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Thursday, February 28, 2013
Possible answer to Bengals' odd questions

By Jamison Hensley

A team gets 15 minutes with a college prospect at the NFL combine. Some will ask players about an arrest or medical condition. One team apparently touched on sexual orientation, which is now being investigated.

Cincinnati treats part of the chat like a game show. On this episode of "Do You Want To Be A Bengal," a college player has to memorize numbers and recite them back to the team in reverse order. Sounds strange, but Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson says it's true.

This is how Johnson described his sit-down with the Bengals (via sportsradiointerviews.com): "One thing caught me off-guard. I was meeting with Cincinnati, and I went in there and they told me to remember five things. They just listed five things like a bear, a flower, a tree, a man and like a dog. And they told me to remember those terms, at the end of the meeting to see if I could remember them. And from that point on, they listed numbers. They said, like, 9167, and then told me to repeat them in reverse order. So that was probably the weirdest meeting I’ve ever been a part of.”

There is a potential method to the Bengals' combine madness. Testing a person's short-term memory is a way to learn someone's concussion history and gauge the impact of previous concussions. Unlike the NFL, college football isn't as stringent in tracking concussions. This might be a way for the Bengals to make sure they're not getting a player with head trauma. And honestly, when you look at all the hoops the players have to jump through at the combine, maybe these questions from the Bengals fit this crazy circus.