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Is Chris Perry The Bengals' New Starting RB?

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I missed this report from earlier in the week, but it's obviously important

Coach Marvin Lewis is praising Chris Perry, who would be the starting running back if the season started today, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Lewis said, "I do see Chris being very confident, and I think Chris feels like he's the starting running back and he feels good about that. Right now that's how we'd probably start the regular season. He feels good about it and he's exhibiting that on the practice field as well, not only in the games he's played but in the way he's practiced." (emphasis mine)

This might just be Lewis trying to motivate Johnson into stepping up his game, but I don't think so.  The Bengals have enough problems without having to coddle Rudi, and Marvin Lewis isn't known for his mind games.

The Bengals saw how well Kenny Watson did last season (763 rush yds, 7 TDs) and he was just the unheralded backup.  Most people forget that Chris Perry was a first round draft pick (26th overall) in 2004.  The guy (supposedly) has talent even if we've never seen it.

I wasn't going to draft Rudi Johnson this year anyway, but now I'm thinking Chris Perry would make a sneaky-good late choice.