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Marvin Lewis Likes the Look of His Rookies on First Day of Mini-Camp

May 12th, 2012 at 7:31 AM
By Chuck Chapman

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis liked his first look at the newest members of the Cincinnati Bengals who gathered for the first day of rookie mini-camp on Friday at Paul Brown Stadium.

"We've taken some players who have been really well-coached and you can see that in the quality of what you see out there in the way they carry themselves and the way they go about their work."

Particularly impressive on day one was fifth round wide receiver Marvin Jones out of Cal. Jones showed his speed, beating CFA cornerback Taiedo Smith down the sideline. Cincinnati receiver Armon Binns, who spent last season with the team on the practice squad, also had a nice day.

The player with the most scrutiny, however, was undoubtedly college free agent linebacker Vontaze Burfict out of Arizona State. By all accounts, Burfict acquitted himself well in his first day as an NFL player, both on the field and with the media.

Linebackers coach Paul Guenther was impressed with Burfict's first day on the job:

"He's calling all the defenses, he's setting all the fronts and blitzes and the coverages," Guenther said. "He's a big physical kid. Bright. Eager to learn. Looking to make the most of the opportunity."

That opportunity is one that Burfict is grateful for. Once projected as a possible first round pick, Burfict saw himself totally passed over during the draft after a horrible combine workout, including a media session that turned into a debacle. If today's session with the media is any indication of how hard Burfict has worked to correct his problems, the Bengals may have found themselves a diamond in the rough.

Burfict said all the right things during his time before the microphones, even addressing a reporter as "sir." One thing Burfict wanted to make perfectly clear though was that he was not an off the field risk for the Bengals, a team that has had more than its share of those players.

"I heard a lot about my off-the-field issues and I haven't really had off-the-field issues," Burfict said. "I've never been in trouble with the law or anything like that. I think that's the big picture that's missed."

As for what has happened in the past with his history of being undisciplined on the field and his admission of marijuana use, Burfict said he has learned from his mistakes and is eager to take advantage of this opportunity before him with the Bengals.

Cincinnati got some business done as well, signing another three of their draft picks, meaning five of their ten draftees are now under contract. Reaching agreement on Friday were WR Marvin Jones, DT Devon Still and TE Orson Charles. Additionally, the team signed UCLA safety Tony Dye who was present for a tryout. 

The Bengals will get in three more workouts this weekend with the newcomers before breaking camp. 

Tags: Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals, Football, Marvin Jones, NFL, Vontaze Burfict

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