Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham is a nominee for the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week for his nine catches, 85 yards and TD last Sunday against the Colts. Please vote for Jermaine here.
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After Wednesday’s voluntary on-field sessions at Paul Brown Stadium, cornerback Adam Jones took questions from the media for the first time in his Bengals career and assured reporters, “I’m not going to give you guys much to write about.”
He was talking about off the field. On the field he continues to impress. Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer said after practice, “So far, so good … he’s been disciplined. He’s done everything we’ve asked.”
And that’s where he says he’s going to contain his swagger.
On the field.
“I’m never going to lose my swagger on the field,” Jones said. “If you see me out there, I compete every play. If I don’t make the play, I’m upset with myself. That’s the kind of swagger I’m talking about. I’m not talking about a swagger with your pants down or nothing like that. I’m talking about on the field. If I’m not playing with a swagger on the field, I don’t think I need to be out there.”
He knows all eyes are on him, so Jones dismisses the notion it easier for him to live and play in small-market Cincinnati after he couldn’t make a go in glitzy Dallas.
After his second day throwing against him, quarterback Carson Palmer compared Jones’ quickness out of his backpedal to Steelers Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu.
“Not too many guys are like that,” Palmer said. “You can’t be late throwing to his side.”
“That closing speed is very rare. It reminds me of Troy and there aren’t many guys that have that first two or three steps and are at full speed.”
After living through Chris Henry and Cedric Benson and Tank Johnson, Palmer’s mind is wide open. After talking to the return artist formerly known as Pacman, he says, “I like him.”
“Playing here you learn to give guys the benefit of a doubt and there are guys here that have been through a lot of things,” Palmer said. “ A lot of things have been said by people who don’t know that individual. Things have been said about Pacman and I’m not letting that make that. He is who he is and has tried to learn right away and compete. Everything else that has been in his past I’m not going to let that make my mind for me.”
» Veteran tight end Reggie Kelly has already bonded with No. 1 pick Jermaine Gresham in his first week back since signing his one-year deal. Kelly was extremely impressed that when he was in the weight room Gresham came in with rehab specialist Nick Cosgray and asked to be introduced to him. And even though Kelly is still not working on the field yet (Achilles), he says he spent time with Gresham out there Tuesday after practice.
“Reggie will be in his ear,” said Palmer, who recalled how instrumental Jon Kitna was to his career during his rookie year. “It was great to draft the guy we drafted. The best move was to bring Reggie back.”
Rookie defensive tackle Geno Atkins flashed enough in one 11-on-11 set that former Bengals defensive tackle John Thornton says he would have had three straight sacks at one point … Zimmer has got his guys all over the place. SAM linebacker Rey Maualuga played some in the middle and also blitzed off the edge … The Bengals aren’t playing a 3-4, but there are 3-4 principles with guys like ends Robert Geathers and Michael Johnson standing up … Johnson is also working with the backers as a SAM.
» Joining Kelly on the side rehabbing were right end Antwan Odom (Achilles), safety Chris Crocker (foot), safety Tom (Nelson) knee, SAM linebacker Rashad Jeanty (leg) and defensive tackle Pat Sims (arm). Don’t look for Jeanty and Sims until training camp … Fourth-round pick Roddrick Muckelroy and wide receiver Chad Ochocinco weren’t here. Right tackle Andre Smith (foot) wasn’t on the field as he still rehabs from surgery.
Tags: Adam Jones, atkins, gresham, kelly, quick hits
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Jay Norvell says we’re going to be surprised when we get our first look at Bengals No. 1 pick Jermaine Gresham, the Oklahoma tight end expected to meet the Cincinnati media for the first time at about 5:30 p.m. Friday at Paul Brown Stadium.
“He always surprises people when they meet him in person. He’s a big, big man,” said Norvell, the Sooners passing game coordinator. “When he got back from the combine, I asked him, ‘They were surprised at how big you were, weren’t they?’ He just smiled and said they were. He’s easily 265 pounds and 6-5 and he’s got those big rangy arms.”
The Sooners may have had three of the top four players taken in Thursday night’s first round and two of them were quarterback Sam Bradford and tackle Trent Williams, but it was Gresham that Norvell says “changed us as an offense.”
“We were a spread offense and he gave us the flexibility to go double tight ends and run the ball more,” Norvell said. “Yeah, we had the quarterback and some great linemen, but Jermaine’s versatility allowed us to be so flexible and yes, no question, we were able to go more no-huddle because of his ability to give us heavy formations and he could also split out and be dominant in the matchups with linebackers and safeties.”
Norvell should know. He coached NFL tight ends for six seasons, four with the Colts and two with the then AFC champion Raiders from 1998-2003. He is not comparing Gresham to future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez, but only comparing his style since he saw Gonzalez for two years in the AFC West.
“He’s a classic power forward type of athlete,” Norvell said. “He can run the two routes that separate tight ends in that league. The down-the-field seam routes and deep corner routes. There aren’t many guys that can do that and in-line block.”
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