The Bengals held their annual pre-season media day yesterday, hitting all the usual notes. Owner Mike Brown filled his yearly quota of animal references (“He’s our lead dog” and “more than one way to skin a cat”). Head coach Marvin Lewis repeated that his goal was to win the division. The attendant media mostly played it straight, except for columnist Paul Daugherty, who can’t get over the fact that Chad Johnson is still a Bengal. The scoop of the day belongs to Dayton Daily News sportswriter Chick “The Chickster” Ludwig, who tells us that this was the first time since 2000 that mock turtle soup was served at the event.
Sifting through the PR, I found a few nuggets of interest:
— New defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer may be more liberal with rotations and substitutions than the prior regime, telling the assembled reporters that “[m]aybe we have 22 [players] who can make 11.”
— Rookie WR Andre Caldwell has a shot at taking the kick return job away from WR Glenn Holt. Caldwell had 752 yards on 37 kick returns in college, a 20.3 yard average. Holt averaged 24.3 yards a return last year, including one 100-yard romp for a score, but also fumbled three times.
— RBs Kenny Irons (knee) and DeDe Dorsey (groin) are the only players who aren’t expected to practice when camp opens next Monday.
— Offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski promised to aim more passes at the tight ends, while “role-spotting” rookie wideouts Caldwell and Jerome Simpson