Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Bengals Sign Larry Johnson

Cincinnati is a division rival, so this development is of interest to Steelers' fans, but this also is a compelling story for anybody who follows developments in the NFL.

In the wake of last weekend's injury to running back Cedric Benson, who entered Sunday's game vs. the Steelers ranked as the NFL's second-leading rusher, the Bengals have signed former Pro-Bowler Larry Johnson, whose production has declined steadily but precipitously over the past two years.

Let's see ... is this a good move for the Bengals? ... considering Johnson is or might be (choose one or all):
  • A chronic prima donna
  • A perpetual self-absorbed "me-first" whiner
  • Worn out, old and over the hill, with too many miles (and hits) on his wheels
  • Did we say "old" (he turns 30 on Thursday) for a running back, especially considering the number of hits he's endured over the years behind woeful offensive lines at Kansas City
  • A potential threat to Cincinnati's newfound, feel-good locker-room chemistry
  • Dogged by controversy, off-the-field problems and conflicts with various coaches throughout his career
  • In a role now, according to Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, whereby he "...would be used as a fourth running back and an opportunity as a backup player on this football team doing all the things backup players do, and that's work their tails off in the kicking game and showing looks [on the scout team] and so forth that way. And then he would be an insurance policy if something would happen down the line to one of our guys where he'd have a chance to be active."
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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