Posted: Friday May 10, 2013 5:37 PM

Bengals get started on 2 tight-end offense

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CINCINNATI (AP) - Tyler Eifert lined up here, there and just about everywhere during his first practice with the Cincinnati Bengals. Felt like old times.

The Bengals got started on their new tight end-heavy passing game Friday at the start of a weekend rookie minicamp. A lot of the focus was on Eifert, chosen in the first round to give quarterback Andy Dalton another target.

Eifert lined up in a lot of different spots at Notre Dame. Judging by the first day of practice in Cincinnati, he's going to be doing the same thing in the NFL.

"A lot of the things I'm learning are a lot of the same plays we had in with two tight ends - move me around in different positions,'' Eifert said. "Today I was out in the slot quite a bit. I think I'm picking it up pretty fast.''

With Dalton watching from the sideline, Eifert made a nice one-hand catch during the morning workout, a preview of what he can bring to an offense that's been overly dependent upon receiver A.J. Green.

The Bengals haven't added another proven receiver in the offseason. Rather, they took Eifert with the 21st overall pick, figuring his ability to catch the ball in a crowd - he set a Notre Dame recover for catches by a tight end - will give them some versatility and force defenses to worry about someone other than Green.

Eifert lined up as a tight end on either side and also as a slot receiver during practice. The biggest challenge was learning the Bengals' language for each play and the pass protections.

"I think I picked it up better than I thought I would at first,'' Eifert said. "It's not a whole lot, but it's definitely something new for me. I'm catching on pretty quickly and moving around quite a bit.''

The Bengals would like to use him along with tight end Jermaine Gresham, their first overall pick in 2010. The New England Patriots have shown that a two-tight end approach can keep defenses off balance, provided that both can catch the ball.

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Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay

 
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