has the speed in the open field to be a big play receiver, especially with his experience in the return game (this was evident on designed plays in the preseason this year). However, Tab needs to work on his hands as well as using his large frame to his advantage against the cornerbacks and getting himself in position to make a play on the ball. Perry is an athletic guy but has never seen this much activity at wide receiver at the professional level and the Bengals are relying on him a lot to come up big early on.

#4 Antonio Chatman

Chatman enters his second year with the Bengals after two years with the Green Bay Packers but only saw action at receiver in three games last year and only recorded the same number of receptions. Chatman’s best year came in his sophomore season as a Packer where he recorded 549 yards on 49 receptions and 4 touchdowns from Brett Favre. With the depth at receiver above Antonio, especially when Chris Henry returns, unless somebody gets injured (Let’s hope not.) Chatman will never see that much action at receiver in stripes. He is quick, but lacks size compared to the rest of the Bengals receivers and will likely see most of his playing time in special teams and in four-receiver sets.

#5 Skyler Green

Think Steve Smith. At 5 foot, 9 inches tall and 190 pounds with blazing speed, that is just who Green compares himself to. Now don’t get me wrong, he is no Smith in the receiving game…yet, however, he was kept on the roster strictly for his return abilities, especially in the punting game. Skyler is entering his second year as a professional and comes to Cincinnati off of waivers from Dallas where he was drafted in the 4th Round out of LSU. His numbers as a Cowboy aren’t mind boggling but his career numbers in college are astounding:

  • 986 punt return yards on 69 punt returns (14.3 average) with a school record 4 career return touchdowns
  • 663 kickoff return yards on 31 kickoff returns (21.3 average)
  • 1072 receiving yards on 104 receptions (10.1 average) with 9 career touchdown receptions
  • 211 rushing yards on 22 rushes (9.6) average with 1 career rushing touchdown
  • All in 40 games as a Tiger

Hopefully Green can rejuvenate the return game this season and post big numbers as he did in college as he will see most of his time strictly in special teams play.

#6 Glen Holt

Holt enters his second year with the Bengals out of the University of Kentucky after being signed as a college free agent after the 2006 NFL Draft. Much like Green, Holt will seen nearly all of his time in the special teams game and will see the bulk of that action in the kickoff return game with Green returning punts, Chris Perry out until Week 6 with an injury, and Tab Perry needing to be on the field as more of a pure wide receiver. Holt averaged 24.6 kickoff return yards on 17 kickoff returns last season after Chris Perry and Tab Perry went down with injury. Look for Holt to see more than 17 kickoffs this season.

#- Chris Henry

Suspended through first eight games of season.

Henry would be the hands-down third receiver in this offense had he been eligible to play and at 6 foot, 4 inches tall and 200 pounds, Henry has the size and the speed to be a big-play, deep-threat wide receiver in the vein of Randy Moss. Henry is also a HUGE endzone threat with 9 touchdowns in just 36 receptions last season but he has also shown signs of being “soft” by not taking the hit to try to hang on to the ball or by giving up on a route when he “hears footsteps.” Nonetheless, Henry’s athleticism cannot be denied and he will be sorely missed during the first half of the season. Hopefully he comes back with a chip on his shoulder and shows up ready to play.

Tight Ends

#1 Reggie Kelly

Kelly starts his fifth year as a Bengal after being signed as an unrestricted free agent in 2003. Kelly resigned with the Bengals in the offseason after his contract expired last season and after a personal phone call from Carson Palmer who asked him to stay and resign for less money than he would’ve made in the open market. That should tell you the value of Kelly to this offense. Kelly is an excellent run-blocker on the offensive line while weighing in at 250 pounds on a 6 foot, 4 inch frame. Reggie also has some pass catching abilities with 254 receiving yards on 21 receptions with 1 touchdown last season for the Bengals with his 254 receiving yards being his personal best with Cincinnati. After losing backup tight end Tony Stewart, the Bengals desperately needed to keep Kelly on, if for nothing else than his experience factor because the experience behind Reggie on the depth chart leaves something to be desired.

#2 Daniel Coats

Coats is a rookie who comes to Cincinnati as a college free agent out of Brigham Young University in Utah. Built much like Reggie Kelly (6-3, 255), Coats plays much like him as well and this is likely the reason Cincinnati saw something in him that they liked. At BYU in three seasons Coats amassed 587 receiving yards on 56 receptions (10.48 average) with 5 touchdowns. Look for the big-bodied Coats on dual-tight end sets to give an extra push on the offensive line for our man Rudi.

#3 Nate Lawrie

Nate enters his third year and was signed by the Bengals out of free agency but has minimal “skill statistics” to speak of as he has spent much of his professional time on practice squads throughout the NFL. The Bengals played ‘musical tight ends’ in the preseason and Lawrie was one that earned his stripes. Nate will likely see the majority of his field time on special teams and especially in coverages such as kickoffs.

#4 Brad Saint Louis

Listed as a tight end, Brad is actually the long snapping expert on the Bengals and has been since 2000. With only two unplayable snaps through seven years in Cincinnati, Saint Louis is the mark of consistency. Brad also records a few special teams tackles yearly to go along with being a long-snapping specialist.

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