The streamlined preseason has NFL coaches scrambling and after the Bengals practiced Saturday special teams coach Darrin Simmons and secondary coach Kevin Coyle talked about how this looks to be the season of less is more.
"The teams that play well in the beginning are the teams that don't make mistakes," Coyle said. "They're going to play fast, play simple. You're not going to out trick them with a million plays and a million blitzes. You don't have time to get it already. But that doesn't mean you still can't play at an extremely high level on both sides of the ball."
That's one of the reasons Bengals are breathing a little bit easier with the signing of free agent cornerback
"He's played at a high level for a long time," Coyle said. "He's got a lot of experience, he understands the game, he's smart, competitive, tough. He's been through the battles against the best receivers in the league and he's won a lot more of his share than they have."
Backup safety behind
"I'm excited about what Gibril can give us if he holds up," Coyle said. "The way he was playing before he got hurt had me thinking he was going to be a real factor for us."
A lot of this, as usual, will come down to special teams when, as Simmons likes to say, the lights go on in the preseason games. Simmons remembers when one of his top special teams players now, linebacker
"He can even tell you what play it started on," Simmons said.
"We've got a mix of guys," Coyle said.
WILLIE MAKES A BID: As usual, former Bengals right tackle Willie Anderson went all out. As
"I thought my text would get him. It was a nice long one. But I just don't see it happening," Anderson said. "I don't know necessarily what it is, but I think they've talked and it's not going anywhere."
It's believed Palmer and the Bengals have talked since the lockout ended, but the only public signs have been that both parties are moving on. With Brown refusing to trade Palmer, the Bengals consider him retired. But they have to leave his $11.5 million salary available if he does come back.
"I know how I feel and I'm going it into what, my third season retired?" Anderson asked. "I still burn about playing, so I know how he's going to feel when they start playing and he looks out there and sees his team. I was telling him I thought they'd made some changes. A new offense, Chad's gone, and they've got some young receivers and there's the tight end (
"But it doesn't look like it. It's too bad."
TE UPDATE: With the signing of pass-catcher
Although Scaife has played H-Back, offensive coordinator Jay Gruden looks like he's keeping the tight ends and fullbacks separate. Reggie Kelly, their anchor at tight end for the past eight seasons, could be an option in case of injury or they don't like the way the preseason unfolds. Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting the Steelers are mulling bringing in Kelly to get a look as their blocking tight end.