The Cincinnati Bengals finally got the chance to unwrap their new toy. Defensively, there seems to be nothing to worry about.
On Monday, the Cincinnati Bengals finally got a chance to see their shiny new toy in action. John Ross–Mr. 422 in the flesh–checked into training camp for the first time. Fans, players and coaches have been waiting for the day Ross lined up across from an NFL defense. Now, it’s time to see what the speed demon has in store for the 2017 season. Things should get pretty interesting during practices.
Coming back from offseason shoulder surgery, the last thing the Bengals need to do is rush the kid. But, the temptation to turn him loose is always there. The bigger picture and more reasonable expectation for Ross isn’t a quick insertion into the offense. Seeing him on the field against the Kansas City Chiefs would be wonderful. Yet, seeing him writhing on the ground in pain, after a vicious lick from a cornerback doesn’t sound appealing. The young speedster feels the same way.
"“I just want to take everything slowly, I don’t want to rush everything. I don’t think it’s imperative for me to come back right now and play Saturday. It’s important for me to be ready for Week 1.”"
Wiser and truer words have never been uttered. Well, that may be taking it to the extreme. But, when it comes to protecting a huge investment, Bengals doctors and trainers will probably take all precautions with Ross. The thought of his blur-like speed opposite A.J Green against the Ravens is enough to make any true fan salivate. The Homer Simpson impersonations are locked and loaded for the season opener.
Just Don’t Panic
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Let’s be realistic. It’s just the second week of the preseason. Training camp is designed to weed out the weak and infuriate the strong. You know, sorta like those days of picking players for a sandlot game of tag football. So, everything can be taken both literally and figuratively. Some things are done for media purposes and others are…well, the truth.
In any case, Andy Dalton’s interception in the Week 1 trouncing of Tampa Bay was, hopefully, an anomaly. But, Tuesday’s practice was anything but a mirage. According to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com, the defense terrorized Dalton and had a gleeful time doing it.
Paul Guenther unleashed some exotic pressure schemes and the heat was definitely felt. The first teamers looked…overwhelmed. A.J. McCarron and the underlings faired a bit better. But, the defense dominated Tuesday’s practice. McCarron shared his frustration.
"“We’re seeing a lot of stuff right now. They were putting in a lot of stuff for multiple teams at one time. It’s definitely not going to look pretty all the time. But my group did a pretty good job today and we communicated really well. That’s what we needed coming off yesterday when the offense struggled. The communication was great.”"
It may not have looked great at practice, but having the defense on point is a good thing to hear. However, the Bengals’ offense needs to get a handle on the blitzing before Baltimore comes to town.