Bengals Playbook Should Be Open Heading Into 2009 Season

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Bengals Playbook Should Be Open Heading Into 2009 Season
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Coming off of a 4-11-1 campaign, the Cincinnati Bengals will need to have its offense firing on all cylinders this year to compliment what looks to be a much improved defensive unit.

After missing 12 games last season with an elbow problem, Carson Palmer is back and slinging the ball in practice like Bengals fans have come to know and love.

Without their superstar quarterback, the Bengals were ranked last in total offense. Harvard graduate Ryan Fitzgerald was certainly no Matt Cassel.  The Bengals playbook consisted of watching Fitzgerald hold the ball until either he got pummeled, or he fumbled and got pummeled.

With Palmer 100 percent healthy and former Chicago Bear Cedric Benson ready to improve upon his impressive stint with the team, fans are hoping to see a balanced attack equal to what was on the field in 2005.

With the departure of wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh to Seattle, offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski will rely on newly acquired Laveranues Coles to pick up the slack.

Coles will give the team a Hines Ward type of performance and allow Palmer to have a steady and stable target. He had 70 catches last season with the Jets for 850 yards and seven touchdowns.

But the big question mark lies over the head of Chad Ochocinco. He had six 1,000-yard receiving seasons going into last season, catching 48 touchdowns in the process.

But last season Ochocinco only reeled in 53 catches for 540 yards and four touchdowns, leaving many fans to wonder, why bother to keep him?

However, Ochocinco might get fired up playing with Coles and Benson, along with Palmer, and of course, the presence of top draft pick Andre Smith on the offensive line. 

Smith, out of Alabama, will help shore up an offensive line that will have a totally new look this year after the departure of veteran Levi Jones.

Expect to see the Bengals open up the passing attack again and also start pounding the ball down people's throats.  The talent is there, but will everybody show up to play?

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