AFC North: Eric Ghiaciuc
- Baltimore Ravens rookie defensive tackle Terrence Cody (knee) hopes to return Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
- Speaking of the Bengals, they worked out centers Justin Hartwig and Eric Ghiacuic this week.
- Will quarterback Jake Delhomme, who sat out of practice Wednesday with an ankle injury, still start in Week 2?
- Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton is considered questionable with a hamstring injury.
Ghiaciuc is best known for his days with the Cincinnati Bengals, where he started 42 games as a former fourth-round draft pick. He mostly struggled at center and had a brief spat in the media with Bengals Pro Bowl receiver Chad Ochocinco following his departure.
Cleveland is looking to add depth on its offensive line, particularly after the recent departure of veteran center Hank Fraley. Ghiaciuc likely will take over Fraley's role as the backup center behind 2009 first-round pick Alex Mack.
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
So, to satisfy their appetite, let's answer some more Bengals questions.
Alan from Milwaukee wants to know about the progress of Cincinnati third-round pick Michael Johnson.
James Walker: Johnson showed just what I expected in last week's minicamp. He's a good athlete who can get to the passer. But he has a very thin frame, which is concerning if he's going to play on the defensive line for an AFC North team -- particularly against the run. But the Bengals did experiment with Johnson by moving him around at defensive end and outside linebacker during minicamp, which could mean Cincinnati's coaching staff has similar concerns.
Luke from Cincinnati writes: Am I crazy for agreeing with Chad Ochocinco that the Bengals will make the playoffs? I get that I'm probably being a bit of a homer, but since you're not biased either way, do you think the Bengals will still be playing in January?
James Walker: Luke, I can guarantee you the Bengals will be playing in January. Their final regular-season game against the New York Jets is on Jan. 3, 2010. As far as playoffs, I'm staying away from those predictions until at least the start of the regular season.
James Walker: Not at all, Wayne. I think it's more than fair to expect Cook to struggle against Haloti Ngata, Shaun Rogers and Casey Hampton this year in the division. Cook is strong and could be an upgrade over former starting center Eric Ghiaciuc, but not nearly enough to favor Cook in these matchups against some very stout defensive linemen.
Markiyan from Kiev, Ukraine, is curious about the mental toughness of the Bengals, particularly if things get off to a rocky start.
James Walker: This is a great question Markiyan. Although I feel the Bengals are talented on paper and a potential sleeper, I do not consider Cincinnati a mentally tough team. The Bengals have proven that time and time again over the past 18 years. That is why it is vital for them to stay healthy and get off to a fast start. Because with all the high expectations and playoff guarantees, things probably would get ugly if Cincinnati gets off to a 0-3 or 0-4 start.
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
This is the first of a three-day series examining drafts for each AFC North team over the past three years. Grades are based on performance, where players were picked (too high, too low) and whether they remain with their original team.
Here is a look at the Bengals' 2005 draft:
Analysis: This was easily the worst draft within the AFC North in recent memory. On paper, the Bengals thought they were getting tremendous value and talent for their first-day picks. But most teams were scared off by character concerns with second-rounder Odell Thurman and third-rounder Chris Henry. Cincinnati took the bait and was burned in both cases as multiple arrests and suspensions followed, and neither player stuck with the team. First-round pick David Pollack never got his career off the ground when he suffered a broken neck in his second season. Center Eric Ghiaciuc is the only player in this draft currently making an impact, and it's marginal as the starting center.
Next is a look at the Cleveland Browns.