Bengals camp report: Diva duel at wide receiver

Observations and opinions from Bengals training camp in Georgetown, Ky.:

What’s new

Months ago, Chad Ochocinco lobbied for Terrell Owens to join the Bengals, and now his wish has come true.
Months ago, Chad Ochocinco lobbied for Terrell Owens to join the Bengals, and now his wish has come true.

The Bengals have gone from one diva at wide receiver to diva deux with the recent signing of Terrell Owens. Assuming T.O. and Chad Ochocinco can play nicely together, the Bengals should have one of the most explosive passing games in the league. Yes, Owens is 36 and entering his 15th season. But in a less-than-stellar ’09 season in Buffalo, he still averaged 15.1 yards per catch and produced 10 plays of at least 25 yards. "The numbers speak for themselves," Owens said. "They constantly try to say that I have slowed down, that I have fallen off, this and that. But that’s one of those things where the media has always found some way to say something negative about my career."

Camp battle

Nickel back. Adam Jones, Morgan Trent, Brandon Ghee and David Jones all are contending for the backup spot behind starting corners Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph. Trent was the nickel back last season, but Jones was the first man in last Sunday against Dallas.

Rehab report

Wide receiver Antonio Bryant hasn’t practiced since the opening day of camp. He is rehabbing a left knee that had torn meniscus and a bone bruise last year. "He’s doing well," Lewis said Wednesday. "I wish I could tell you that tomorrow is going to be the day, but we’re not quite there yet. It’s a process that we’re going to let take its time and see how it comes out. Hopefully, it comes out positive for the kid."

Player on the spot

The team’s first-round pick in ’09, second-year tackle Andre Smith was expected to beat out Dennis Roland for the starting spot at right tackle. That looks like a pipe dream right now. Smith had surgery in February to insert a pin in his left foot, which he injured early last season, and hasn’t been on the field. There also have been questions about his offseason conditioning and work ethic. "I’m not going to let the offense get held back waiting for Andre to figure it out," Lewis said. "Andre is going to figure out how to become a pro and do things the way it’s asked to do all the time."

2010 Outlook

The Bengals have a young, rising defense that ranked fourth in the league in ’09. The running game is solid and the passing game should be helped by the additions of Owens and rookie tight end Jermaine Gresham. They may not go 10-6 and sweep their AFC North division rivals, like they did last season, but they will be a playoff team again.

Dennis Dillon is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at ddillon@sportingnews.com.

Observations and opinions from Bengals training camp in Georgetown, Ky.:

What’s new

Months ago, Chad Ochocinco lobbied for Terrell Owens to join the Bengals, and now his wish has come true.
Months ago, Chad Ochocinco lobbied for Terrell Owens to join the Bengals, and now his wish has come true.

The Bengals have gone from one diva at wide receiver to diva deux with the recent signing of Terrell Owens. Assuming T.O. and Chad Ochocinco can play nicely together, the Bengals should have one of the most explosive passing games in the league. Yes, Owens is 36 and entering his 15th season. But in a less-than-stellar ’09 season in Buffalo, he still averaged 15.1 yards per catch and produced 10 plays of at least 25 yards. "The numbers speak for themselves," Owens said. "They constantly try to say that I have slowed down, that I have fallen off, this and that. But that’s one of those things where the media has always found some way to say something negative about my career."

Camp battle

Nickel back. Adam Jones, Morgan Trent, Brandon Ghee and David Jones all are contending for the backup spot behind starting corners Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph. Trent was the nickel back last season, but Jones was the first man in last Sunday against Dallas.

Rehab report

Wide receiver Antonio Bryant hasn’t practiced since the opening day of camp. He is rehabbing a left knee that had torn meniscus and a bone bruise last year. "He’s doing well," Lewis said Wednesday. "I wish I could tell you that tomorrow is going to be the day, but we’re not quite there yet. It’s a process that we’re going to let take its time and see how it comes out. Hopefully, it comes out positive for the kid."

Player on the spot

The team’s first-round pick in ’09, second-year tackle Andre Smith was expected to beat out Dennis Roland for the starting spot at right tackle. That looks like a pipe dream right now. Smith had surgery in February to insert a pin in his left foot, which he injured early last season, and hasn’t been on the field. There also have been questions about his offseason conditioning and work ethic. "I’m not going to let the offense get held back waiting for Andre to figure it out," Lewis said. "Andre is going to figure out how to become a pro and do things the way it’s asked to do all the time."

2010 Outlook

The Bengals have a young, rising defense that ranked fourth in the league in ’09. The running game is solid and the passing game should be helped by the additions of Owens and rookie tight end Jermaine Gresham. They may not go 10-6 and sweep their AFC North division rivals, like they did last season, but they will be a playoff team again.

Dennis Dillon is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at ddillon@sportingnews.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*