Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden isn’t wasting time in implementing more formations in his offense, and Andy Dalton loved the various formations they used in just the first day of practice:
Dalton raved about how much the Bengals installed in their offense for the first practice, reflecting the experience of a group heading into the third season under offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. Green said he had never lined up in so many different spots during a practice and tight end Orson Charles looked to be playing some offset fullback.
With Chris Pressley still recovering from a season-ending knee injury, expect to see a lot of Charles at fullback, despite being drafted as one of the top TE prospects out of Georgia in 2012.
Joe Reedy was also impressed with the offense, noting how well Dalton was throwing the deep ball:
Two plays of the day and both came on deep routes — Andy Dalton connected with A.J. Green on the first throw of the session and later Marvin Jones beat Taylor Mays and Adam “Pacman” Jones in double coverage to haul it in.
Said Dalton on what changes he has been making on the deep ball during workouts: “I think it’s quickening up the drop or throwing the ball a little higher on different throws and things like that. With the time that we’ve had with the phase before this one getting into OTAs we’ve put in some work and I definitely see an improvement.”
In the much-anticipated debut of the new starting linebacker group, James Harrison lined up at SAM, Vontaze Burfict was at WIL, and we’re saddened to report that Rey Maualuga was in the middle. This isn’t a knock on Rey as much as it is being critical of the coaching staff, who continue to stick a square peg in a round hole in putting Rey in the middle, when he performed much better on the outside. Hopefull at some point, they’ll let Burfict have a shot in the middle while playing Maualuga on the outside, where he played his first two NFL seasons at.
With several offensive lineman out with various ailments, the rookies got plenty of reps. Head Coach Marvin Lewis said Andre Smith’s absence was not related to conditioning issues and that it was other matters that he was taking care of.
Mohamed Sanu, who is recovering from surgery to heal a broken foot he suffered in Week 13 last year, was said to be running well in drills, and looks like he’s close to 100%.
Leon Hall is battling a thumb injury, but could return in time to practice during one of the last few OTA sessions.
Keep up with all of the latest OTA updates here at Stripe Hype, as we’ll keep you posted as news comes down the pipe.