Updated: 4:15 p.m.
The Bengals veteran secondary isn’t too concerned about facing overall No. 1 draft pick Cam Newton when he quarterbacks the Panthers for the first three quarters in Thursday’s 7 p.m. game at Paul Brown Stadium.
“Cam Newton is still like the rest of us when we were coming in; eyes wide open,” Crocker said. “He’s still trying to learn a lot. ... It’s not like we’re going against Tom Brady. He’s going to put his best foot forward and on defense we’re going to try and go after him. The more experience you have in this game, the better off you are. Anytime you have guys that have played a lot of football that supersedes athletic ability. You can be talented but if you don’t know what to do when, it doesn’t matter.”
Hall hopes Newton succeeds in the NFL, “but not particularly Thursday.”
“I’m excited to see him play, but I’m focused on the game. Not as much as Cam Newton coming in and starting,” Hall said. “I just want to go there and play the offense and see what we can see and keep improving.”
» Although Newton is playing three quarters, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis indicated his offensive starters will play less. Typically teams play their first groups into the second half in the third preseason name, but with the quick turnaround after Sunday night’s game on the road against the Jets, Lewis says it’s not typical and is going to go by the number of snaps he wants played. He did that Sunday and the first offense played a half and he pulled the first defense for what amounted to the last drive of the first half.
“That he does," said former teammate
Given how quickly Lawson has adapted to the Bengals defense after signing as a free agent and not practicing until Aug. 4, Lewis is hopeful that the 49ers’ defensive language is similar enough to what is in the Bengals playbook so that Mays can get some snaps against the Panthers.
But, as Lawson said, the Bengals have a completely different defense in a 4-3 instead of a 3-4, and most of it is installed. Plus, Bengals safeties have to learn to play both free and strong so they are interchangeable.
» Running back
» Lewis said safety
» Defensive tackle
» Returning to practice Tuesday were tight end