Bengals wake-up call: Three areas to watch

July, 27, 2014
Jul 27
11:00
AM ET
CINCINNATI -- As the Cincinnati Bengals get going with Day 4 of training camp Sunday, here are three items we're going to be watching:

Full pads come on. For the first time this training camp, the Bengals will put on shoulder pads and padded practice pants as they step up the contact. It's a new phase of the camp and should step up the energy, intensity and excitement level on the practice fields. Rookies and veterans alike look forward to this day because they can finally hit again. As linebacker Vincent Rey said, "Football is movement and contact. Let's get some contact in."

Oklahoma Drill Day. Few contact-focused exercises are as entertaining in training camp as the Oklahoma drill. In it, a defender tries to beat a blocker and wrap up a ball carrier who is handed the ball from the quarterback. Some players like it, some players hate it. There's a similar split among coaches, too, with all hoping they come out of such drills healthy. It'll be interesting to see which players win which matchups.

Weather a factor? Well, the weathermen got it wrong Saturday. Reports had indicated storms might be a factor during the afternoon. Instead, they rolled through with a vengeance after nightfall. The forecast for Sunday afternoon is much less favorable, according to the National Weather Service. Hail, tornadoes and severe winds could roll through this part of the Ohio River Valley around midday. The threat of severe weather diminishes as the afternoon goes on, but at the very least, the Bengals could get wet ball work as they practice on a potentially wet field. It's worth watching the weather all afternoon because the Bengals don't have an indoor practice facility and would be forced to wait until any severe threats pass. Practice is slated to begin at 3 p.m. ET.

Coley Harvey

ESPN Cincinnati Bengals reporter

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