The bye week is a great time for a team to take stock of what changes they need. For the Cincinnati Bengals, it comes at the trade deadline. They clearly need help. Is a deal for DeAngelo Williams of the Carolina Panthers too bold?
Williams getting weeded out in favor of Jonathan Stewart
A 1-5 record has ways of getting a team to change in a hurry. A classic truth about the NFL is that it doesn’t take long for something to stop working on offense. In the case of the Carolina Panthers, it is their zone-read offense led by quarterback Cam Newton. Last season, the team ran and passed the ball with ease behind their rookie star. Running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart joined for almost 1,600 yards and 11 touchdowns. A year makes a big difference. The zone-read, an offense where Newton plays in the shotgun formation and chooses to hand off or keep the ball himself, doesn’t fool defenses anymore. In that it closely resembles the famed Wildcat of a few years ago. As a result, Williams has not had a great 2012 so far. In a move to help the offense, Panthers coaches hinted the team would switch to a power running game with Newton under center. The major difference is Stewart would get the nod as starter instead of Williams. This hints at the possibility that Carolina could faze the 29-year-old running back out of the offense. Perhaps it can also lead to a trade too.
Bengals need more from BenJarvus Green-Ellis to help A.J. Green
Cincinnati can relate to the problems in Carolina. A year ago their defense and running game were the bedrock of their playoff run, while rookies Andy Dalton and A.J. Green grew into Pro Bowlers. Such is not the case this season. The defense has struggled at times while the running game, led by free agent pickup BenJarvus Green-Ellis, can’t find any rhythm. Green-Ellis has run the ball 125 times but for only 431 yards and two touchdowns. That averages out to 3.4 yards per carry. This has put Dalton and Green in tough spots every week and is a good reason why the Bengals are 3-4 going into their bye week. Part of the team objectives include hammering out the mistakes but also maybe finding some help to compliment Green-Ellis, who was never viewed as a workhorse back. The Williams trade idea makes sense here. Despite his age, the Panthers runner brings good vision and speed to an offense. In return Cincinnati could afford to part with a mid-round draft pick or a player Carolina prefers.
DeAngelo Williams has a big contract but no longer has the faith of the Carolina Panthers. The Cincinnati Bengals need a running back, and maybe a fresh start is good for him. If anything it can only help Andy Dalton.
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