Update: Padding up; Quick practice hits

Posted Jul 28, 2012

Robert Geathers

Updated: 6:35 p.m.

After the Bengals finished their second practice of training camp Saturday in front of another 1,500, they wasted no time looking ahead to Sunday night's first workout in shoulder pads in a 6-8 session on the Paul Brown Stadium practice fields.

Head coach Marvin Lewis won't unleash all-out hitting in just shoulder pads. That figures to come Monday in full pads going by the schedules he's had in the past. But as defensive tackle Domata Peko said about Sunday, "When you put the pads on, it's always live in the trenches."

It will be the first time running back BenJarvus Green-Elllis wears Bengals pads and he knows it.

"I'm actually really excited because you have these things on it's like playing flag football," said The Law Firm, pointing to the light shoulder pads known as shells. "I was joking with one of my coaches I was like, 'Y'all look nice today but what about tomorrow when we put on pads?' Things change, it's not going to be running around and people playing touch football. That's not the game we play. So, I'm really excited for the pads."

Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden knows what he means.

"The receivers are going to see more press coverage; see how they get off the jam," Gruden said. "Line's pad level. I want to see how (rookie right guard Kevin) Zeitler does. Everybody in pads, it's a different ballgame. Some people show up. Some people disappear.

"It happens a lot (receivers regressing when the pads come on). When you have live practices, it happens a lot."

But Gruden isn't expecting his rookie receivers to take a step backward in pads.

"They have great character and toughness based on their tapes in college," he said. "But this is a diffferent speed, and the size of the DBs and the linebackers are a little bit different."

PRACTICE HITS: Safety Reggie Nelson came up with his second interception in as many days. Friday it was Pro Bowler Andy Dalton. This time it was free-agent rookie Tyler Hansen...Safety Taylor Mays drew raves from the coaches for his coverage of wide receiver A.J. Green on one deep route. Dalton, who overthrew some long ones Saturday, did hit Green in stride down the right sideline for a long one that safety Robert Sands signaled was out of bounds.

When wide receiver Brandon Tate went in after practice he said he was going to get checked by the trainers. He barely took any snaps on offense, if at all, and didn't return kicks. But he might not have anyway since special teams coach Darrin Simmons said he saw Tate all last year and he needs to see other guys. Such as veteran wide receiver Andrew Hawkins, rookie receivers Marvin Jones, and Taveon Rogers, as well as running backs Bernard Scott, Cedric Peerman and Aaron Brown. All returned kicks Saturday.

Cornerback Adam Jones has been snake bit and has had to leave the first two workouts. On Friday it was cramps and on Saturday it was a kick in the calf while he covered a route.

With Mike Nugent nursing what is believed to be a hamstring issue, first-year kicker Thomas Weber tried the first field goals in PBS training camp history. Weber, cut by the Bengals at the end of last preseason after he didn't try a field goal, didn't hook on with another club. He's got another uphill battle with Nugent expected to be back "soon" according to Lewis.

Weber was 5 of 6, his only miss from 30 yards, and the rest were good from 26, 32, 36, 39 and 44.

GEATHERS OK: After tweaking his knee in Friday's first practice, left end Robert Geathers has joined the list of players that is not practicing but has nothing serious and should return "soon."

Head coach Marvin Lewis said at a Paul Brown Stadium news conference Saturday that Geathers's tests were all negative and that he'll be fine. He said the same about the five guys that started camp on the shelf Friday, although it's believed cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (leg) has another month to go for the broken bone spur around his knee to heal.

But it sounds like kicker Mike Nugent and defensive tackle Pat Sims are merely fighting through some hamstring issues and should appear soon. Lewis also put wide receiver Jordan Shipley (knee) in that group as he recovers from a torn ACL.

» Left tackle Andrew Whitworth is one of those team leaders Lewis is talking about that agreed to put a stop to Twitter. He's also the club's player representative to the NFL Players Association and he's checking to see if it's legal in the new collective bargaining agreement. Even though he's all for the ban and thinks it is OK with the CBA.

"It's more of a thing as a team, 'Let's buy into the fact that it's something that's not really important,' " Whitworth said. "It's not a thing where we want to fine guys 10 grand if they Twitter. I think we're just more saying, 'Let our focus be on what we're doing, not on something else.' "

Whitworth is an easy convert. He's a social media blank slate.

"I don't have a Twitter. I don't have a MySpace, a Facebook, whatever else there is," Whitworth said. "I've never been one of those guys. Some people stressed it to me. Like agents at different times for marketing and 'one of those things that can help you get to the Pro Bowl,' and all that kind of mess. That's not important to me. That's the truth. My entertainment is every Sunday with all the work I've put in to go out and play well. That's what our focus should be as a team."


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