The Bengals welcomed some old friends to the practice field for the second time, with the Mike Zimmer led Minnesota Vikings.
It was a hot practice. That didn’t keep the Bengal’s fans away, though! The heat could be the reason the practice ended 45 minutes early. It could also be that both teams were more concerned with having their players get up after each play and back into the locker room after yesterday. Even with a short practice, I was able to make some big observations about the 2016 Bengals.
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The offense struggled in the red zone. Keep in mind, this is skewed because they were in shorts and didn’t run the ball. Dalton was flushed out of the pocket and was forced to a throw away (that came right at me!) and on the next play missed A.J. Green in the back of the end and the frustration ensued. Bengal’s beat writer Paul Dehner Jr. had a better view than I did:
That being said, the offense didn’t get in the end zone once on red zone drills (starting at the 20).
Even though they struggled in the red zone, it looks like Cody Core and Tyler Boyd have developed great chemistry with Andy Dalton. Between the 20’s, both receivers were able to find open holes in the Vikings defense when A.J. Green was double-teamed often, during the practice.
It should be noted that Margus Hunt got a lot of first-team reps today, but didn’t do much to “wow” anyone in his time.
Teddy Bridgewater came out strong, completing two passes over the middle for about four to five yards each. After that, the D-Line caused as much havoc as you can in this type of scrimmage. Viking quarterbacks were flushed out of the pocket often. Carlos Dunlap worked against former teammate Andre Smith and batted down a ball.
The special teams’ work was as bare minimum as teams could get. Both units worked on onside kick drills and a few punts. The day before the first preseason game, I’m sure both teams’ main focus was getting in and out with no injuries.
Friday’s preseason game will give us a better feeling of who is going to be contributors on this star-studded 53-man roster. The receiving core is one to keep an eye on. Friday may be the last chance for Jake Kumerow, Rashuan Simonise, and James Wright.