Bengals Think Eric Wright is “One of the Better Corners”

Heading into their Week 4 matchup with the 0-3 Cleveland Browns, it would be assumed that the Cincinnati Bengals are licking their collective chops.  Even more so, the Bengals are a team that boast several play-making weapons on offense and said weapons are obviously well aware of what Baltimore did to cornerback Eric Wright one week prior. 

But regardless of Wright’s struggles and his team’s weapons, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is not about to rest on his laurels as he makes the trip up state route 71.

“Eric’s a good football player,” said Lewis via conference call. “Like most people that play that position, they have some good days and some not-so-good days.  He’s got to take a deep breath and take a step back – what you did last week has zero bearing on this week, positive or negative.”

Unfortunately for Wright, the negatives far outweighed the positives as he was the victim of three Joe Flacco-to-Anquan Boldin touchdowns as the Ravens topped the Browns, 24-17.  Wright was quick to own up to his shortcomings, admitting that he had a terrible game – one that some fans compared to LeBron James in Game 5 of the playoff series against the Boston Celtics. 

The big difference will be that James “took his talents” elsewhere and Wright will have a shot at redemption.  He will undoubtedly have his hands full this week as the Bengals will come to town with not only Chad Ochocinco, but his new partner in crime Terrell Owens.  It is speculated that Sheldon Brown will draw Owens in coverage due to his size and physical play, which means that Wright will have to deal with Ochocinco for most of the contest. 

On the season, Ochocinco has 20 receptions (eighthmost in the NFL) for 239 yards and a touchdown.  The man who has gotten him the ball all 20 times is Carson Palmer, he of the multiple Pro Bowl nods.  And to no surprise, Palmer has seen the tape that Eric Wright wishes did not exist.

“I’m not sure if it’s the worst game of his career, he was in a couple tough positions,” said Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer.  “One play was on a cover zero where there wasn’t any pressure on the quarterback and he was kind of hung out to dry.” 

Thankfully for Wright, Palmer has nothing but glowing remarks about the cornerback’s skill set.

“He’s been a very good football player since he was in college and I’ve played against him a handful of times,” Palmer continued.  “He’s quick, he’s fast, has a good eye for the ball and can cover guys one on one.  He’s everything you want in a corner.”

As Craig pointed out earlier this week, rookie cornerback Joe Haden is just waiting in the wings to take over a starting spot.  Ideally, however, Wright is the guy that starts opposite of Haden in future seasons as veteran cornerback Sheldon Brown in north of 30-years old. 

But will Palmer be looking to pick on Wright this week to see if there is any hangover from the Baltimore game?

“I think he’s one of the better corners, especially in this division that we face on a two-times per year deal,” said Palmer.  “At no point is he a guy that we look at as a weak link.”

(Photo Credit: Joe Rubino)

  • Lyon

    Well if it doesn’t work out, they better be willing to try Haden.

  • Harv 21

    Way more attention than Eric Wright has gotten in 4 years in Cleveland. So there’s that.

    Imagining meetings in Cincy this week where Sherman Lewis keeps begging Ocho and Owens, “When they ask you about Wright, shut up, please just shut…up!”

  • subadai

    “One play was on a cover zero where there wasn’t any pressure on the quarterback and he was kind of hung out to dry.”

    -Carson Palmer

    That’s what’s on “The Tape” Browns fans. We have GOT to start getting pressure on the QB. Especially this week cause Palmer is a guy that has proven he will throw picks when he gets pressure up the middle. Opposing players see the real problem. Wish more of us could.

    That being said, I’m not worried about Wright this week b/c right now neither Nacho Stinko nor TO are as nearly good a Boldin is right now.

  • Mark

    If you’ve seen Palmer and the Bengals at all this year, you know he’s not the same QB as he used to be. His arm is shot. He can barely get the ball out to his recievers. If they had anyone else to play QB they might have to think about it.

    I think our DB will have a pretty good day. Stop the run. That should be the focus. If we do that well we can win this game. I think Wright will bounce back.

    I like the Browns in an upset.

  • ben

    I said this in one of the after-game threads:

    Eric Wright is a good corner back. Boldin is an elite wide receiver. If Boldin DIND’T light him up, it would be noteworthy. The fact that is played out exactly as it should have is business as usual.

  • sealedhuman

    That’s a good point, Ben.

    I just wish that our coaching staff would have given him some help. A free safety double team after Boldin caught his second touchdown reception would have probably helped tremendously.

  • Mark

    @ben – yes, I agree that Boldin is better than Wright an should have an advantage. An 8 catch 144 yard 3TD advantage? No, I don’t think so. You rarely see a WR have that kind of a day against a #1 corner. Wright was awful and Ryan schemes did nothing to bail him out. It shouldn’t have gone down like that.

  • S-Dub

    this whole Wright over reaction is crazy. We have terrible safety play against the pass and Wright had a miserable day. Let’s move on. Because our CB’s are one of the only bright spots on this teams.

    Carson Palmer is terrible. Lets stop acting like he’s anything near a Pro Bowl QB. He may not be better than Delhomme at this point. I bet Wright or Sheldon take one to the house. Book It!

    Did there really need to be a LeBron reference in an article talking about our corner’s bad play? Bush League.

  • Cavalette23

    Let’s Go #TeamWrighteous!!!!!!

  • mgbode

    Wright has always played well against Ocho. So, this should be a good week to ‘redeem’ himself anyway.

    Actually, before Wright, Bodden was one of the best against Ocho. One of the many reasons I’ve always thought Ocho has been overrated is that Browns CBs have always shut him down well.

  • Titus Pullo

    According to Tony Grossi’s story today, Ochocinco has 11 career touchdown catches against the Browns, the most against any team in the league. So I’m not so sure the Browns ahve “always shut him down.”

    Of course, that will change come Sunday.

  • mgbode

    hmmm…perhaps my mind has some revisionist history in it then. i’ll check up on at least those 2 guys. thanks.

  • mgbode

    why do we always play the Bengals in week4? NFL scheduling SW seems to like to do that the past few years. anyways, here is Ocho vs. the Browns in the past few seasons:

    week12 2009 – 3rec 38yds 0TDs

    week4 2009 – 3rec 24yds 2 TDs
    *one of which was a 1-handed grab upheld after challenge
    *definitely not shut down, but he ‘only’ scored TDs

    *did not play late 2008 vs. Browns

    week4 2008 – 3rec 28yds 1 TD
    *just about shutdown

    week2 2007 – 11rec 209yds 2TDs
    * he dominated

    week16 2007 – 4rec 44yds 0TDs
    * shutdown

    So, besides “the Derek Anderson” game in 2007, we have relatively shut down Ocho except that we have some troubles with him in the red zone.

  • Gren

    Didn’t Wright have 2 almost picks last week or the week prior ? He had a bad game, he had a good game, had a meh game.

    ‘Don’t you see how it all evens out for me?’

  • Stinkfist

    Week 2 in 2007 doesnt count. Neither defense woke up in the morning. but good stat-digging

  • Mark

    @Gren – You’re Even Steven!

  • Shamrock

    Wright has never been as good as he thinks I love how Cincy is setting him up. They just want to make sure he remains in there so they can Boldin him all over the field.