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Notes: Smith surfaces happy, healthy; 2 tryout players signed

Posted May 14, 2012


Andre Smith

Updated: 1:55 p.m.

Right tackle Andre Smith's offseason picked up right where the last one left off.

In the gym.

Smith continues to look in terrific shape and Monday, when the Bengals began their fifth week of conditioning he reported he's at 330 pounds with the hopes of getting to 325 at some point.

"Last year I wasn't in as good (of) shape as I could have been, but it was the smallest I'd been in the NFL so I was able to maintain it playing the game," Smith said. "This year I want to be in tip-top shape. Put together strength and wind so I can breathe."

Smith knows what happens if he has a breathtaking year. The Bengals didn't pick up a $6 million option back in August to expand his deal for two more years, so this is a contract year.

"They made the decision and I had a good season so I'm just going for the snowball effect and get even better this year," Smith said. "It's a big year for me and the Bengals organization. We've got a good schedule with a lot of tough teams and I'm just going to play and let my film speak for itself."

Save for a lapse or two during a game, Smith had a solid season in '11. Particularly considering it was the first one he was healthy enough to play one more game than he had played his first two seasons combined by starting 14 games.

"I want to be a dominant run blocker. I want to get back to what I was in college," he said. "Disciplined at all times."

He has certainly been that in the offseason, even with his wedding approaching. Smith and his fiancée teamed up and worked out together at a gym near their home in Birmingham, Ala.

"I'm happy and healthy," Smith said. "The goals are to get deep into the playoffs, not just make it, but get in and win, and personally just trying to stay healthy."

SLANTS AND SCREENS

» Off their tryouts at last weekend's rookie minicamp, the Bengals on Monday signed Morgan State fullback Jourdan Brooks and Kansas State outside linebacker Emmanuel Lamur.

» Wide receiver Armon Binns also picked up where he left off. He ended last season giving DBs fits trying to cover him in practice and he was all over the field at last weekend's rookie minicamp making catches. Over the offseason the coaches told him to work on pad level and he got some results.

"Especially when I was coming off the ball," Binns said. "Getting (low) in and out of my breaks."

» Binns used his advantage of being around an NFL team for a year during the weekend, but he noticed the draft picks, third-rounder Mohamed Sanu and fifth-rounder Marvin Jones.

"They're both real good. They bring different things to the table," Binns said. "Marvin's a lot quicker, a lot longer, and I think Mohamed's just a big physical receiver that can make all the catches."

The 6-3, 210-pound Binns can see some similarities in the 6-2, 210-pound Sanu:

"He's a possession guy but he can get in and out of his breaks real quick."

Which makes for a logjam at wide receiver. Besides Binns, Sanu and Jones, the club was also impressed with the pair of sub-4.4 rookie free agents, Kashif Moore and Taveon Rogers. Throw in in A.J. Green, Brandon Tate, Andrew Hawkins, Ryan Whalen and Vidal Hazelton, and there's no reason to rush back Jordan Shipley. For OTAs or training camp. Shipley, coming back from an ACL, is a candidate for the physically unable to perform list (PUP). That would mean once training camp started, he couldn't practice until the seventh week of the regular season.

Another PUP candidate is cornerback Leon Hall as he comes back from a torn Achilles. Like at receiver, the depth at corner allows the Bengals to give young players and new veterans plenty of reps. The physicals for the veterans are next week and it would be a surprise if Shipley and Hall get cleared for at least the first few OTAs.

» Quarterback Andy Dalton is looking forward to throwing to the rookies for the first time Tuesday in his first official act as a veteran. After the quarterbacks loosened up tossing it around Monday morning, Dalton planned to watch his new guys on the camp tape in preparation for the first voluntary practice May 22.

"It's been awhile since we've done a lot of team stuff," he said. "Right now we're just throwing to the receivers. I'm excited for us to get out there and work."

 

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