- Coley Harvey, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
CINCINNATI -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Cincinnati Bengals training camp:
The Bengals wrapped up their final practice before their preseason opener, officially spending one hour and 49 minutes working in the hot early-afternoon sun. Unofficially, most of them were out for much longer. It was the additional 15 minutes of practice time that defensive coordinator Paul Guenther was putting his linebackers and defensive backs through, and the extra 10 minutes rookie center Russell Bodine spent working on snaps that caught the majority of my attention. It was interesting, to me at least, to see several assistants putting their players through a few more paces long after the actual practice had ended.
It seemed Guenther and his fellow defensive assistants were working with their players on fine-tuning gap fits and responsibilities. It is little stuff he wants ironed out ahead of the first preseason game at Kansas City on Thursday night. It looked like he was taking some of what had probably been taught in the meeting room, and applying it on the field while he had the group assembled there with space to demonstrate. As for Bodine, his extra work didn't have much to do with his everyday position. He was instead working on long-snapping to punter Kevin Huber. He's not taking over for long snapper Clark Harris. Bodine was only working on it in case the Bengals needed someone to relieve Harris. He might get an opportunity to do that late in Thursday's game.
Tuesday's actual practice was heavy on second- and third-team work as the Bengals enter a game that will primarily feature rookies and backups who are trying to make names for themselves. Quarterbacks Jason Campbell and Matt Scott saw more action than starter Andy Dalton. Jeremy Hill had more touches out of the backfield than Giovani Bernard. The coaching staff knows what its top playmakers can do. Now, it's all about getting the others chances to prove themselves. Receivers James Wright and Jasper Collins were among those who had rather solid practices. Jeremy Johnson also had a couple of noteworthy receptions, including a late catch along a sideline that came after cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick initially tipped it. Fans applauded the concentration. Rookie running back James Wilder Jr. also was used regularly, and seemed to handle the slightly extra load with relative ease.
Tight end Jermaine Gresham spent his second day of practice working often with the first-team unit in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. It was worth mentioning after he practiced primarily with the second- and third-team groups on Monday as he returned from a back injury that limited him early in camp. It's all part of his process of getting back into the flow of playing again. Veterans Marvin Jones and Andrew Whitworth haven't been quite as lucky just yet. Both recently-injured players returned to practice Monday, but unlike Gresham neither has yet participated in an 11-on-11.
Head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed during his news conference Tuesday afternoon that none of the five players who came off the active physically unable to perform and non-football injury lists this week will play Thursday. That group includes Gresham, Whitworth and Jones, and defensive tackle Zach Minter and receiver Ryan Whalen. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins won't be playing, either, as he continues to slowly return to practice from an October ACL injury. Linebacker J.K. Schaffer and offensive tackle Andre Smith and quarterback AJ McCarron remain out injured.
Up next: The Bengals travel to Kansas City for an 8 p.m. ET game Thursday. They next practice Saturday when they host their second and final free and open "Family Day" event inside Paul Brown Stadium.