The Bengals held their last training camp practice before their first NFL Preseason game Friday versus the Detroit Lions. The players were in shoulder pads and shorts and did mostly walk-thrus and position drills. They did do some brief offense/defense scrimmage work toward the end of practice. Here are some things of note from today:
- The first person out to practice 15 minutes early was RB Jay Finley. Marvin Lewis recently praised Finley for his play thus far in training camp, and he’ll get his first live NFL action Friday. Here’s what Lewis had to say in his Sirius XM interview:
“Our little runner Jay Finley who we got at the end of the draft I think will make an impact for us…he’s a guy who will make a big difference for us this year, gives us what we were looking for and is that kind of change-of-pace guy that has great speed and the ability to catch a football.”
- Though it was mostly walk-thrus, it was still a spirited practice which began with Clinton McDonald giving a pre-practice speech that got the whole team fired up. Make no mistake about it. This team is hungry and out to prove those at ESPN who ranked them the worst NFL team this year.
- Rey Maualuga continues to transition well into his new MLB role. He’ll be the x-factor for this defense. Too often the Bengals have gotten beat up the middle by big plays via the run and pass and now he’ll look to enforce the middle of the Bengal’s defense.
- The backup QB’s are struggling. I now know why Marvin is giving Dalton most 1st team reps. Gradkowski, Lefevour, and Palmer all struggled to show any consistency going so far. They’re struggling to hit open receivers in drills with no defenders. The success of the passing game will rest on Andy Dalton’s shoulders.
- This team continues to struggle with false start penalties, and its not just the offensive lineman. TE Jermaine Gresham was flagged for false start just as team scrimmages began. The team has to improve from last year on these mental mistakes, as they committed 22 false starts, fourth-worst in the NFL.
- TV coverage for Friday’s game: 7:30pm Bengals at Detroit: Ch. 12 Cincinnati, Ch. 22 Dayton, Ch. 6 Columbus, Ch. 35 Lima, Ch. 41 Louisville