Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Who starts opposite A.J. Green in Cincy?
By James Walker
The Cincinnati Bengals are going through a youth movement at wide receiver. Former six-time Pro Bowler Chad Ochocinco is expected to be released and likely will pass the torch to first-round pick A.J. Green, who will have the responsibility as Cincinnati's No. 1 receiver.
But if Ochocinco is no longer on the roster, who will start opposite Green? The Bengals have several interesting, but unproven, candidates who will compete for the job in training camp.
Could it be Jerome Simpson? It took nearly three years for Simpson to show anything at the NFL level, but he finished strong last season. The former second-round pick posted back-to-back 100-yard games for the first time of his career in Week 16 and 17. Was that a fluke or a sign of things to come for Simpson in 2011?
Or should Andre Caldwell be the starter? Caldwell has been a reliable role player off the bench the past two season and may be ready to take the next step. Caldwell also looked good briefly as a starter when Ochocinco and Terrell Owens were both injured towards the end of the 2010 season. Caldwell finished with three straight games of at least 87 yards receiving.
What about the sleeper of this group: Jordan Shipley? He was very dangerous in the slot as a rookie, recording 52 receptions. Shipley could increase his numbers with more playing time. The Bengals drafted him to play the "Wes Welker role" in Cincinnati, but his productivity shouldn't be ignored.
Using our SportsNation poll, vote on who you believe should start opposite Green in the Bengals' offense in 2011. You can also share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below.