Updated: 6:30 p.m.
Two rookies the Bengals are counting on to make big impacts quickly are undergoing the slow growing pains of transition as they work with the first units at this week’s mandatory minicamp on the field at Paul Brown Stadium.
Cornerback Darqueze Dennard and center
“I probably need to find some moves,” Dennard said as he broke into a smile before Wednesday’s practice. “The tackles and guards, they get me kind of easy. I need to go into somebody’s repertoire, talk to them and see what they do to get the offensive linemen off of them. I just need to find some moves somewhere. “
Dennard, the first-rounder from Michigan State, only played the slot in college pretty much in practice, but he’s getting a steady diet here as he works with the first nickel package in rehabbing
“Sometimes it won't be like that. If there is an offensive lineman on me then there’s a defensive end or defensive tackle on the running back and a mismatch, so that's a win for the defense,” Dennard said. “I can’t go out there first and just spin. That would be all bad, I’d end up on my back. I just got to learn how to work my hands better and use my speed and my agility.”
It wasn’t surprising to anyone _ Bodine his teammates, his coaches _ that he lined up with the first unit Tuesday since they traded up in the fourth round to get him and then pronounced him a possible starter as soon as they got off the phone with him. He’s had to school himself on the changeable nature of NFL offense compared to what he dealt with at North Carolina.
“In the offense I ran in college, we didn’t change plays. We’d call a play, we’d get up there and our goal was to run a play every 12 seconds,” Bodine said. “So there wasn’t a whole lot of checking and (audibles) at the line of scrimmage or anything like that. Handling those checks is big for me. It’s definitely the most difficult aspect right now. When that play changes, all my calls change and I’ve got to get everybody on the same page, and that’s been the most difficult thing.”
Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said on Tuesday Bodine has to have better snaps and Bodine thinks he will once he gets settled.
“It’s a little chaotic for me right now,” Bodine said. “Handling the checks, handling all the calls and all that. I think that’s something that will happen with comfort level. That won’t be a problem.”
Among the biggest adjustments are off the field for rookies as they cope with money and fame. It’s believed Dennard’s contract is hung up on technicality that gets resolved soon. But once he signs, he becomes fair game to pay for a rookie dinner.
“Haven’t thought about it yet,” Dennard said. “ I haven’t got signed so I don’t have any money.”
Bodine has to get used to the attention. He doesn’t like it and admitted to a couple of reporters Tuesday, “I don’t like you guys. Not you. Just what you do.” It turns out it is publicity he doesn’t like.
“If they don’t even know my name, that’s all right,” Bodine said. “Don’t mess anything up. That’s about the only way they figure out who you are.”
TACKLE ADDED: The Bengals signed career veteran backup tackle Will Svitek Wednesday as they continue fortify their depth along the offensive front for training camp.
The 6-6, 310-pound Svitek joins first-year
Svitek, 32, a sixth-round pick of the Chiefs out of Stanford in 2005, played his first three seasons in Kansas City, then four with the Falcons and made two starts with the Patriots last season. He joins Burden and
The 5-9, 197-pound Hampton had been projected as a mid-round pick in last month’s draft until two brushes with the law, according to published reports. He arrives with 22 college starts and has an uphill climb at cornerback.
Burton, who signed before the season, has 19 games in the NFL. Taylor, who spent the final seven weeks of the season on the Bengals’ practice squad last season, spent last training camp in Cincinnati as a college free agent out of Virginia Tech.
PRACTICE SHOTS: Pro Bowl WILL backer
Gilberry can also be quite vocal and active.
"Don't bring that in here, Andy," he said to quarterback
Left tackle Andrew Whitworth had a veteran's day off and Marshall Newhouse took his snaps...
The No. 2 defense had a big interception of backup quarterback
"I felt like I threw it well. That's what I needed,' said McCarron of Tuesday's work. "I needed to get my flexibility back in (the shoulder)."
But McCarron isn't getting many throws. As usual, the No. 3 QB gets the last one or two plays in a period.
"Thats my role right now," he said. "When I get my shots I have to make the most of it."