PLAYER OF THE DAY: DT
A crowd of 10,100 watched the Bengals practice during Family Night inside Paul Brown Stadium and while they saw two pick-sixes (
"He had at least two sacks tonight; that's the norm," said defensive tackle
It doesn't matter what year or if it is against the first, second or third line. Or even what practice field because when the team went to Atlanta last week Atkins did the same thing against the Falcons. Or preseason or regular season. Or friend or foe.
"He doesn't discriminate," said defense line coach Jay Hayes. "He's like Popeye. 'I ams what I ams.' He's just trying to get better."
Atkins has no idea how many sacks he would have had Thursday night. "You'll have to ask the coaching staff," he says. Then turning to one of his locker mates he said, "Ask Peko."
Peko sticks with two. Atkins says the practice rules don't frustrate him.
"We don’t touch 14. We don't go near him," Atkins said of quarterback
"What I try to do is stay in my rush lane, try to beat my guy," he said. "If I win, I just veer off and run to the ball (after the pass)."
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Running backs coach Hue Jackson on if he'll give
UGLY BEAUTY: Sometimes the making of an NFL offense is like making sausage. You just don't want to see it.
Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, along with offensive line coach Paul Alexander and Jackson and the rest of the staff are in the process of chopping up the running game and the passing game and packaging them together.
"The fun part is Paul Alexander is pushing these guys, we're pushing the running backs and sometimes it's an ugly push," Jackson said after Sunday's practice. "But the beautiful part is by the time you're ready to play, it looks good."
The Bengals got physical, productive games from their running backs and fullbacks in Atlanta and Jackson says that the emphasis on the physicality and the run is no different than it was when he was here on staff as the receivers coach a decade ago with bruising Rudi Johnson running the ball in a three-year stretch the Bengals won 27 games.
"You have to go by land and by air to be good in the National Football League. You can't be one-dimensional," Jackson said. "Paul Alexander has been here a long time and one of his goals has been to have one of the better running teams. That's where your masculinity is as a football team. I know I believe in it and Jay believes in it and we have those kinds of runners."
Jackson had some interesting things to say about the two draft picks, Bernard and Burkhead. The club tried out the 5-9, 205-poud Bernard on the goal line and got a TD in Atlanta.
"He's hard to see," Jackson said. "I don't like to compare him to anybody, but Ray Rice is like that. Those guys are hard to see. Maurice Jones-Drew. So you don't get a big lick on him."
Bernard was the first running back drafted. Burkhead was the 15th, taken in the sixth round, and Jackson says starting from the top and wheeling through scout Bill Tobin down to the position coach, the club looked past the stopwatch.
"Time speed and football speed are two different things. He's here for a reason. We've seen something in him we really liked," Jackson said. "The organization, from Mike Brown down through Bill Tobin, who really spent a lot of time watching him to me, watching him on tape. And Jay and all of us. We knew what we were getting.
"His timed speed was 4.7. He doesn't play 4.7. He plays a lot faster and a lot stronger. At the end of the day we've got the right guy."
Hard Knocks must think they have the right guy in Jackson because in the first episode they prominently displayed his practice banter with his players and the defense.
"I didn’t watch the whole thing. I got calls and texts," Jackson said. "It's funny because people think my personality is different. This is who I am every day. That's how I coach. At the end of day, I'm here to do a job.
"I hope I don't offend anybody. I know I can get a little outlandish. That's just my nature."
» Dalton had some good connections to tight
» Skelton hit Sazenbacher for a 36-yard touchdown pass Thursday night in Atlanta and he hit him on two long ones again Sunday night against the backup secondary, one down the middle and one down the right side.
INJURY REPORT: Don't be surprised if wide receiver
None of the other injuries shelving players Sunday stemming from the Atlanta game looked serious. Cornerbacks Dre Kirpatrick (chest) and
UP NEXT: Bengals return to the PBS practice fields Monday for a 3-5 practice with gates opening at 2.