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hawaiiansteel
08-12-2010, 02:35 PM
Starkey: Bengals the team to beat?

By Joe Starkey, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, August 12, 2010



"I pray for Carson."

Steelers receiver Hines Ward laughed when he said that. He was talking about Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, who finds himself on diva patrol this summer. His top two receivers Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco can best be described as the sensitive artist types. Each has a reality show on VH1 (back to back on Sunday nights, or so I'm told).

I believe it was Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Batard who dubbed the duo "WKR-ME in Cincinnati" and T.O. wasn't the Bengals' only intriguing offseason addition.

Another receiver with, shall we say, a strong personality, climbed aboard, as did a cornerback with a checkered past. Those would be Antonio Bryant and the artist formerly known as Pac Man Jones, respectively.

Can this possibly work?

"We'll see," Ward said. "If they have success, it'll work good. But what if they're not having success? I'm pretty sure if they're not having the success they want, something will come out in that camp."

Ward added one more thing: "I'm pretty sure our defense would love to go against Chad and T.O. With a healthy Troy (Polamalu) and a healthy Aaron Smith and Bryant McFadden back, I like our defense."

Linebacker LaMarr Woodley isn't convinced the T.O. experiment will end well.

"You've been seeing T.O. on a few teams," Woodley said, "and what difference did that make?"

'Course, the Steelers have issues of their own, as Ward, Woodley and anyone else roaming the fields of St. Vincent College will readily acknowledge. They are coming off an embarrassing season in which they won just two of six divisional games and failed to score a touchdown in two of the losses.

To a man, starting with the head coach, the Steelers will tell you redemption begins within the division. They must recapture the AFC North, which the Bengals owned last season by posting a 6-0 record.

T.O. jokes aside, the Steelers have grown to respect the Bengals, who displayed a different kind of toughness last season and finally have a defense that deserves to be taken seriously.

When I asked nose tackle Casey Hampton to identify the "team to beat," he replied with a rhetorical question: "Who won the division last year?"

Cincinnati, of course.

"Right, then they're the team to beat."

Woodley had a better answer: "Everybody's the team to beat, because everybody beat us (at least once) last year."

Since the NFL realigned in 2002, the Steelers have largely controlled the AFC North. Their divisional record is 34-14, with four titles. The Ravens are next at 25-23, followed by the Bengals (24-24) and the Cleveland Browns (13-35).

This has to be the most interesting division in the league, what with the Steelers' quarterback drama, the Bengals' reality show, the Ravens' newfound passing potential and the Browns' remade front office, which climbed several notches on the respectability meter when Mike Holmgren decided to take his talents to Northeastern Ohio.

"Right now," Ward said, "it seems like everybody in our division is upgrading."

The Ravens appear to be the division's strongest team up front, if you combine the offensive and defensive lines, and the popular pick to win it. Anquan Boldin gives them the kind of receiving weapon they simply have not had. At the same time, they appear to be terribly vulnerable in the secondary.

The Steelers likely must return to their dominant defensive ways in order to survive until Ben Roethlisberger returns, perhaps for the fifth game, against Cleveland. The Browns stink. The Bengals are as compelling as any team in football, a combustible entity that could blow up for better or worse.

Animosity is the glue that holds the division together, though some of the ribbing is good-natured. I think. Ochocinco raised some eyebrows, and some ire, during the premiere of "Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch" when he ripped the Steelers.

The idea is for Ochocinco to choose a mate from a roster of 85 women. Upon his first peek at the candidates, he said: "Man, I haven't seen this many girls on the field since we played the Steelers."

That got a laugh from Steelers linebacker Larry Foote.

"He's animated," Foote said. "Sometimes I even see him sulking and crying on the field."

The Steelers' first game against the Bengals is Monday night, Nov. 8, at 8:30.

Should be a pretty good show.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 94491.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_694491.html)

RuthlessBurgher
08-12-2010, 03:07 PM
I can tell you we d@mn sure aren't going to be 0-2 against those pussycats this season.

NW Steeler
08-12-2010, 05:00 PM
I think the Bungholes will get a nice fat slice of payback from us this season. At worst we go 6-2 in the division this year.

birtikidis
08-12-2010, 06:42 PM
I think the Bungholes will get a nice fat slice of payback from us this season. At worst we go 6-2 in the division this year.
will our two loses come against ourselves?

Djfan
08-12-2010, 06:45 PM
I think the Bungholes will get a nice fat slice of payback from us this season. At worst we go 6-2 in the division this year.
will our two loses come against ourselves?


That's funny!!!

I love when the Bungles are predicted to go great. They'll suck this year, if nothing else, just because of this prediction.

rpmpit
08-13-2010, 02:44 PM
http://images.cheezburger.com/completestore/2009/11/18/129030497255931002.jpg

Shoe
08-13-2010, 11:52 PM
A team with:
Pacman
Tank Johnson
TO
Ocho

is expected to hold it together and beat us and the Ravens? :shock:

birtikidis
08-14-2010, 04:39 AM
I think the Bungholes will get a nice fat slice of payback from us this season. At worst we go 6-2 in the division this year.
will our two loses come against ourselves?


That's funny!!!

I love when the Bungles are predicted to go great. They'll suck this year, if nothing else, just because of this prediction.
I think we'll sweep the division.
i had to say something about the 6-2 in the division though, because.. well, we only play 6 divisional games. so, 6-0 against the rest of the division and 0-2 against ourselves.