Friday, August 28, 2009

Chris Henry and Chad Ochocinco

When one considers that my writing career began as a Bengals blogger, it might seem a tad strange that I haven't devoured every second of Bengals preseason games-----I've watched maybe half of the twelve quarters played thus far. But I've seen enough to know that Bernard Scott is one bad mother, as expected. And I've seen enough to know that Chris Henry, as he was in '05 and '06, is positively uncoverable (that can't be a word).

Speaking of Chris Henry, he's the reason I'm writing these words.

In his relentlessly entertaining blog, Mo Egger had this to say about Employee No. 15 following his third straight impressive preseason performance:

-Chris Henry. The numbers this preseason: 13 catches, 217 yards, three scores. He's 26. He's in his prime. He's five years younger than Chad, six younger than Coles. Is he the number one wideout on this team? That's not a shot at Chad, you can do a lot worse than a guy with 8900 yards being the two, but at this point in his career, Chris is more likely to be the one than anyone else.

Mo, I love you, baby, but Chad Ochocinco is unquestionably the No. 1 wide receiver on this football team.

If Chris Henry's strong preseason proves anything, it's that the Lavernues Coles signing was a waste of American cash, as expected.

Anyway, Henry might become the Bengals' No. 1 WR this year, but it will have nothing to do with the age of Mr. Ocho.

(Before continuing, allow me to make a semi-bold prediction: Ochocinco will enjoy his finest season in 2009. People are really forgetting what a special wideout he was from 02-07. He's the only wide receiver in NFL history to lead his league in receiving yards more than two consecutive years...and he did it in four straight -- from 03-06! And in '07, his yardage total was a career high. And now he's healthy. And now he's more motivated than ever before. And he appears to be in the best shape of his career. And Palmer's back. Again, Chad Ochocinco will enjoy his best season this year. Anyone doubting me? Or him?)

For wide receivers, especially lately, age doesn't mean a whole lot. And take a guy like Ochocinco-----he doesn't take a lot of hits, and he doesn't risk injury by blocking folks. With today's heightened emphasis on training, being 31-years-old is no big deal.

And plus, a ton of other WRs have recorded monster seasons at or beyond the age of 31. Examples:

Marvin Harrison had 95 catches at the age of 34.

Torry Holt - 93 at age 31.

Jerry Rice - 122 receptions, 1,848 yards at age 33; 92 receptions at age 40.

Cris Carter - 96 at age 35.

Randy Moss/Terrell Owens - At ages 32 and 35 respectively, both remain a force.

Tim Brown - 91 grabs at age 35.

Rod Smith - 113 at age 31; 85 at age 35

Jimmy Smith - 112 catches at age 32.

Tony Martin (Tony Martin!) - 85 at age 31

Joe Horn - 94 receptions at age 32.

Chris Henry might catch 12-15 touchdowns in '09, but he won't be the team's best receiver.

-Brad Spieser (


RampantRedsFan said...

The difference between Chad and almost all of the receivers that you mentioned as being good at older ages is that all of them were good possession receivers. Chad on the other hand has the hands of a tight end and his speed is what makes him good.

Twin Killing dot Com said...

"Hands of a tight end"

What does that even mean?