Three-hundred, thirty, and a-half miles from Canton, the Bengals closed the first chapter of their preseason as the final week of training camp in Georgetown, Kentucky at Georgetown College wound down.
The mixed-bag of heavy acquisitions—creating the deepest team in recent memory—coupled with the reality of injuries has Bengals' supporters apprehensive but confident at the same time. Only a Bengals fan could know what this means.
Now, as the Bengals move into Paul Brown Stadium, the question remains: what will truly become of the Bengals when the season begins?
(Photographs Courtesy of The Cincinnati Enquirer/Joseph Fuqua III/Jeff Swinger; Dayton Daily News; The Associated Press)
Brian Leonard received good news that his season is yet to be over. After clear fear and anxiety that the worst had occurred, the training staff in Cincinnati proved that their initial diagnosis was correct: a mid-foot sprain. Leonard is expected to return after week two of the regular season.
When Marvin Lewis was asked about Smith this week, Lewis was clearly calm but curt in his response.
"Andre's going to figure out how to become a pro and do things the way it's asked to do all the time," Lewis said. "Hopefully he continues to do it in a timely fashion. Because otherwise, I'm not going to go through this year in and year out," said Lewis as reported by the Associated Press.
Rey Maualuga has returned to form and will continue his quest to take over the middle linebacker position currently occupied by Dhani Jones.
As reported in The Cincinnati Enquirer by Joe Reedy:
Said Bratkowski when asked if Jordan Palmer was challenging O'Sullivan for the backup spot: "I think he's giving it a fair challenge. He's trying to get to that spot. I don't think anything's etched in stone. If you go in and perform, you have a chance to improve your status."
Maybe and maybe not.
With no end in sight to Antonio Bryant's knee ailments, the Bengals "other" new addition to the wide receiving core is trying to hide in plain site.
Said Bryant (according to The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy: "I'm just trying to be forgotten. It's hard to forget $7 million but it will be worth it. As soon as I put my feet on the ground (he was riding a Segway while talking) it will be more than worth it."
The kicking game should be getting interesting once again as Nungent returns to the competition. Rayner made some progress but the job seems to be very much an open issue.
Otis Hudson collapsed as he was lining up for a play in camp on August 12th. Though it is suspected to be heat exhaustion, not much is being said as to the cause.
TO and Carson Palmer continue to close the gap of understanding and skill as TO caught a 50-yard touchdown pass in practice. Timing is quickly being synchronized and as each step gets closer, the team gets more prepared for whatever may come.
Jordan Shipley continues to impress and make strides as the Bengals receiving core is looking deeper and deeper as this preseason continues.
Skuta is listed as a linebacker yet he will be showing some of his high school backfield experience as he moves to running back as a possible offensive contributor this coming season.
Friday, August 13th ended the first phase of training camp for the Cincinnati Bengals. The team now moves 76 miles north to Cincinnati, Ohio and the friendly confines of Paul Brown Stadium (and the practice field outside). Moving home brings the team only that much closer to the start of highly anticipated season to come in 2010.
Dayton, Ohio will get a glimpse of the coming Bengals team as Welcome Stadium—usually occupied by the University of Dayton Flyers NCAA subdivision team and high school athletes—welcomes the Bengals. Fans of the Bengals can see the team practice.
As reported by Ken Paxson of the Dayton Daily News:
"The Bengals will come to Dayton’s Welcome Stadium on Sunday, August 22 for a practice beginning at 3:30 p.m., according to a press release from the team. Gates at the stadium will open at 2 p.m.
The practice is free, but an admission pass is needed for entrance into the stadium. Passes will NOT be available at Welcome Stadium, but can be picked up (limit to 6 per customer) at the Fifth Third Field Box Office.
Given capacity of the stadium, only 11,000 passes will be distributed, on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Fifth Third Field Box Office will be open from 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday, until passes run out. No phone orders will be accepted. A $10 parking fee per car will be required at Welcome Stadium on practice day, benefitting the Dayton Public Schools and Dayton Dragons MVP program."