The predicted fisticuffs never came to fruition as the Cincinnati Bengals put on the pads for the first time in training camp, with a few after-the-whistle shoves being the extent of the extracurriculars. But it still was a physical, intense session, with the offensive linemen and defensive linemen getting after one another not just in team periods but in one-on-one pass-rush drills.
Pass-Rush Drills Highlight Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp
Regardless of which drill it was, Joseph Ossai flashed. He beat left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. in his only one-on-one rep, and he got around right tackle Jonah Williams a couple of times in the team period.
“It was decent,” Ossai said, downplaying his one-on-one win against Brown. “I have a lot of stuff to clean up. He got me a couple more times in team. Really good work. Really good hand-to-hand combat, strong hands, big guy; once he gets ahold of you, kiss it goodbye.”
“I caught him once. He’s caught me a couple of times,” Ossai added. “It was good work both ways.”
Brown wasn’t referencing his rep against Ossai specifically, but he did caution against scoring the one-on-one battles without the benefit of rewatching the film and without knowing the thought process behind how each player approaches them.
“Those one-on-ones are our opportunity to compete and maybe trying something new, which is what I’m doing normally, just trying different techniques,” he said, adding that he almost enjoys the watching and rooting portion of the drill than the participation.
“That’s one of the better parts of football, moments like that, being able to root for guys like D’Ante Smith, Cody Ford, Trey Hill,” Brown said. “Even in the 11-on-11 periods, we’re sitting back there, and we hear the plays being called, so we kind of know what to expect, who the big block is, taking a mental rep in those situations while you’re still rooting for the guy.”
Williams said he enjoys the simplicity of the one-on-ones.
“It’s more distilled. When you get into the team, there’s more variables,” he said. “Sometimes you can’t really lay a hit on a D-lineman because you’re responsible for a linebacker that’s scraping fast or something like that. When you really distill it down, at some point, it just turns into an Oklahoma drill. It’s just mano-y-mano.”
Rookie first-round pick Myles Murphy took three reps in the one-on-one drill and appeared to win his first one, which was against Cody Ford, but he struggled to get around Brown and Hakeem Adeniji.
“I really do enjoy those one-on-ones, but obviously the team work is more realistic,” he said. “In one-on-ones, you can go inside and go all the way around the world to get to the quarterback, and it’s a sack. But in a real game, if I do that, go all the way inside, Lamar Jackson is gonna go for 60, so I can’t do that.”
“The best part is things are kind of slowing down for me, slowly, with the more reps I get,” Murphy added.
Joe Burrow’s Process
Joe Burrow was not at practice again Tuesday but was in the locker room chatting up teammates afterward. The two hours of practice are all that’s been different since Burrow strained his right calf. He’s still attending all of the meetings, playing a vocal role, and staying involved.
Head coach Zac Taylor was asked before practice if there would be any benefit in having Burrow at practice, even if he can’t participate.
“Maybe if he was a rookie, in his first year, and was seeing it all for the first time. Maybe,” he said. “We watch the tape so much. He’s up there watching every rep, so whether he was out there on the field, watching it live, the only thing he can’t do is hear the communication. But he’s always the one who’s done the communication a hundred more times than our other quarterbacks have. So he’s a part of all those conversations.”
Burrow spends the two hours during practice doing his rehab work inside the stadium when no one is around and there are fewer distractions.
Running Back Reduction
One of the most important position battles in camp lost one of its key competitors Tuesday when running back Trayveon Williams was carted off with a right ankle injury. After practice, Taylor said he didn’t have any information other than confirming it was the ankle trainers were working on.
Williams suffered the injury early in practice and initially just rode the cart to the edge of the field, where he received some extra tape on the ankle, but after a few minutes, the medical staff elected to take him in for further evaluation.
Williams is the leading candidate to fill the Samaje Perine third-down role. An absence of any length will create an opening for Chris Evans or rookie fifth-round pick Chase Brown to win that job.
Odds and Ends
- Hendrickson was back in uniform at practice Tuesday. He didn’t do any team drills or the pass-rush one-on-ones, but he did some position drills. He was running sprints while the rest of the team was doing 11-on-11 sessions.
- Cam Sample had a leaping pass breakup on a screen pass from Trevor Siemian
- Nickel cornerback Mike Hilton had a solid practice with a pair of PBUs in addition to some good coverage against Ja’Marr Chase coming out of the slot, leading to an incompletion.
- Former Bengals punter Kevin Huber stopped by the stadium and took in a good portion of the practice, but he said he has no designs of punting again or going into coaching. He was just there to see familiar faces before playing his next 18 holes.
- Former Bengals tight ends coach Jonathan Hayes also took in the practice.
- In addition to Trayveon Williams, undrafted free agent Devonnsha Maxwell was carted off with an undisclosed injury.
- Reid Sinnett, the quarterback the Bengals signed Sunday to lighten the workload on Siemian and Jake Browning, got his first rep in 11-on-11 work Tuesday. It was a fumbled exchange with the center.
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