Receivers bubbling

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on May 19, 2010 – 4:38 pm

Third-year wide receiver Jerome Simpson continued to impress on the bubble Wednesday.  He caught a long bomb with a dive, corraling the ball as he tumbled to the ground. He got up gingerly but returned to work … Wide receiver Matt Jones also had another good day catching the ball.

» If you made me pick the six wide receivers now, I’d say The Ocho, Antonio Bryant, Andre Caldwell, Jordan Shipley, and Matt Jones with the last spot being fought between Simpson and sixth-rounder Dez Briscoe.

First of all, I may be way off. Second, they still may have to make room for Quan Cosby and his punt returns because he also doesn’t drop many passes. And third, it’s highly doubtful they’d be able to put Briscoe on the practice squad without another team claiming him. It’s already amazing he was there in the sixth.

» Reggie Kelly was surprised when he got a good look at his 6-5, 261 heir apparent, Jermaine Gresham. From what he’d been reading and hearing, Kelly said, he thought Gresham was just a receiving tight end.

“He’s a physical specimen,” Kelly said. “I think he can be a great blocker.”

» Players like defensive tackle Domata Peko and other insiders are raving about how quick the Bengals are up front on defense, aided by the drafting of Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins.

“I’ve been reading where Zimmer was calling Geno, ‘Taz,’ ” said Peko of the nickname that is short for Tasmanian devil and bestowed on Atkins by defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and defensive line coach Jay Hayes. “I can see that. That’s how he plays.”

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Wednesday quick hits

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on May 19, 2010 – 2:00 pm

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.

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‘I can’t miss much more of this’

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on May 13, 2010 – 12:26 pm

If you weren’t ready for the Bengals season, you will be now.

Reggie Kelly admits in the painful days and weeks after he ruptured his Achilles tendon early in training camp last August he thought about retirement. After all, he would be 33 in 2010, he has his two grade-school children, wife Sheila and several off-field projects waiting.

But when his teammates started stringing together an AFC North title season, he knew he couldn’t stay away.

“When we beat Pittsburgh the first time, that lit a fire underneath me,” Kelly said Thursday after signing a one-year deal. “Then we went to their stadium and beat them a second time. I was like, ‘Man, there is only so much more I can miss. I can’t miss much more of this.’ I’ve just  been excited throughout the season. I’ve been excited in the offseason. I’ve been excited all the way up to this point. I’m just excited about the opportunity just to strap them back up.”

Rehab trainer Nick Cosgray’s successful program also got Kelly hungry to return for an eighth season in Cincinnati and 12th in the NFL because he said he was 100 percent back in December. He probably won’t get right on the field next week and he just may end up easing into it with strength coach Chip Morton’s staff on the side, but that’s only because Kelly says they’ve decided to “err on the side of caution” since he has been cleared.

Kelly said the team has been “very generous” with the deal, saying it protects them from risk and gives him incentives if he hits some play-time milestones. He’s anxious to work with No. 1 pick Jermaine Gresham and Chase Coffman at tight end, a trio that didn’t play at all last year.

 “I want to start. Every football player should want to do that,” Kelly said. “But if I’m backing up, I’ll help the young players all I can. I’m excited about this team and I want to help us win.”

More on Kelly and just how he fits into this offense is headed to later in the day.

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Bengals trying to keep Kelly (and should)

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on April 23, 2010 – 12:57 am


The Bengals didn’t say goodbye to tight end Reggie Kelly Thursday night. But it was just a few speeches short of a testimonial.

They made it quite clear that while they want to re-sign him it is going to be more as a mentor for rookie Jermaine Gresham. A few weeks ago Kelly said he had no problem mentoring a rookie that everyone expected the Bengals to take at some point but he also felt like he had plenty of juice left to start.

So it will be interesting to see if Kelly re-ups. The Bengals need him to go between Gresham and Chase Coffman on the depth chart to provide aid and comfort to two guys that haven’t played an NFL snap between them.

“He’s going to add a dimension to us,” said tight end coach Jon Hayes of Gresham. “We all know Reggie’s been great for us. He’s been a great player for us and he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. I commend him for that, but Jermaine will give us a different dimension. We’ve got to get ways to get better in this business because you guys know if  we don’t we’ll be out the door next.”

If that doesn’t say Gresham is the starter, what does? But the Bengals still need the 33-year-old Kelly’s calm and brains at the position. Who’s going to show the kids? Of the four tight ends on the roster (Gresham, Coffman, Dan Coats, Darius Hill), only Coats has taken an NFL snap.

If anyone knows the value of experience, it is Bratkowski.

“Reggie’s very special. I know that a lot of people didn’t quite see the value in Reggie,” Bratkowski said.  I know more than once, (Jets head coach) Rex Ryan has complimented Reggie in that he said he’s never had an answer for him. He was the one guy, when they played us, because of what we did with Reggie in the pass protection and the run game, he’s given that compliment to Reggie. We think highly of Reggie, and other people do as well. I think that door still may be open. If it is, great.”

If anything, the Bengals need Kelly for the rematch with the Jets.  “Jermaine, let me show you how to protect Carson from Rex,” Bratkowski said.

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