Former Ohio State Buckeye coach Jim Tressel was on the sideline today as the Cincinnati Bengals wrapped up training camp at Georgetown College. Tressel's visit follows his visit to Cleveland Browns camp in Berea, Ohio earlier this week.
One former Buckeye who played under Tressel was happy to see his former coach. Mike Nugent met with Tressel for a few moments prior to practice. Although Tressel was not made available to the media, Nugent confirmed his ongoing respect and support for the embattled former coach. "My claim to fame is I was his first recruit," Nugent commented after practice. "I supported him before all this happened and I support him now."
On the field, rookie wide receiver AJ Green was back on the field looking none the worse after leaving yesterday with an apparent leg injury. He appeared to be moving at full speed and is expected to play against the New York Jets on Sunday. Jerome Simpson once again showed his athleticism making two acrobatic grabs on passes from Andy Dalton.
Dalton guided the first team offense successfully four of five times in red zone drills. He will start again at quarterback Sunday. Head coach Marvin Lewis added that he expects the first unit to play the entire first half as they did in Detroit.
On the injury front, Rey Maualuga limped off the field with an ankle injury, but returned later for goal line drills. Also out were CB Brandon Ghee, OG Otis Hudson, TE Jermaine Gresham, RB Jay Finley, WR Ryan Whalen, and DE Carlos Dunlap.
Overall, Lewis said he was very pleased with the team's progress during camp. He was especially thankful for the good weather and not having practices ruined by storms. Georgetown officials, however, can't be very happy with the lightly attended sessions. The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy reported only 65 in attendance at today's final session. The college, which gets revenue from parking, reported parking only 1,330 cars during this year's camp, not even half of the previous low of 2,874 in 2001. Last year, coming off a division title and with Terrell Owens on the squad, 7,362 cars were parked despite only two weeks of camp due to the Hall of Fame game.
The school and the Bengals are expected to announce soon and extension of their agreement. Georgetown College has got to be hoping that the Bengals can improve from last year and give fans a reason to drive down to see them practice.
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