GEORGETOWN, Ky. – After Wednesday night’s practice offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski indicated the first-team offense is going to get more snaps this Sunday night against Denver at Paul Brown Stadium than it got in the Hall of Fame Game against the Cowboys.
Quarterback Carson Palmer’s group wasn’t good, but he also didn’t think they were “miserable,” and Bratkowski pretty much isolated his concern from Canton as well as for the rest of the season. The pass-protection wasn’t sharp.
“He had some pressure. In essence that is going to be the key to our pass game; the protection,” Bratkowski said. “In many cases the reason we did what we did last year was to help that young group out and to run the ball and not put a lot of pressure on them to drop back and throw it all the time. We’re improving as a pass-protection unit, but they still have a ways to go.”
Bratkowski thinks things would have looked better if the first-teamers had 15 of 20 snaps, although he’s not exactly sure how many they’ll get against the Broncos. He liked some of the things they did, although he said the four of Palmer’s five passes headed to wide receiver Terrell Owens were not designed and were dictated by coverage that shifted to wide receiver Chad Ochocinco.
“I think we had 14 practices prior to that game and Dallas had somewhere around 26. They were a little ahead of us. Give us another 15 to 20 plays on offense and we’ll see what happens,” Bratkowski said.
Take Wednesday night. The Bengals were much sharper passing the ball compared to a comatose effort in the morning. The no-huddle looked crisp and Palmer hooked up with The Ocho and Owens on some long plays. The Ocho made a particularly nice grab over the middle in which he fended off cornerback Johnathan Joseph and safety Roy Williams and then broke away from them toward the right sideline.
SLANTS AND SCREENS
» Defensive tackle Tank Johnson sat out the evening practice in shells after working in the morning in pads while fellow starter Domata Peko flipped the workouts.
» Cornerback Adam Jones, nursing a couple of nicks, practiced, both sessions. Rookie cornerback Brandon Ghee didn’t but thinks he can play Sunday.
» Bengals Hall of Famer Anthony Muñoz arrived on campus with an arm in his sling after some extensive shoulder surgery, a gift from his 13-year-playing career. The procedure came at a tough time. Muñoz has never missed a Hall of Fame induction since he went in back in 1998, but he had to bow out of this one because he was just a week removed from the operation.
Tough because he wanted to be there for former Bengals head coach Dick LeBeau’s induction and while he doesn’t usually stay for the game, he would have watched the Bengals play the Cowboys. Now he’s prepping for his 13th season as the TV analyst on the Bengals preseason games and Sunday night’s debut with new play-by-play man Dan Hoard on Channel 12. If the 7 p.m. game isn’t sold out by the Thursday deadline, it will be tape delayed at 11:30 p.m.
“I’ve worked with Dan doing high school games and I know he’s excellent. If he can tolerate me we’ll be OK,” said Muñoz, who worked for several years with Paul Keels. “I got spoiled with Paul but I know Dan will do a great job.”
Hoard, the radio voice of University of Cincinnati football and basketball, is taking a break from his play-by-play duties with the Triple A Red Sox in Pawtucket, R.I. Keels, the radio voice of Ohio State football and basketball, is tied up with calling the Reds on Fox Sports Ohio.
Tags: Bob Bratkowski, Brat calls for protection
Posted in Hobson's Choice | 20 Comments »