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Shipley Waived by Bengals, Texans Notes

Jordan Shipley out in Cincy, Texans training camp recap

By Alex Dunlap, 4:53PM, Fri. Aug. 17, 2012

Connor Barwin showing Whitney Mercilus the ropes
Connor Barwin showing Whitney Mercilus the ropes
by Alex Dunlap

Joe Reedy of The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that former Texas Longhorn standout WR Jordan Shipley has been waived by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Shipley spent most of his 2011 season on IR after tearing an ACL in September. Reedy told me at the NFL Combine that he had reason to believe the team had very high hopes for Shipley coming into the 2012 season.

In fact, it was his opinion that the Bengals took into consideration that Shipley would be able to hold down the slot position in 2012, allowing them to ship off a real lemon to Minnesota in WR Jerome Simpson.

Reedy was exactly right. Anticipating an on-schedule return for Shipley to man the Z receiver slot, The Bengals drafted what seemed like the ultimate possession-type complementary receiver to a young star WR in A.J. Green:

They drafted WR Mohammed Sanu out of Rutgers. A player who displayed great production in college, but did not make a reception for more than 19 yards in all of his senior season. The epitome of an athletic, physical posession receiver, and perfect complement to both A.J. Green at the X, and a slot guy like Shipley.

Sanu has not come along quite as planned, and the fight for the Y position is now mainly between Armon Binns and Brandon Tate with Sanu getting intermittent reps.

I spoke to Brennen Warner who has been at most every practice last week. He told me he thought Shipley was going to get waived soon. He said he started out "like a beast" last year (certainly a familiar sentiment to Longhorn fans), but he just hasn't seemed like he had recovered fully. Another familiar sentiment to Longhorn fans.

For years, it was as if Shipley never existed to Longhorn football nuts. I frequent Orangebloods.com as a poster and reader. There was a long-running joke about Shipley being a ghost because no one was sure he even existed.

You would hear reports of monster practices (Texas practices are locked down like Fort Knox), and then it was the hamstring again, or it was a knee. The point is, his injuries have always "lingered."

Once he did become healthy, though, we know the rest of the story. He is, well, Brennen Warner said it best. A beast.

Shipley will now be placed on waivers. That gives other teams the option, in an assigned order, to pick him up. If no team picks him up during this period, he will have cleared waivers. At this point, Cincinnati will have the first option to place Shipley on their practice squad, if they elect not to do so, he would in this case become a free agent looking for a job.

I think if he clears waivers, it will be because of the injury, and I think that Cincinnati would be wise to retain him on their practice squad and give him a year to heal if he needs it. We've seen what he can be when he is healthy, and the Bengals have had a glimpse of it now, too.

Andrew Hawkins is currently slated to start in the position that everyone in the NFL world thought would be occupied by Jordan Shipley in 2012.

Notes From Texans Practice:

- After attending both Saints and Texans practices in consecutive weeks, the first difference I noticed in Houston was the actual size and shape of the players. In a world of scary men, the Saints look like giants and the Texans look like sleek sharks.

It is personnel fitting a system. Sean Payton is a Parcells guy and loves big, space-hogging players. Texans HC Gary Kubiak is a Shanahan guy and likes the zone-blocking scheme and the fast, downhill defenses.

- TE James Casey was used in a variety of roles, but his standing on the depth chart is as starting fullback and second tight end. That basically means Aaron Hernandez.

For you fantasy players, I would take a look at Casey as my backup tight end in the last round. He was more targeted than any Texans WR in 11-on-11 drills and caught the most passes. He lined up at fullback, TE, slot, and split-out wide. He is a surprising athlete to witness live.

- WR Andre Johnson told RosterWatch he doesn't feel like he has anything to prove coming into the 2012 season. He said he wasn't worried about any doubts from critics about his lack of durability. He said that he's still one of the best, "It doesn't matter, NFL players know who's elite. That's what matters."

- I asked Texans rookie DE Whitney Mercilus at the Combine what he thought about being called a one-year wonder. Mercilus did not start until his ridiculous 16-sack junior year, and only had two sacks previously.

He said something clicked, maybe he was holding back before, but "you don't just fall on 16 sacks." He did say after practice Thursday that he is still "a little timid" as a pro, but is definitely improving. Texans DE Connor Barwin is coaching him, and really keeping on him. They are matched-up for every drill together.

- RB Arian Foster says his recovery is better since taking up veganism. That is what he has noticed most about the changed diet as a player. He is an interesting guy. You ask him a question and he just smiles at you and doesn't answer right off.

It's like he's trying to gauge whether or not you think your question is as stupid as he does. He said he does have a big personal goal for 2012 outside of obvious team goals like the Super Bowl. He wouldn't tell us what it was though. When we asked what he thought about being such a prominent player in fantasy football he told us: "My opinion is very, very neutral."

I love Arian Foster.

[Alex Dunlap is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America, the host of RosterWatch on ESPN Radio, founder of Rosterwatch.com, and NFL Columnist for Bleacher Report.]

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