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Update: Cornering No. 1s; Dalton says arm strength; Green likes the Go ball

Posted May 22, 2012


Adam Jones

Updated: 7:30 p.m.

How many teams can have three first-round cornerbacks rehabbing on the side and on the first snap of the 10 voluntary camps replace them with three more first-round cornerbacks?

That's what the Bengals did Tuesday in OTA No. 1 when they trotted out their two new free-agent corners on the first play in Terence Newman (2003) and Jason Allen (2006) and then moved in Adam Jones (2005) on the next play as he starts his third season with the club.

But Jones considers it the first he's been at full strength. He arrived for the 2010 OTAs after missing the entire year in '09. He missed most of that season with a neck injury that required two surgeries, one just before the 2011 training camp. He was PUPped and didn't get on the field until October.

Now he says he's not only healthy and wants a corner job, he also wants the punt return job that wide receiver Brandon Tate had while setting club records for attempts and yards last year.

With Leon Hall (2007) shelved as he rehabs his Achilles, Nate Clements (2001) saying he's shooting to be back for the June OTA as he rests a pulled abdominal muscle, and Dre Kirkpatrick (2012) allowing he could have worked on a tweaked hamstring but they wanted to be cautious, the Bengals got an immediate look at their much ballyhooed corner depth.

"This team has a lot of talent. I'm not just saying us," said Newman, released from the Cowboys after his eighth season with them. "From top to bottom. Today it was evident that these guys can run and move. It's good to see that when you come from a team that's supposed to have talent, there's no dropoff from what I felt.

"I was surprised at some of the guys how quick they were. This team is as talented as any team in the league. Talent doesn't win games. You have to be a smart team, a well-disciplined team. First day OTAs I can see that this team is very disciplined."

DALTON'S OPINION: After the first voluntary practice of the spring Tuesday at Paul Brown Stadium, Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green wasted no time commenting on bulked-up quarterback Andy Dalton's "guns" disguised as arms.

And just as quickly Dalton fired back at the recent questioning of his arm strength by NFL Films Producer Greg Cosell that produced what passes for news in the early 21st century. When Cosell said some club insiders wondered about Dalton's true upside, the Internet crackled for a few hours while Dalton shrugged.

"I'm comfortable with (my arm strength). I think everybody knows what they're going to get out of me," said Dalton, a day after offensive coordinator Jay Gruden questioned the questioning report. "I don't think it held us back last year. I don't think it's going to hold me back in my career. A lot of throwing the ball is timing, consistency, and making sure everybody is on the same page.

"I'm going to keep working out, keep getting stronger, but I don't think my arm strength is an issue. Everyone has an opinion. He can say whatever he wants. It's not going to affect me."

GREEN GOES: As if to tweak the question, Dalton actually overthrew a "Go" route to Green on Tuesday. Green says he thinks the eight pounds Dalton has bulked on is showing up.

A little bit more zip on the ball, Green agreed after talking about how Dalton has been working "his triceps and biceps," and joking about his "guns."

"He threw a Go ball today and I couldn't get it, I couldn't get it today," Green said of the bomb.

Dalton has been working on his mechanics in order to improve a deep ball he underthrew at times last season when there weren't many overthrown.

"Definitely not. I told him to just let it go, man, I'll go get it," Green said.

And Green doesn't mind it underthrown. As he showed last year, he's a beast going back to get it. Asked if he'd prefer it overthrown or underthrown, he took the under.

"I'd rather get a hand on it, so I'd like it underthrown. As long as it is in the air I can go get it," he said.

SLANTS AND SCREENS

» Besides Kirkpatrick, the Bengals had a bunch of rookies miss Tuesday with what head coach Marvin Lewis called sore muscles. He didn't seem too concerned as wide receiver Kashif Moore and cornerback Shaun Prater were among those sitting down.

"It's funny. The younger guys, the NFL workload is different," Lewis said. "It's good they understand that and see that." 

» Also not working was third-rounder Brandon Thompson, the defensive tackle from Clemson who was ill.

» Lewis can't get enough of those two new veteran corners, Newman and Allen. He believes they have jacked up the team's collective IQ.

"Terence will make us a better team defensively," said Lewis, noting that Newman has played four seasons for defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer in another life. "Jason has a lot of ability. You see his physical tools and mental tools. He understands the game. They're going to be good additions on the football field ... both physically and cerebrally."

» Newman, the fifth pick in the 2003 draft of the Cowboys when Zimmer was their coordinator, underwent his first practice with him since 2006 on Tuesday.

"He's the same guy; what's good is that he's understanding," Newman said. "Some of us are new and we need a little more talking to just to understand some of the things that are going on and he spent a good amount of time trying to help us out."

Of course, Zimmer got on Newman a bit.

"He's going to get on everybody," Newman said. "That's just Zim. You know that's what he's going to do. That's part of it when you come here."

Changes?

Newman laughed.

"The only thing is he's getting uglier. That's about it."

 

 

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