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News » Cincinnati Bengals Strategy and Personnel 2008-08-04


Cincinnati Bengals Strategy and Personnel 2008-08-04


Cincinnati Bengals Strategy and Personnel 2008-08-04
--RG Bobbie Williams continues to get work on the sideline as a center. Coaches say he could be an emergency center or even the top backup to starter Eric Ghiaciuc.


--CB Johnathan Joseph, limited in camp last year because of surgery to correct a stress fracture, is playing on two healthy feet and appears poised to have a big season. He is emerging as the leader of a very young secondary.

--WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, slowed by sore legs toward the end of the first week of training camp, is entering the last year of a four-year deal. Coach Marvin Lewis said a contract extension for Houshmandzadeh, who will be 31 in September, is an organizational priority.

--RB Chris Perry, coming back from a 2007 season spent on the injured reserve list, is getting a lot of work in practice and was busy in the scrimmage and mock game. He appears to be handling the transition back into full contact well and regaining his football conditioning.

--DE Frostee Rucker, getting a lot of work because of the foot injury to starting RDE Antwan Odom, came to camp in much better shape than in his previous two NFL seasons. He said he stayed in Cincinnati and worked hard in the team's offseason program. Even without Odom's injury, the Bengals are counting on Rucker to contribute.

BATTLE OF THE WEEK: No player has emerged as the favorite for the third-receiver spot behind starters T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson. Rookies Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson have flashed, as have veterans Marcus Maxwell, Antonio Chatman and Glenn Holt. But no one has stood out in a complete fashion.

OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Though Stacy Andrews is the starter at right tackle, don't count out 13th-year pro Willie Anderson. Anderson is as healthy as he has been for several seasons, and he is having a strong camp physically and mentally, focusing on what he can do to help the team win without complaining about his depth-chart status. ... Starting FB Jeremi Johnson has yet to practice because he reported to camp much heavier than his listed 270 pounds. Converted TE Daniel Coats is having an impressive camp as the starter.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: LB Brandon Johnson -- Filling in for unsigned rookie first-round pick Keith Rivers, the Arizona Cardinals reject is fitting perfectly into coordinator Mike Zimmer's defense and responding well to the in-your-face coaching of linebackers boss Jeff FitzGerald. Johnson runs well and shoots gaps in the defense effectively.

ROOKIE REPORT: Sixth-round S Corey Lynch has lived up to his college reputation in the first week of camp of making big plays. Lynch had a big weekend, capping his performance Friday night with another interception and two passes broken up in the mock game. Playing nickel for the first time, he was beaten on a touchdown pass. Then he picked off Carson Palmer. "I haven't been comfortable on the field, but these past two days I have been more comfortable," Lynch said. ... Third-round WR Andre Caldwell is getting a ton of work at receiver and on special teams. He is an impressive blocker. ... Fifth-round DT Jason Shirley has shown the ability to penetrate the middle of the offensive line.

INJURY REPORT: Coach Marvin Lewis said WR Chad Johnson, out so far as he rehabs from ankle surgery, could be back on the field this coming week (Aug. 4). Johnson, WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh and RBs Rudi Johnson, Kenny Watson and DeDe Dorsey were among the players who missed the scrimmage and mock game over the weekend.

LB Ahmad Brooks was out Saturday but should be back this week, Lewis said.

No sign yet of FB Jeremi Johnson, who reported much heavier than his listed 270 pounds and has not been allowed to practice.


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

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