The Cincinnati Bengals began OTAs Monday and there was no shortage of news.
The biggest headline of course came from Adam “Pacman” Jones losing his temper when he was asked about his offseason arrest, but there was actual football news as well.
Jeremy Hill told reporters the past two disappointing years are not him, and he stood by his statement to the NFL Network that he intends to be the starter this fall even if the Bengals take a running back high in the draft next week.
He said he is still trying to figure out what changed from his rookie year when he averaged 5.1 yards per carry, but it’s a good bet the decline of the offensive line hasn’t helped.
Andre Smith is back in town after a year in Minnesota, and he says he is looking forward to playing guard this season.
Back when he was a first round pick in the 2009 draft, Smith was thought of as a cornerstone at tackle. He can make more money playing on the edge, but he seems to get that any way he can stick around the league is probably a good one.
There’s no doubt he is an asset to the offense, but one has to wonder if he can ever be a great all-around player if he isn’t able to build back up the strength in his legs. That’s pretty essential in run blocking…
The Reds didn’t play yesterday, but MLB.com published an interesting Q&A with Cincinnati GM Dick Williams.
He talked about his nontraditional path to a baseball front office job, among other things – including working for George W. Bush’s presidential campaign.
As for the Reds’ rebuild:
Baseball is a little bit of a long game. You watch the NFL and NBA, they draft and those players are on the field or on the court in a matter of months, where our Minor League system tends to take years to develop players. You have to play a little bit of a long game, you have to focus on these cycles, you have to be very aware of when your talent is going to be peaking and when that meets your financial constraints. I said that sort of tongue-in-cheek. I will always be thinking about building the next winner, but I hope some of the tear-down process, some of the painful process of trading away popular players, some of that is in the rear-view mirror -- hopefully the majority of it for now.
He also mentioned this is a time to take some money away from the big league roster and invest it in the minors, which could be construed to mean they have the lucre to actually keep a winning team together when they have one.
They probably wasted money trying to extend the last window a year or two too long, but at the same time I believe they would have tried to re-sign Johnny Cueto (maybe not Aroldis Chapman, who is more of a luxury piece than a great starting pitcher) if the rest of the roster had been in order two years ago and carried a much larger payroll.
The Reds are back in action tonight with Bronson Arroyo set to start against the Orioles at Great American Ball Park…
Meanwhile, it turns out Kyle Schwarber isn’t just a better hitter than almost anyone who plays for the Reds: The Middletown native is also a superior bunter.
The “greatest” term gets thrown around a lot these days, but here is an instance where it pretty indisputably fits.
Take that, shift!
There was also some breaking news last night for the Dayton basketball program.
New coach Anthony Grant told our Tom Archdeacon about John Crosby transferring before it was announced and confirmed he is in the market for some transfers who can play right away.
That search became more urgent with the exit of Crosby, the team’s expected new starter at point guard.
With an iconic senior class gone and some of the returnees recovering from injuries and offseason surgeries, the roster is in some flux right now.
There is some upside to the explosion of the transfer market in that it offers coaches more chances to remake their roster more quickly than they once could, so it will be very interesting to see how that all shakes out…
The NBA playoffs continued last night with the Cleveland Cavaliers holding off the Indiana Pacers, who look talented but too flawed to actually give LeBron James’ team much of a scare when all is said and done.
The Spurs downed the Grizzlies in the nightcap, and Memphis coach David Fizdale went viral after the game with critical comments about the officiating.
If you smartly doubt the Pacers, neither NBA game was all that compelling.
The same cannot be said of the night in the NHL playoffs, where all four games went to overtime and multiple multi-goal leads were blown.
It was a great night of hockey – unless you root for one of the teams, in which case there was a least a 50/50 chance you were pretty miserable.
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