Training camp postcard: Bengals
Posted: Monday July 30, 2007 7:47PM; Updated: Tuesday July 31, 2007 11:42AM
In Georgetown, Ky., a stone's throw from Lexington, the central part of the state, and in the middle of horse country. Great setup for the Bengals here. Four excellent practice fields, a nice, small college stadium and condo-type dormitories 200 yards from the main field. Slightly more comfy than when I covered the Bengals for the Cincinnati Enquirer at Wilmington (Ohio) College in 1984. Back then, I spent many an oppressively humid night in the non-air conditioned dorms in the middle of corn country.
Five Things I Think
1. I think it certainly is odd to see Chris Henry practicing with the team, considering that Pacman Jones was not allowed by the NFL to practice with the Tennessee Titans. Jones has a year-long suspension, Henry eight games; but Henry will practice with the team until the real games start. That's a definite bug in the player-discipline system.
2. I think there is no cause for alarm in Carson Palmer missing practice Monday morning at camp. Palmer and coach Marvin Lewis have a deal worked out whereby on some of the days that Lewis schedules two practices, Palmer weight-trains hard and practices only once. "There's nothing wrong with getting your other quarterbacks a lot of work with the first team," Lewis said. In this case, backup Doug Johnson got the majority of work with the first-stringers, and it is not likely you will ever confuse him for Palmer.
3. Speaking of Palmer, I think all the reports I've seen and heard are that he's had a phenomenally accurate camp so far. His knee has been pain-free. "No issues with the knee whatsoever," Palmer told me Monday. "I was able to do all the normal stuff in the offseason, in terms of throwing and working out that I would do in any normal offseason."
4. I think we should all be a little mind-boggled the Bengals have had such a great player as Palmer on their team for the last four years, and yet, they've finished 8-8 in three of the seasons.
5. I think if you are looking for an impact rookie who will be ready to play opening day on the Bengals, you're looking at smooth-as-silk cornerback Leon Hall, the top pick from Michigan. Watching him cover on the practice field this morning, I thought I was looking at a fifth-year pro, not a rookie in his fifth pro practice. He looks confident and will compete with Deltha O'Neal for the starting job, opposite last year's first-round pick, Johnathan Joseph. Joseph is out with a foot injury right now, but the Bengals expect him to be ready to start the season.