Updated: 4:20 p.m.
For the third straight day Friday rookie wide receiver
Browns quarterback Jake Delhomme was limited for the second straight practice Friday after returning to the field from a two-week absence stemming from his high ankle sprain in the opener. Listed as questionable, that has to be very questionable after not going full yet in a practice. Right tackle John St. Clair (ankle) is doubtful after not practicing all week.
Running back Jerome Harrison (thigh) went full go Friday and is probable. The starting defensive line is questionable. Nose tackle Shaun Rogers (ankle, hip) and end Robaire Smith (back) went limited Friday for their first work of the week. End Kenyon Coleman (knee) didn't go all week.
Kick returner/wide receiver Josh Cribbs (ankle) wasn't on the injury report after being limited Thursday.
MORE WILL?: The Willie Anderson Visit worked out well enough with the young right tackles that another one may happen pretty soon.
The two guys that have to make it happen sound like they’re on the same page. Anderson said he enjoyed the two days in his old haunt and would like to do it again and after Friday’s practice Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said it went “really good.”
“I thought it was beneficial for our guys. You could see the respect Willie commands with the entire football team,” Lewis said. “I don’t think he realized how strong his legacy was here.”
Anderson, the 12-year Bengal, admitted that he wondered how he’d be received by everyone given that he decided to finish his four-time Pro Bowl career in Baltimore instead of taking a pay cut in Cincinnati. But from his exchanges with Bengals president Mike Brown down to the coaches and players, he was genuinely surprised at how it all seemed to fall into place.
“It did seem like home and I didn’t know how it was going to work out,” Anderson said. “You can’t have hard feelings over business. I enjoyed being back and around everyone. I want to show NFL teams like the Bengals that they can send me a young lineman for a couple of weeks and I can make him a better player looking at it from a player’s perspective.”
He appeared to be a hit with starting right tackle
Lewis, who also brought in former Pro Bowl tackle Willie Roaf to talk to Smith a few weeks ago, thinks his former No. 1 pick is responding well to the mentoring.
“Those guys excite (Smith) because they played the position and played it so well,” said Lewis, who sounded pretty upbeat about him a week after he decided to deactivate Smith against Carolina.
Lewis said he kept just seven offensive linemen active based on injuries and the game plan. Although Smith is working as a backup right guard in practice, he can pretty much only play right tackle in a game and Lewis needed all the linebackers he could get on the field with two defensive linemen hurt.
Plus, Smith didn’t get on the field this year until after the club got back from training camp as he rehabbed his foot surgery and battled weight issues. He said Friday that he’s still trying to get his timing and technique down. This is a guy that impressed the coaches late last season with his sheer strength and ability to rock the defender in the running game, but offseason surgery kept him off the field all of the spring and much of the summer.
“Whenever Marvin gives me the green light,” he said, “I’m ready to go.”
After talking to Lewis and offensive line coach Paul Alexander this week, it sounds sooner rather than later.
“I think he’s doing well,” Lewis. “Last year he came in and played some productive snaps and this year he didn’t have the time as much. I think the offseason set him back and he didn’t make the strides we hoped he would because of the offseason surgery. Hopefully he’s beyond (spring football) because we’re playing real football and real games. Hopefully he’ll continue to make some big strides.”
Anderson came away impressed with Smith’s work habits in the meetings and the questions he asked Alexander reminded him of a 22-year-old Anderson. Not only that, when he sat in the back watching this No. 71 on tape, Anderson found his mind wandering back to the past.
“You know, he moves pretty well, he’s big, and he can anchor,” Anderson said. “I found out the guy’s got a bad rap. The way he works with Roland and how they help each other, it’s a great atmosphere. He’s under his weight. Andre’s thing is he just needs to get snaps to get that timing back.”
Roland also impressed Anderson and he’s even more convinced the guy can play.
“He’s a coach’s son and he’s got great intensity and a great will to learn; I like him,” Anderson said. “We’ve seen guys in this league who are great players just because of that. Hey, I didn’t come up because these guys are sorry players. This is a division-winning line. They’ve got three guys that can play right tackle in this league and that’s great for their depth.”
It sounds like he’ll have more time cultivate that depth.
WEATHER CHECK: The Bengals may be facing their second straight rain game. According to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio, expect a breezy day on The Lake with a temperature of 54 degrees and winds out of the northeast at 17 miles per hour with a 30 percent chance of showers.