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News » Cincinnati Bengals Notes, Quotes 2008-08-04

Cincinnati Bengals Notes, Quotes 2008-08-04

Cincinnati Bengals Notes, Quotes 2008-08-04
--It's a tradition under Marvin Lewis. The first day of full pads at training camp features the live-blocking drill known as Oklahoma, or the nutcracker. One offensive and one defensive player are pitted against each other in a narrow lane -- the offensive player is to block the defender and allow the ball carrier to run through. Many of the matches were draws, with both players doing their jobs. Some were not.

Tight end Reggie Kelly pushed linebacker Rashad Jeanty to the outside. Rookie wide receiver Andre Caldwell impressively moved cornerback Johnathan Joseph out of the way.

Right tackle Stacy Andrews moved rookie defensive tackle Jason Shirley 15 yards downfield with a lightning-fast start. Most entertaining, though, was the enthusiastic response of first-year defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer when a defensive player performed well. Zimmer was all over them, slapping their backs and rear end and top of the helmet.

"Well, what I was trying to do, what I'm trying to do is build some spirit, some togetherness, if I have to do it, I'll do it, I'll do whatever, if I have to be the leader, I'll be the leader," he said. "If one of these guys wants to step up and be the leader, then they will. I want them to understand the emotion we want to play with and the tempo we want to play with and the expectations we play with."

--Strong-side linebacker Rashad Jeanty stood out from his group of black-shirted teammates Thursday afternoon. He wore a numberless orange practice jersey, presented him by defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

"Kind of lead the defense, lead by example," Jeanty said of the jersey's meaning. "It's not necessarily an honor. (Zimmer) just wants to find leaders. It could be anyone. It could be a (college) free agent. Hopefully I led by example."

--The NFL has suspended wide receiver Chris Henry for the first four games of the season. But he is free to sign with any team at any time and could be eligible for the final 12 games. The Bengals waived him April 3 following his fifth arrest as their employee.

--Commissioner Roger Goodell wants a shorter preseason and a slotting system for rookie contracts to prevent holdouts. In a visit to Bengals training camp Saturday morning, Goodell met with the Bengals management team, including club president Mike Brown, and had a 20-minute session with the players. He then had lunch with six selected Bengals players: quarterback Carson Palmer, wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, cornerback Leon Hall, defensive tackle John Thornton, offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth and linebacker Dhani Jones. After his visit Saturday morning, Goodell jetted back to Canton, Ohio, for more Hall of Fame weekend events.

"It would have to be collectively bargained," Goodell said of a system currently in place in the NBA, which prevents draft picks from holding out. The Bengals' first-round pick, linebacker Keith Rivers, the ninth overall selection, is one of two drafted players not signed. The other is Jacksonville's Derrick Harvey, a defensive end taken No. 8 overall.

"We have an issue here and something is wrong with the system, flawed with the system, and we have to address it," Goodell said. "I think it's better for the players, the teams and, most important, for the fans. I think it's a disservice when players aren't in camp. ... My issue is it's clearly having economic issues and it affects all of the players in a negative fashion. It has some non-football issues. Veteran leadership suffers when rookies are paid more than veterans. They are uncomfortable asserting the leadership they should in the locker room."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "They keep going back and forth a little bit. It's a shame, because I think Keith would benefit, and we're well above (in dollars) where we need to be. ... It's something that ought to be very quickly finished and easily finished. We just need to get the other side to engage and say 'let's get this done.'" -- Coach Marvin Lewis, expressing his disappointment that first-round draft pick Keith Rivers, a linebacker, remains unsigned.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: August 4, 2008

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