Andy Dalton goes live tonight for the first time in his NFL career. We'll get a good look tonight at how the rookie quarterback performs under game conditions as the Bengals hold a "practice with scrimmage conditions" tonight at Georgetown College.
With the lockout limiting participation, Marvin Lewis and his staff have decided against the traditional full scrimmage the week before the first preseason game. Instead, it will be more controlled and no scoring system will be in place. The entire purpose for tonight's practice is to "get into the flow" of game conditions according to Lewis.
In the spotlight will be Andy Dalton. The rookie out of TCU has been up and down thus far in practice. Tonight is his first opportunity to run the team under game conditions. Not only will we see if he can make throws, but we'll get a taste of his ability to pace the offense, to lead a huddle, and to make reads at the line of scrimmage.
Tonight's practice will also give us a better feel for Jay Gruden's new offense and what it will look like. How much of a burden will be put on Dalton? How will AJ Green and a young receiving crew run their routes? What will be Cedric Benson's role?
While tonight will go a long way toward answering some questions, last night's practice allowed the veteran free agents to practice for the first time as the new collective bargaining agreement was ratified. New quarterback Bruce Gradkowski looked predictably rusty while Jordan Palmer made his throws, but was otherwise unremarkable.
A player who did turn heads was rookie linebacker Dontay Moch. The Enquirer's Joe Reedy reported that Moch was "very active" on defense and recorded two tackles for loss while on the field.
Tonight's action begins at 7 p.m. with gates to the complex opening at 6 p.m.
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