Notes: Healthy Huber chews the fat

Posted Apr 21, 2014

Usually Kevin Huber is back punting in late March. His only concession to last year’s horrific season-ending broken jaw in Pittsburgh is that he has yet to have a full kicking session. He’ll be surprised if he won’t be having those next month when the Bengals take their voluntary workouts to the field.

 Kevin Huber is pointing to full-fledged punting sessions soon.

Usually Kevin Huber is back punting in late March. His only concession to last year’s horrific season-ending broken jaw in Pittsburgh is that he has yet to have a full kicking session. He’ll be surprised if he won’t be having those next month when the Bengals take their voluntary workouts to the field.

“I'm pretty much doing most stuff. There's some restrictions lifting wise, but outside of that I'm doing pretty close to most stuff. I'm just holding back on a few things until everything is fully cleared,” Huber said Monday, the first day of voluntary workouts at Paul Brown Stadium. “I'm able to do some kicking now. I've started getting back into swinging the leg some. I haven't had full kicking sessions yet, but I'm going to start trying to get back into that here pretty soon.”

Huber is still playing down the Dec. 15 block by Steelers rookie linebacker Terence Garvin that not only broke his jaw, but left him with a hairline fracture of the cervical vertebrae. Not to mention Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown’s 67-yard kick return for a touchdown.  He said Garvin did leave a voice mail on his cell phone when he was in surgery, but he texted Garvin back and said not to worry about it. It was a clean, good football shot. But he won’t be wary of mixing it up again, thanks to special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons.

“(Garvin) didn't have to. I sent him a text back said I appreciate the call, “Huber said. “I'm sure I'm going to have to be (an active tackler) because otherwise Darrin will probably yell at me. Not that I was very active to begin with. I don't have very many tackles in my stat book, but I'll still try.”

Huber’s jaw was wired shut long enough  to lose 15 pounds, but he’s been freed from the wires for about four month, enough time to put weight back on. He celebrated his first solid food with a cheeseburger, but he remembers what he was feeling. He tweeted his best wishes to Reds closer Aroldis Chapman after he was felled by a line shot back to the mound last month that broke facial bones.

 “I sent that out because I went through something like that and it's tough to see someone go through that,” Huber said. “The guy not too long ago that got hit in the face with a fastball, I saw that too. He got beat up pretty bad with that. It's tough to see something like that happen. Sounds like Chapman's coming back pretty strong. I saw he was in the bullpen the other day. So hopefully he can come back and be pitching again soon.”

SLANTS AND SCREENS: Three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green says he’s put on six pounds to 214, mostly in the upper body. He says he’d like to get more physical as a way to beat coverage at the line of scrimmage…

The Bengals confirmed they had picked up the 2015 option on Green, their right since he was a top ten pick in 2011. Bengals president Mike Brown said last month at the NFL meetings the team was going to exercise the $10.17 million option. It doesn't preclude them from getting a long-term deal, but Brown said they're trying to get the quarterback puzzle done first since they don't have an option on Andy Dalton and he becomes a free agent after this season.

Green addressed the concept of the option and distraction earlier in the day.

"I’m still under contract. That’s one thing I don’t ever worry about," Green said. "That business side. I feel like my body of work speaks for itself. So whenever the time is right, it happens." ...

The Bengals are getting two new coordinators and yet players couldn’t talk to them until Monday, per the collective bargaining agreement. Like Hue Jackson’s offense, the Bengals aren’t making many major changes on Paul Guenther’s defense.

But left end Carlos Dunlap still thought it was a little odd he could only learn about the defense when he bumped in into some coaches in the weight room, where there were only vague generalities at best. Dunlap spent most of his offseason working out in Florida, but when he worked out for three days at PBS, he couldn’t do it under the guidance of the strength staff.

“You can't sit in a meeting, but I saw (a couple of coaches). A lot of coaches, during the offseason that's when they get their workouts and their beach bodies or whatever you want to call it,” Dunlap said. “So I was here for three days and I wanted to get some workouts in so I was working out here while I was in town.” …

Wide receiver Marvin Jones lived most of the offseason in Cincinnati and spent some of it coaching his son’s five-year-old basketball team. He did get back to California to marry his long-time girlfriend, so on Monday the honeymoon was really over.

“It’s not necessarily (like) the first day of school,” Jones said. “If you would have told me this last year, it’s ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t wait to get back.’ But now, we’re all familiar with each other and we’re just glad that everybody’s back and we can go and start training and start having fun.” ...

Right end Michael Johnson is gone but not forgotten. He may be playing for the Buccaneers now, but some of his old linemates are headed to Selma, Ala., this weekend to work his football camp. Count in one of the guys taking his job, fellow Alabama native Wallace Gilberry of Bay Minette.

"That’s my guy. He has a camp this Friday and Saturday and me, Geno (Atkins), Carlos, Jumpy (Robert Geathers), we’re all going to go down and support him," Gilberry said. "He’s still our guy, he’s just wearing different colors. When we play Tampa, he’s not our guy. He knows that. That’s no secret. But he’s our guy."

The Bengals find out when they head to Tampa this season on Wednesday or Thursday, when the NFL sked is reportedly hitting the wires...


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