Guest Columnist
Message Boards
MBS in the News
MBS Boycott Bowl
Message Boards
Email Inbox
Sign Our Petition
Order A T-Shirt
About Us
Contact Us

Mission Statement

The Bengals on ESPN







Rotisserie by the numbers: Recipes For Disaster
September 24, 2000 By Craig Rondinone -SportsTicker Staff Writer

JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY- I'm not very handy in the kitchen. Yeah, I can cook a mean pot of spaghetti. I'm also adept at turning on the microwave. You don't want me cooking anything that deals with the mixing of ingredients, however. I'm never able to follow the measurements correctly. And don't even consider letting me come up with my own concoction. That would be a recipe for disaster

Obviously, I'm not the only person in America who does a poor job of mixing certain ingredients together. Look around the NFL. If some of the people running these teams were chemists, their experiments certainly would blow up their laboratories.

Here are two of rotisserie football's recipes for disaster: Akili Smith + Two Rookie Receivers + Bruce Coslet = Zero Production In The Cincinnati Bengals' Passing Game.

The Mike Brown Sucks T-Shirt!  All the cool kids are doin' it!


How could the Bengals go into the season without replacing the experience they lost at receiver with Carl Pickens' departure and Darnay Scott's broken leg? Because they're cheap. Always have been. So the Bengals sat idly by while other teams scooped up Vincent Brisby, Andre Reed and Robert Brooks when they were available.

The result? Smith has the youngest group of receivers in the NFL to throw to. Considering he's an extremely inexperienced quarterback, he's learning on the fly along with his weapons. He has no safety valve he can always rely on to bail him out when he gets in hot water. There's a ton of miscommunication between him and rookie starters Peter Warrick and Ron Dugans, resulting in many incompletions.

You would figure Warrick would put up good numbers. How couldn't he? The Bengals will be trailing every game by halftime and they'll have no choice but to throw the ball on almost every down. Even with the double coverage he sees, Warrick should be able to have close to 1,000 yards and six touchdowns.

Dugans is another story. He has been invisible. He's only caught three balls in two contests so far. Could he be another Florida State receiver bust along the lines of Tamarick Vanover and Kez McCorvey? It's too early to tell. James Hundon would have been a nice insurance policy, but alas, he was released.

And what about poor Corey Dillon? How is he supposed to prosper in an offense that has so much youth in its passing game? He has to face eight-man fronts all the time. His rushing numbers have been putrid (73 yards in two games) The Bengals will probably come together late in the season, as they always do. For the first eight to 10 games, however, Smith, Dillon, Warrick, Dugans and company are going to be putting up less than stellar statistics.

Ryan Leaf
+ Mike Riley + No Receivers + No Running Game = The Worst Offense In Football.  Imagine you're the man behind the management decisions of the Chargers. You're hoping in the preseason that Ryan Leaf keeps his mouth shut and emerges as your starting quarterback. That happens. Wouldn't you attempt to make things as easy as humanly possible for him to succeed, knowing that he would need all the help he could because the man is a walking time bomb? Yes, you would.

But you're not running the Chargers. They decide to saddle Leaf with a running attack led by a guy -- Robert Chancey -- who was Dallas' third-string running back in 1999. They give him Curtis Conway and Jeff Graham as his two primary wide receivers. Granted, these two are more experienced than the pair in Cincy, but Swann and Stallworth they're not.

It would have been much better for Leaf to play with these two five years ago, when they were good. Now they're overrated, injury-prone and no longer threats.

Add to the mix coach Mike Riley, who seems a bit impatient when it comes to handling Mr. Leaf. You don't bench the poor guy after just two games if Moses Moreno is the next option. Now he's forced to go back to him. It's a total mess.

Leaf is beginning to crack. His comments to the media this week about not feeling supported shouldn't make rotisserie owners of him very happy. Truth is, he's right. He's been set up to take a big fall for the Chargers' failures this season. Just pray if you have Leaf in your lineup that your league doesn't subtract points for interceptions.

The Bengals and Chargers are down in the dumps and have been for a while now. It's because of the moves by the front offices that these teams are in such poor shape, and that the players on the teams have little rotisserie value.

RUN AND SHOOT: In last week's column, I ripped Minnesota coach Dennis Green for running Robert Smith too much, going back on his word to lighten his early season workload. What do I do now? Smith ran the ball 29 times against New England. At this pace, he'll be found on the injury report by Week Six.

The knee injury suffered by Buffao tight end Jay Riemersma comes at a very unfortunate time. He was ready to jump into the top five at the tight end position. Luckily, he's only going to miss five weeks.

Replacement Bobby Collins might only have 12 career catches, but he does have some skills. He had a 45-yard reception last year, a rarity for a tight end. He also had two touchdowns. He could be a good pickup on your league's waiver wire if you own Riemersma.

And two more receivers bite the dust. Tennessee's Kevin Dyson and Chicago's Bobby Engram went down this week with season-ending injuries, raising the number of injured receivers to seven and counting. This is really getting out of hand.

The loss of Dyson makes Chris Sanders more valuable. He'll probably get a start this week if Yancey Thigpen can't go because of a tender hamstring. He's good for only a catch or two per game, but normally his catches are long ones. This shouldn't really hurt Steve McNair or Pickens' numbers too much.

Engram was never a huge rotisserie factor. His eight-catch, 50-yard performances never did much for me. He did do a good job on third downs, however. Cade McNown definitely will be affected by his absence.

Enter Eddie Kennison. Easily one of the worst rotisserie receivers the past three years, Kennison now gets another chance with another team to shine. He failed miserably in St. Louis and New Orleans. There's no reason to think the same won't happen in Chicago. He's as fast as the wind, but if you're not strong enough to get off the line and you run bad routes, speed doesn't mean much. You'd be better off picking up Marty Booker, Chicago's other option to replace Engram.

Click Here!