CINCINNATI -- Preseason games are usually boring, uninteresting, uneventful and, aside from perhaps five plays in the first quarter, are mostly lacking in entertainment value.
That might not be the case in Cincinnati this weekend. If New York Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson gets his way, there ought to be a few fireworks going off inside Paul Brown Stadium on Saturday night.
Five days after Richardson told his team's website that he felt the Jets needed retribution this weekend for last season's 49-9 regular-season defeat against the Cincinnati Bengals, two Bengals players embraced the comments, saying they will be glad to see an opponent who doesn't plan on taking them lightly.
"That's good," Bengals Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth said. "We want their best. Sometimes for older guys -- especially myself, who have played as much as I have -- it's kind of disheartening when you go out there and guys are playing, but not really playing. You want people to bring their best. You want to get better. That's what [the preseason] is for."
Whitworth was responding to comments Richardson made Saturday when, according to the Jets' website, he said, "We owe them one. We owe them one big time."
Richardson continued, adding: "That was pretty much the only team that dog-walked this defense like that."
The Bengals dominated both sides of the ball that October afternoon. Receiver Marvin Jones, who won't be playing Saturday because of a foot injury, caught a franchise-record four touchdown passes in the game. Quarterback Andy Dalton completed just 19 passes, but he threw for 325 yards and the Bengals racked up 402 total yards. Cincinnati's offense was so strong in the red zone that it converted five of its six series that made it there into touchdowns. The defense was so stout that it didn't allow the Jets a red-zone possession.
"That game got really out of hand at one point," Bengals defensive end Margus Hunt remembered Wednesday.
It was the ugliness of the game that had Whitworth unfazed by Richardson's comments.
He knows teams often remember the bad more than they remember the good.
"You remember the last time you played a team and how it went. It sticks in the back of your mind," Whitworth said. "It doesn't mean they're going to come out and do something cheap or something different. It just means they remember that, 'Hey, last time these guys got the best of us and this time we plan on reversing it.'"
Even though it is the preseason and he doesn't anticipate Richardson to play for long, Hunt still is glad to hear the emotion coming from his fellow defender.
"We need that," Hunt said. "We need to be physical and we need to match their physicality or set the physicality first and foremost. We need to be the aggressors and we need to set the tempo."
Despite knowing they will only see New York's first-team units for a few plays in the first half, the Bengals hope to still match the intensity they had last October. The trick, Whitworth added, will be maintaining it all game with the second- and third-team groups seeing action.
"For these young guys it'll be a good opportunity to get in there and play against a [good] group -- [Jets head coach] Rex Ryan's D-lines are always going to be some of the best you're going to play," Whitworth said. "They're excellent with their hands, they're physical. Every year they're a great-run defense, and it'll be no different this year."