Andre Caldwell arrived in Cincinnati last season coming from a talented Florida Gators team that a year before won the National Championship.
He was one of the many talented players on the team, and was a hybrid player with receiving and running ability.
He didn’t make the biggest impact as a rookie with stars like TJ Houshmandzadeh and Chad Ochocinco on the roster spot in front of him, and his main job was to learn.
He had to learn to be able to fill in the position when the time came. When his time did come, and both Chad and TJ were out with injuries, Caldwell had a very productive game with five catches for 34 yards, and four runs for 49 yards.
Now he is coming into his second season with the Bengals and says he feels like a better athlete based on what TJ Houshmandzadeh taught him.
Not only has he taught him how to play the position better, but also how to be a better player in general.
This season the Bengals will need one of their second year receivers to step up after shipping TJ off to Seattle, and I think that Caldwell can do the job.
In the news they’ve said that Chris Henry has had a very productive offseason and that Chad is looking as good as he once was. But those are the down field receivers that have been known to catch the deep ball instead of running into traffic for a third down catch.
Caldwell had a bigger frame than both Ochocinco and Henry and that can only help his chances at playing time.
The Bengals could utilize his abilities and I think he can be a great player for this team to compliment aging wide outs Ochocinco and Laveranues Coles.
Caldwell also opens up a wildcat offense for the Bengals, but that's only if the offensive coordinator (who should have been fired a couple years ago) discovers plays that work.
This season, even after the loss of TJ, the Bengals have a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball and I think they will be a lot more balanced this season.
Bob Bratkowski needs to learn very fast how to use the weapons on his team instead of trying to force plays to happen. Mainly running the ball three times in a row, or everytime Carson calls an audible it not being a running play up the middle.
In losing TJ it may open a space for young Caldwell to step in and be very affective for a Bengals team who was cold last season, after being so hot in previous years.
If Caldwell, Ochocinco, Henry, and Coles can all be affective this season then the Bengals will be a force to be reckoned with on offense once again.
The Bengals made a gamble in grabbing Jerome Simpson in the second round last season, and that doesn’t seem to be paying off.
If they can somehow get Simpson to be disciplined and ready to go, then if injuries occur, this team will be ready for them. Something they have lacked in the former seasons.
Look for Caldwell to be making big third down catches this season, and for the Bengals to once again be in the talk of best offense in the league.