Thursday, June 18, 2009
Bengals minicamp notes
By James Walker
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals concluded their first day of mandatory minicamp, which will run until Saturday.
Here are some Day 1 observations:
- It was good to see quarterback Carson Palmer throwing again effortlessly and without pain. The Bengals kept their star quarterback on a pitch count Thursday, which is in line with the entire offseason plan. Palmer participated fully in the morning practice but was limited to only one dump-off pass in the afternoon session.
- Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco looks impressive. It appears he's added some definition to his upper body and is cat-quick out of his breaks. He also caught a pair of beautiful deep balls and was hard to cover throughout the two practices. If Ochocinco maintains this level of dedication and work ethic this offseason, he's going to be a headache again for opposing defenses. He also predicted the Bengals would make the playoffs this year.
- The funniest sequence of the day involved Cincinnati middle linebacker Dhani Jones in the morning practice. First, Jones was engaged in a block from center Kyle Cook when the two got a little too excited for non-contact drills. The violation of space resulted in Jones and Cook fighting for a short time before teammates broke up the scrum. Two plays later, Jones got sweet revenge with a pick-six off of Palmer.
- Veteran safety Roy Williams worked with the first team at safety Thursday along with Chris Crocker, while Chinedum Ndukwe played on the second team. Williams is a big hitter but his biggest question mark will be pass coverage if he remains in the starting lineup.
- Thursday was the first practices for fullback Jeremi Johnson, who is a former starter but has been battling weight issues. It still appears he has some work to do to get to his ideal playing weight.
- Bengals starting defensive end Robert Geathers (knee) and Marvin White (knee) both sat out the first day and most likely will not be available for the entire minicamp. Geathers, who had micro-fracture surgery this offseason, said he's confident that he will be ready for training camp.
- The Bengals signed seventh-round draft pick Freddie Brown to a four-year, $1.787 million contract on Thursday.