Every year, thousands of football players, including hundreds with marginal skills, try out for a total of 1,696 available slots. The Bengals’ last preseason game is the final chance for the coaching staff to decide who will play fullback for them: Terminator John Conner or converted tight end Orson Charles.
Despite a stellar camp, the Bengals cut John Conner in favor of Charles, who provides versatility in the passing game. I know running the football is being slowly phased out, but Conner provided the Bengals offense a toughness that Hard Knocks’ cameras never caught from Charles. Only the most badass of badasses pack their stuff in garbage bags.
Hard Knocks is fun every season because it shows the personality of rookie free agents. And in this season, HBO breathed life into the battle between undrafted rookies Jayson DiManche and Bruce Taylor.
One person who did not make it on the linebacking squad was Aaron Maybin.
At Maybin’s new digs, we saw how much of a talented artist the former Nittany Lion is. Why would such a good artist actively destroy his body for a game?
Maybin answered that question.
Maybin will probably want to take those comments back if he looks to join another team. Gruden described the difference between Maybin and DiMache, and also answered the vocal critics of football violence.
The Cincinnati Bengals had as good a preseason as any Super Bowl contender. They have every reason to expect greatness with their best player shaking off a minor injury and finding a potentially game-changing talent in Margus Hunt.
Optimism unbound—that is why these men play.
They’ll make the playoffs. Mark my words.