David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Drama over...for now at least.
After signing a three-year, $18 million deal, skipping offseason workouts, missing mandatory minicamp and then sitting out the first few days of training camp with a non-football injury, Smith is back.
The good news is, he doesn't seem to have missed a beat, and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden thinks he's in good shape:
"First time I saw him, I thought he was a lot stronger and bigger...I just thought he looked stronger, bigger. It’s hard for him to be bigger, but he looked more defined and muscular".
The man Smith needs to impress the most is offensive line coach Paul Alexander, and according to Bengals.com, he's doing exactly that:
Offensive line coach Paul Alexander loved his work in short yardage, where the offense looked to be perfect on a handful of tries, and was 4-for-6 on goal line. Even though Smith had't been on the field since January, the Bengals went right behind their tackle most of the time on the short stuff.
"He looked good. He looked ready to go," Alexander said.
Bengals fans can now breath a deep sigh of relief.