Today marked the 3rd day of training camp, and after just a few practices, players are beginning to stand out, some expected while others a pleasant surprise, while some things remain the same.
If there’s one thing you learn form these camps, its who really loves their job, and one person who does just that is Mike Zimmer. As soon as practice began he wasted no know time lighting up players for missing assignments during defensive drills. He was by far the most vocal of any player or coach at camp today. One person Zimmer didn’t have to get on was Rey Maualuga. The former All-American from Southern Cal is transitioning well to the middle-linebacker spot after spending his first two NFL seasons at the outside LB.
Another defensive player drawing praise is defensive end Carlos Dunlap. Coach Marvin Lewis has high praise for the 2nd year DE out of Florida: “It’s no secret I wasn’t always pleased with Carlos’ practice effort. But I think we have turned a real corner here maturity-wise. He has become a real leader out there in how to practice and do things right.” The defense needs young guys like Dunlap to step up and improve on his play from last year, when he recorded 9.5 sacks over the last 8 games of the season. If the Bengals are to have any chance of having a .500 or better record, their defense will be what carries them through the season.
- After practice ended, quarterbacks Andy Dalton and Dan Lefevour spent about 30 extra minutes throwing to receivers. Jordan Shipley and AJ Green were part of the extra practice.
- David Pender, the 2nd year CB who was added to the team mid-season after an array of injuries to the teams defensive backs, made several nice plays in practice today. He’ll have a chance to be the nickle corner if Adam Jones doesn’t recover quickly from neck surgery.
- Its also worth noting that Domata Peko spent some time lining up at fullback, which reminds us of this great moment:
As Rey Maualuga walked into practice and signed autographs for fans, he greeted them with “You all have a blessed day”. Rey has clearly become a more humble person since he entered the league.
Marvin Lewis on his new receiving corps:
"I’d say we took a big leap [athletically]. I don’t think we’ve improved, I know we have improved."
Bold words when just last year they had two potential hall-of-famers at WR.