Found May 10, 2012 on
Fox Sports Ohio:
A group of rookies, first-year players and longshot dreamers will gather starting Friday for the Bengals' three-day rookie minicamp. By May 22, the full team will be back for three weeks of optional practices and, finally, a mandatory, full-squad minicamp in mid-June.
Following is a look at five areas of question, need or priority for the Bengals as they prepare for a season of great expectations by looking to maximize the type of extra spring work they didn't get a year ago.
SOLIDIFY THE CORNERBACK POSITION
Dre Kirkpatrick was the first of the Bengals' two first-round picks and he'll be the highlight player at this weekend's rookie minicamp. By the end of the month the full team will be on the field for organized team activity workouts, and it will be all hands on deck as the Bengals look for help, depth and playmakers at the cornerback position. Leon Hall is recovering from a torn Achilles, Kirkpatrick and fifth-rounder Shaun Prater are entering an entirely new universe and the Bengals are hoping to get something -- hopefully more than just a little -- from a group of veterans that includes Nate Clements, Jason Allen, Terrence Newman and Adam Jones. Brandon Ghee is in his third year but has played a very small role so far. With the quarterbacks on this year's schedule, this becomes probably the Bengals' most-pressing on-field issue.
"GROW" THE OFFENSE
The NFL lockout last year meant Andy Dalton barely met his receivers before training camp, and all of them were learning a new offense from a new coordinator. This year, Dalton will be treated like a seven-year pro and that coordinator, Jay Gruden, will hope the spring can be used to find strengths and expand the playbook. The Bengals now know they have a star receiver in A.J. Green and can tinker with new ways to get him the ball and to make defenses pay for slanting too much coverage towards Green. There should be a natural progression and increased comfort level for Dalton, and it will be on Dalton and Gruden to use that to benefit the 10 other players on the field when the Bengals have the ball.
BREAK 'EM IN
Rookie minicamp is more about introduction than significant progress, but Kirkpatrick and fellow first-rounder Kevin Zeitler come in as expected starters, and the next three picks figure as immediate contributors as well. Devon Still and Brandon Thompson should earn spots in a deep and talented defensive line rotation, and Mohamed Sanu as a slot receiver should have a chance to be an immediate producer as well. The quicker these guys catch on, get used to their position coaches and get comfortable in their surroundings, the quicker they'll be able to legitimately help when the real games start.
The Bengals hope they end up having more answers than questions at receiver, cornerback and safety, but for now they don't know. The spring should provide an opportunity for the likes of Ghee, Ryan Whalen, Armon Binns, Vidal Hazelton, Robert Sands and Taylor Mays to prove they should at least be in the discussion, if not the plans. Dontay Moch can make up for lost time last year at linebacker and should be a key special teams player at least, and Bernard Scott is facing a now-or-never type of season in terms of playing more than just a bit part of the offense. It's a coach's cliche, but every practice does count.
TAKE A JUMP
On offense, Jermaine Gresham has a chance to put up big-time numbers patrolling the middle of the field and a veteran line can help both Zeitler and Dalton -- not to mention BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the running game. Last year, the Bengals were best when the eight-man defensive line rotation was intact and making plays. Jamaal Anderson and Derrick Harvey come in at defensive end looking to save their careers, and the draft picks should make a solid interior even better. The Bengals are going to have to prove they can handle success and are really ready for the big stage, but this is a solid roster that can make big strides between now and mid-June.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Newly acquired Cincinnati Bengals guard Jacob Bell, an eight year veteran of the NFL, has decided to call it quits. The Bengals signed the offensive lineman on April 12th, but Bell has opted to walk away from the sport he loves. “There were a lot of factors and discussions with my family and myself and I think it was the right decision to be made,” he said.
Bell arrived in...
When the Cincinnati Bengals signed Vontaze Burfict as an undrafted free agent everyone knew they were taking a gamble. And apparently no one knew that more than Marvin Lewis.
Lewis met with Burfict after the draft and shared his comments with the Cincinnati Enquirer:
“You weren’t in shape your last season at Arizona State. Get rid of the selfishness in your play. Learn how to...
It's easy to be conflicted on Terrell Owens. On one hand, he's a self-destructive, irresponsible, absent father with an addiction to attention -- which is probably what landed him on an episode of "Dr. Phil" that taped Monday and aired Tuesday afternoon.
But on the other hand, you have to wonder how much of an impact a difficult upbringing and potential issues...
The Cincinnati Bengals have agreed to a four-year, $2.262 million contract with fifth-round rookie wide receiver Marvin Jones, according to a league source. The deal includes a $162,800 signing bonus. Jones played in the Senior Bowl. The former Cal standout finished with 156 receptions, 2,270 yards and 13 touchdowns. An All-Pac 12 honorable-mention selection, Jones caught 62 passes...
Tight end Orson Charles and safety Tony Dye signed with the Bengals. Charles was a fourth-round pick out of Georgia while Dye was signed as an undrafted rookie out of UCLA. Charles had 94 catches for 1,370 yards and 10 touchdowns in three seasons at Georgia.
Cornerback Shaun Prater and safety George Iloka, both fifth-round picks, signed with the Bengals. Terms were not disclosed. Prater had 171 tackles, seven interceptions and 19 passes defensed in 35 starts over four seasons at Iowa. Iloka had 232 tackles, seven interceptions and 17 passes defensed in 45 career starts for Hawaii.
The Bengals have signed their second-round draft pick(53rd overall), defensive tackle Devon Still from Penn State according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Source: The Redzone Attached Thumbnails
I saved my favorite part of the offense for last. Because we naturally watch the ball, we rarely take a good look at what these guys are doing in live action. But what they do (or don’t do) has a lot of bearing on the success (or lack thereof) of a play.
The line needed of help at the end of the 2011 season, and the front office made a several moves to do just that. They did not...
Terrell Owens and his 3 baby's mamas appear on Dr. Phil
Terrell Owens ended up somewhere you don't want to end up earlier this week. He landed on the set of The Dr. Phil Show. The former NFL wide receiver was there in front of a national TV audience, having to revisit his problems, mistakes and all of that other fun stuff as Dr. Phil tried to talk him through things. It was the latest chapter in what's becoming a very sad story...
Former Cincinnati Bengals safety Chris Crocker visited with the Detroit Lions on Tuesday, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. The free agent defensive back left Detroit without a contract and has a scheduled visit with the Cardinals next and possibly the San Francisco 49ers after that.
The Lions are looking to beef up their defensive backfield following a spate...
According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, free agent linebacker Brandon Johnson is scheduled to visit the Pittsburgh Steelers today.
Johnson joined the Bengals in 2008 after spending his first 2 years in the league with the Arizona Cardinals. He played in every regular season and post season Bengals game since, the longest active streak on the team. Along with generating over...
It’s been reported that both the Cincinnati Bengals and the New York Jets are interested in free agent wide receiver Braylon Edwards, but according to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer he may not get signed until he’s done rehabbing his knee in Miami.
If Edwards does end up getting signed this offseason, which I believe is likely, he’ll probably only get a one-year deal...
So, I watched T.O.’s appearance on Dr. Phil on Tuesday. And it was just sad.
It was sad seeing a man with little maturity and no sense of responsibility in the midst of ruining the lives four innocent children.
Four children by four different women. You have to ask questions about the decision-making abilities of all involved, especially baby mamas 3 and 4, but in the end, it’s...
The draft picks are beginning to make their way into the fold, with four of the ten rookies signed to their first professional deals. More should be joining them soon as the rookie minicamp gets underway this weekend.
It is a wonderful thing to see drafts picks — especially the talented haul of picks the Bengals netted this year — quickly and quietly getting their deals done...