“The bottom line is as skill players, they want the ball,” Monken said Tuesday. “Let’s just say it like it is. Running backs want touches. They want a chance to showcase their abilities. Receivers want the ability to showcase their talents. Quarterbacks want to throw it [and] want a chance to showcase their abilities. But, this isn’t baseball where I step into the batter’s box and I have my opportunity. This isn’t basketball where I can create my own shot.
“As receivers, you’re dependent on a lot of factors to get the ball. You can play really well and catch three balls for 50 yards. And you can play poorly and end up with eight catches for 100 yards and to the naked eye, you think you’ve had a great game.
“Bottom line is we’ve got to do it better [and] we’ve got to practice it better, so when the opportunities come up, we hit those. It’s all of us. It doesn’t matter what position, but there is only one ball. I told the guys, ‘There’s only one ball.’ When you’ve got multiple skill players that are capable of making plays usually someone is being pulled to the podium and someone is upset. That’s just the way it works. I mean there is only one ball. That’s the way it works. DeSean is a really good football player and we do everything we can with all of our players to put them in a position to be successful. We’ve just got to continue to work at.”
Tight end Tyler Eifert hasn’t been to practice since Week 2, and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis declined to give an update on Eifert’s timetable. Eifert has been dealing with a back issue, similar to last season’s problem that put him on injured reserve. The Bengals are on a bye next week, which could help his chances of a return in the future. — Katherine Terrell