Bengals training camp notes


Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

GEORGETOWN, Ky. -- The Cincinnati Bengals opened Day 3 of training camp Wednesday morning.

Here are some observations:

  • Now that Bengals offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski has a veteran unit that's been together for several years, he said this training camp is all about fine tuning an already high-powered group. Many of the offensive coaches this week have been harping on players in practice to focus on ball security.

"The big focal point is to eliminate turnovers, whether it's interceptions, fumbles or whatever it may be," Bratkowski said. "We need to change that if we want to win games, particularly with the schedule that we play."

  • Several veteran players were given the morning practice off. Receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, tackle Willie Anderson and running back Chris Perry were all rested by the coaching staff. Defensive end Antwan Odom (foot) and receiver Chad Johnson (ankle) were rehabbing ailments.

  • Relative unknown receiver Marcus Marcus Maxwell continues to make plays and had another solid practice Wednesday. He caught two nice balls from quarterback Carson Palmer -- one in-between a safety and corner for approximately a 20-yard gain, and another slant route that he turned up field for another good gain. Maxwell is competing for the No. 3 receiver spot and trying to avoid being cut for the fourth time in as many years.

"I take everyday in stride," Maxwell said. "I thank God that I'm just able to be out here and on a team."

  • In the replacements category, third-year player Frostee Rucker is getting work with the first team at defensive end in place of Odom. Third-year veteran Brandon Johnson also is working with the first unit at outside linebacker in place of rookie first-round pick Keith Rivers, who remains in a contract holdout.

  • Starting running back Rudi Johnson has a chip on his shoulder this year, and he's running like it. Johnson has looked sharp all week coming off a hamstring injury in 2007. He slimmed down last year in an effort to increase his quickness but he ended up getting injured. This year he packed on at least 15 pounds of muscle and looks like the Rudi Johnson of old in training camp.

"I'm feeling good," Johnson said with a smile. "I still got a six pack and all that, so I'm still in shape. The clothes fit good. They started fitting different a couple years ago, but now they fit fine."