Overall, Cincinnati Bengal head coach Marvin Lewis has to be happy with what he's seen from his young team during the first week of camp. Saturday's practice deviated a bit from the scheduled "mock" game so that the team could spend time working on their two-minute offense and red-zone packages. Secondary coach Kevin Coyle explained the shift:
"We needed the work. We needed the work in the red zone. We needed work in the two-minute which we haven't had yet. We still have to take the approach that there are things we weren't able to get to in the OTAs and minicamps and we have to make up some time now. We don't have the luxury of making this day a show for the fans. This was a work day for the players and I think we got a lot of it."
The day got off to a slow start with the offensive line, including Andre Smith working with the first team, getting called for four false start penalties. Andy Dalton wasn't sharp either in the two-minute practice, missing his first two attempts before rebounding with a solid effort. Bruce Gradkowski, meanwhile, continues to get acclimated to Bengal camp and was perfect in his performance during two-minute drills.
It remains unclear just how much new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden will utilize the two-minute package during the course of the game. The "hurry up" was a staple of the Bengals offense under Bob Bratkowski. Just how much Gruden wants to push the tempo and how much the coaching staff will trust Andy Dalton to call plays at the line remains to be seen. We should get a pretty good idea of that next Friday in Detroit.
Mike Nugent continued his strong comeback from knee surgery, remaining perfect in practice game attempts. He boomed a 54 yarder at the end of practice, showing off the strength in his leg.
The team will take tomorrow off before resuming workouts on Monday evening at 7 p.m. Practice will be held Tuesday and Wednesday also before the team leaves for Detroit for next Friday's exhibition opener against the Lions.
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