Well, after what transpired today, it’s clear that the Cincinnati Bengals erred in their handing of the Chris Pressley situation.
It might not come back to bite them – especially if the rejuvenated Jeremi Johnson stays healthy (and avoids coming down with a severe case of “fatosis” as running backs coach Jim Anderson likes to say). However, it’s still evident this was a botch job by the front office.
Pressley beat out seventh-round pick Fui Vakapuna in training camp for a spot on the Bengals’ practice squad. Pressley was undoubtedly the better fullback and showed excellent pop when blocking. He was a hammer in the truest sense.
Last week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Pressley off the Bengals’ practice squad and made him an active member of their 53-man roster.
As it turns out, the Bengals should have protected Pressley.
On Tuesday, the team announced it was releasing offensive lineman Scott Kooistra, who was a seventh-round pick in the 2003 draft (Marvin Lewis’ first draft – same draft as Carson Palmer) and played in 82 games with one start during his seven-year career in Cincinnati.
And guess who the geniuses decided to sign and put on the active roster in his place? That’s right, Vakapuna. The guy who was clearly worse than Pressley in training camp and preseason games. Vakapuna was signed off the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad.
So, now the Bengals have the fullback they didn’t want. And he’s not on the practice squad, he’s on the active roster.
Johnson, the starting fullback, suffered what the team (and all us fans) hope is a minor injury in the Bengals’ 45-10 throttling of the Chicago Bears. But that was a week and a half ago! Unless Johnson hid the injury, Cincinnati should have promoted Pressley and released Kooistra immediately after the Bears game.
Pressley just looks like a Lorenzo Neal waiting to happen and now the Bengals have a guy like Vakapuna on the active roster who is not even a good blocker. He doesn’t have the force that Pressley does.
Hey, you know the season is going well when you’re fretting about the backup fullback situation. But the Bengals got egg on their face with this one.