Head coach Marvin Lewis was pleased with the rookies this weekend and what they were able to accomplish in the time allotted to them:
I think to conclude things it was a very productive five workouts and I got a great feel for the guys we drafted and the extra college free agents we signed. I think it has been a good kickoff to things.
The Vontaze Burfict project got off to a great start with Lewis having nothing but praise for the talented but troubled LB:
He’s done well. It will be great once we get deeper into special teams. In order for linebackers to stay around, they have to be a big-time contributor on special teams. I thought in the three days of special teams work we’ve had out here, he’s done a nice job of picking up the assignments. He’s in great football position. Those are things that, if you watch the tape of him you see him do it two or three times a game. Now you’re seeing him do it three plays in a row. That’s the key. He’ll be fine.
He was especially pleased with Rutgers WR Mohamed Sanu, saying that he believes Sanu will make a strong push to be a starter. He also praised California WR Marvin Jones and his ability to track and compete for jump balls:
I thought Sanu was everything we expected him to be. He’s going to be able to come in here and play right away as a rookie. He’s going to push to start and for playing time. Marvin, to me, really had a great five practices, a great camp. His ability to be a returner as well will stand out. His height, his ability to go catch and compete for the ball. He really tracks the ball well in the air. You see his speed compared with that size – that’s big.
Lewis was very pleased with Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick and how he was able to take every snap at all 5 practices this weekend. After starting out slow during Friday’s practice in which he was beaten deep several times, he rebounded the last two days to show why he was the Bengals’ #1 overall selection. Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer also had high praise for Kirkpatrick:
He likes to press and the things he has to get better at are his off-coverage and those are correctable things. If a guy understands technique, it’s easy to do if he’s in the right position. That’s what we’re trying to get him to understand. Where he’s supposed to be. His speed doesn’t worry me. He was better today than yesterday and that shows you something.
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