<
>

Bengals wake-up call: Three areas to watch

7/30/2014

CINCINNATI -- As the Cincinnati Bengals get going with Day 6 of training camp Wednesday, here are three items we are going to be watching:

Quickening the tempo? Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson told reporters Monday afternoon that, perhaps unsurprisingly, the offense's tempo hasn't quite been as fast as he would like. The Bengals have had just five practices and are just entering the midpoint of their "training camp" portion of the preseason. So there still is plenty of time to get the offense into high gear like Jackson desires. Might we see the pace pick up beginning Wednesday? It is something to watch.

Injury updates: Also worthy of attention will be any injury updates as the Bengals come off Tuesday's off day. Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick's status was enough of a question mark Monday that he missed his second straight practice with a hamstring injury. Veterans Geno Atkins, Andrew Whitworth, Jermaine Gresham and Marvin Jones are among those who haven't practiced this camp, continuing to rehab injuries.

Developing Dennard: With the veteran cornerbacks (Terence Newman, Leon Hall and Adam Jones) rotating off days last week, rookie corner Darqueze Dennard played regularly in place of whichever member of the trio was taking the day to rest. Dennard also has appeared regularly on special teams, working on punt return and kickoff coverage units. Special teams will be the way he and most rookies will primarily see game action this season, but if he continues to cover the way he has early in camp, he might in fact see his share of defensive action this season, too. We'll be keeping an eye on how consistent his play remains this week.