IRVING, Texas – For this week’s The Other Side segment, we check in with Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com, who has covered the club for more than 20 years.
Todd Archer - How has Terence Newman played in his first year for the Bengals?
He's stayed healthy, which will surprise some Cowboys fan.
Geoff Hobson - He's been their most durable corner and is having a very solid year starting opposite Leon Hall. They have allowed one TD passin their four-game winning streak, and they've held QBs to a 65.2 passer rating. Web sites from profootbalfocus.com to ESPN have graded him highly through the year. He says 70 percent of it is being re-united with Mike Zimmer.
TA - Let's stick with the former Cowboy theme and move on to Mike Zimmer. The Bengals defense is performing well and Zimmer really seems to have found a home there. How has he done it and do you think he can be a head coach somewhere one day?
GH - Vintage Zimmer. Tough vs. the run, no screw-ups, no big plays, make them think you're blitzing a lot when you're really not and when you do it is just full barrel. They've given up just five-plus 20 runs and none of 40. He's got his kind of corners, physical, smart, and they think he walks on water. Plus, he's really riding this defensive line. Has to be the best he's ever had. A lot of four-man pressures so he can toy with different coverages.
The guy will be a head coach, I'm convinced. His reputation is just too good around the league and there are just too many teams in trouble. Players love him.
TA - From afar, how do you see the similarities in the way Mike Brown and Jerry Jones run their teams as the only owner/general manager types in the NFL?
GH - Pretty damn close in the since both have the final say in football matters and both have refused to relent against withering criticism. The biggest difference is Jerry has other business interests while Mike's only gig is the Bengals. They also have polar opposite views of NFL economics. But they've got more in common than people think. Note neither has naming rights for their stadium.
TA - We saw Andy Dalton excel at TCU and he seems to be doing the same there. Is he a franchise quarterback or a notch just below that level?
GH - Good question. I think so, but it's hard to say he is right now when he's 0-5 vs. the Ravens and Steelers. But he got them to the playoffs as a rookie and has them in the hunt again, which speaks volumes of his ability and his ample intangibles. To me, he is one in the making with Montana-like bent with brains and touch passing. Just give me a few more fourth-quarter comebacks (five of his 16 wins, which is excellent) and a couple of big AFC North wins. But he's on his way.
TA - How good is A.J. Green?
GH - He'll be the greatest Bengal who ever touched the ball and the debate will be between him and Hall of Fame left tackle Anthony Munoz for the greatest Bengal ever. He catches everything, from crossing routes to 9 routes. He can run after the catch and he can power up like he's going up on an NBA backboard. Beast is an understatement