First Posted: 1/6/2009 11:54:50 AM | Last Updated: 1/6/2009 11:54:50 AM
By Columnist Andy Furman
And it ended just like it started – with receivers Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh standing on the sidelines.
Forget about the 16-10 finale at Paul Brown Stadium Sunday, Dec. 28. In total, what does it mean? That their 4-11-1 record tops the Detroit Lions who went winless at 0-16?
Credit should be given in that the club won four of its final eight. And that done with 23 players on the injured reserve list one time or another.
And with their franchise, Carson Palmer, the quarterback playing in only four ballgames. Don’t forget the coach – Marvin Lewis. Despite the losing record, he kept it together with the 4-3-1 record in the second half.
But don’t forget the receiving tandem of Johnson and Houshmandzadeh. They watched the finale from the sidelines.
Just like they did at practice during the off-season.
Johnson had a season disrupted with a dislocated shoulder, and he had off-season ankle surgery in June. Perhaps he can be excused.
Houshmandzadeh is playing out a contract, and seemingly talking his way into a multi-year deal – which will probably push him out of town next season.
He, like Johnson, watched Sunday’s game from the sidelines.
Both may as well have been next to me watching it on the TV. That’s how removed these two are from this ballclub.
Houshmandzadeh claimed he had some bruised ribs. Hmmm.
What if the game had playoff implications?
And where we both of these guys in May and June when the club called for the voluntary practices.
Again, nowhere to be found.
Hey, I’m a believer in team play – and I gave both these gents a pass in late May and early June.
That they missed valuable time with Palmer, running routes and overall cardio-vascular work proved too much when the season got underway.
And why did Johnson wait for his ankle surgery?
These guys had no intention playing out the string on a club that entered the season finale with a 3-11-1.
They were embarrassed.
They didn’t want to be associated with the losses.
Problem is, they were. And perhaps a large part of the problem. Just look at the offensive stats this season.
Hopefully one – or both – won’t have that problem next year.
Hopefully one—or both will be gone.
Can’t a team finish 4-11-1 without them?
Andy Furman operates Publicity Enterprises, a full-service publicity/promotions/marketing business, and serves Jake Sweeney Automotive as their Promotions Specialist and Customer Relations Manager. Furman’s This Day in Sports can be heard twice daily on Oldies 1160 WDJO, first at 7:55 a.m. with Dusty Rhodes and also at 4:55 p.m. You can reach Furman at Furman@CinciPulse.com.