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Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp Update: Welcome to the NFL, Andy Dalton

August 3rd, 2011 at 6:34 AM
By Chuck Chapman

Andy Dalton never saw this at TCU. Tuesday night, defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer unleashed the hounds, sending his defense on multiple blitz looks to confuse the rookie quarterback. It worked. Dalton looked perplexed against the Bengals defense that was showing him a variety of different blitz looks. Too often, he was caught holding the ball too long and either taking a sack (or what passes for one in training camp) or being forced into a hurried throw. 

Still, quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese was encouraged by the rookie. "We got ours, too," Zampese commented, referencing a beautiful deep ball Dalton completed to Jerome Simpson who went up over two defenders to make the catch. Zampese was pleased that his young quarterback got an opportunity to see some real NFL defensive looks and now has something to work on.

The happiest man in camp Tuesday had to be offensive line coach, Paul Alexander. Entering Tuesday's practice, the Bengals were still reeling from the loss of Deuce Tatui and concerned about their depth. By the end of practice, that had been addressed as the Bengals signed former Philadelphia Eagles guard, Max Jean-Gilles. Jean-Gilles brings versatility to the line as he can play either right or left guard as well as experience. The former fourth round pick out of Georgia was a starter most of his career in Philadelphia. Alexander is also pleased with the performance of another Georgia Bulldog, rookie guard Clint Boling. 

Most encouraging was the first training camp appearance of former first round pick Andre Smith. Smith has shown up at camp at a svelte 335 pounds and is anxious to rid himself of the "bust" tag that has come with injury and under performance. Because of injury and poor conditioning, seeing Smith actually on the field at camp has been a rare site during his Bengal career. His ability to perform at tackle is crucial to the offense's development this year.

The Bengals are off today before resuming practice again on Thursday.

Tags: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals, Football, Max Jean-Gilles, NFL

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