You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Options rippling through receiving corps following Jones injury


While most football injuries result in a simple replacement plan where one man fills in for another, there is a much larger ripple-and-rearrange effect when a wide receiver goes down due to the number who see action, and where.

Cincinnati Bengals receivers Mohamed Sanu, Dane Sanzenbacher, Brandon Tate, Cobi Hamilton, James Wright and Ryan Whalen will ride those ripples for the next several weeks as the team deals with the loss of Marvin Jones to a fractured left foot.

Sanu likely will ascend to the starting spot opposite A.J. Green — whose role obviously will not change — and that should create more chances for Sanzenbacher in the slot and extra snaps for the others when the team goes to three- or four-wide sets.

But Sanu could just as easily stay in the slot to allow one of the faster guys to line up wide.

“Our guys are multiple, and when we teach the concepts and when I emphasize how we do things, I teach, ‘This is the concept’ so that we can plug-and-play people at different positions so they learn the concept,” receivers coach James Urban said. “Not, ‘I line up here and do this on this play.’ It’s what the concept is.

“We like to move guys around. Some of that is you find out, ‘Boy, this guy is really good at doing this route in the slot, and he’s really good at doing this route outside. So when they’re outside, you’re asking them to do the things that they’re good at.

“Each player has their own strengths,” he continued. “That’s what we’re trying to do through training camp, through the offseason and through training camp – finding out what they’re really good at.”

The Bengals began Tuesday’s practice with Sanu split wide and Sanzenbacher in the slot, but throughout the two hours there were numerous combinations.

Sanu and Sanzenbacher were expected to make the team even before Jones got hurt, as was Tate due to his kickoff and punt return duties in addition to the fact he’s been impressive at receiver during camp.

The two players poised to benefit the most from Jones’ injury, second-year pro Hamilton and rookie Wright, are the two most suited to replicate his speed. But Hamilton, who Urban said is probably the second-fastest receiver on the roster, said cloning their fallen teammate is not the mission.

“We’re all our own receivers,” he said. “We all bring different knacks to the game. Marvin’s a hell of a receiver, but I just can’t wait for my opportunity.

“I don’t really count the numbers,” he added. I’m going to be playing somewhere this year. I know it’s a numbers game, but if I keep working every day and doing what I’m supposed to do, I feel like I’ll be playing somewhere.”

Urban said he’s been impressed with Hamilton’s development since spending his rookie season on the practice squad. But they are both looking for even more.

“He’d be the first to tell you that you’ve just got to make plays, finish plays,” Urban said. “He’s close. I always talk about the 50-50 ball where the defense makes the play or we make the play. We want to make those plays 90 percent of the time. That’s our mentality: 90 percent on the 50-50. And we’re not quite there yet with Cobi. That would be the next step. He can do it. It’s just a matter of doing it.”

Wright was impressive in his pro debut Thursday night at Kansas City, catching two passes for 20 yards, including an impressive, top-tapping touchdown late in the fourth quarter. It was his first touchdown since high school and his first catch in a game since two years ago at LSU.

But Urban stopped short of calling Wright a “project.”

“Like all of us, he’s a work in progress. But he’s not a project,” he said. “His experience in game reps and real reps of wide receiver play is not as great as some of the other guys, so we’re just building that experience. But James has done well.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Reports: Reds trade starting pitcher
Reports: Reds trade starting pitcher

The Cincinnati Reds made a somewhat surprising move Thursday morning by sending Dan Straily to the Miami Marlins. Yahoo Sports reported the teams were working on a deal to trade the starting pitcher for three prospects, and FanRag Sports confirmed it was done pending medical reviews. The players the Reds are reportedly getting back are pitchers Louis...
H.S. Results for 1/18/17: Centerville girls win a thriller

Centerville’s Meghan Mattingly calmly sank the front end of a double bonus free throw opportunity with 0.4 seconds remaining in the second overtime Wednesday night, lifting Centerville to a heart-stopping 51-50 victory over Lebanon in Greater Western Ohio Conference girls basketball. Mattingly’s free throw, the last of her 9 points, allowed...
Jim Jabir back on court as a men’s coach in Denmark
Jim Jabir back on court as a men’s coach in Denmark

Four months after he stepped down as coach of the Dayton Flyers, citing health reasons, Jim Jabir has returned to coaching. Jabir is the interim coach for SISU Copenhagen, a men’s professional team in Denmark. He will coach his first home game with the team on Friday. Jabir coached Dayton for 13 seasons and has spent his entire career on the...
Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Willie McCovey pardoned by president
Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Willie McCovey pardoned by president

Baseball Hall of Famer and All-Star slugger Willie Covey was one of 64 people pardoned by President Barack Obama this week, decades after conviction on tax evasion charges.
Another Bengals player added to Pro Bowl
Another Bengals player added to Pro Bowl

For the second time in as many days the Cincinnati Bengals have had a player added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster with today’s announcement that left tackle Andrew Whitworth will replace Oakland’s Donald Penn. Defensive tackle Carlos Dunlap was added as a replacement for Houston’s Jadeveon Clowney on Tuesday. Whitworth, who was a first...
More Stories