Posted: 5:50 p.m.
The infamous Carson Palmer Pitch Count came into play Thursday afternoon when he only threw a couple of passes in the second workout of mandatory minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium to protect the elbow he injured last season.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis moved the workout into the stadium when rain looked to dampen the day, but the sun came out and temperatures soared into the 80s before Shayne Graham ended the practice with a 55-yard field goal that capped a series of four straight good ones.
But the receivers still made some nifty grabs with Palmer watching. Chris Henry grabbed a ball over the middle one-handed, Chad Ochocinco got behind cornerback David Jones for an over-the-shoulder bomb that sent The Ocho screaming happily into the end zone and rookie Freddie Brown came over the middle to make a leaping, lunging grab. After his catch, Henry got a "Give me one" from The Ocho and they chest bumped.
Henry had a nice day. He made a great catch in the morning on a long bomb despite getting tackled by safety Corey Lynch. Henry reached behind him for a circus catch and held on to the ball despite hitting the ground hard with Lynch. There was a sigh of relief when he finally got up because it looked bad.
As his players came off the field following the second workout, defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer wondered aloud about the pre-draft evaluation of USC middle linebacker Rey Maualuga. Maualuga fell to the Bengals in the second round and ostensibly one of the reasons was because he lacked good movement in space. But Zimmer made it clear that Maualuga is going to get on the field for him at any point.
"I think he's a lot better in coverage than people said he was," Zimmer said. "This guy can play three downs. They say all that crap, plus he can blitz. Why take the guy off the field if he can rush the quarterback? ... I think Maualuga will show up even more when we get to training camp because he's a football player and he's physical."
And here's why Maualuga is getting broken in at SAM backer instead of his natural spot in the middle: Zimmer absolutely swears by Dhani Jones in the middle. "He asks me really good questions; they're logical questions," Zimmer says, and he added that as far as communicating and knowing the defense Jones and Dat Nguyen are the two best middle backers he has been around.
After playing under Zimmer in Dallas, Nguyen is in his second season as the Cowboys assistant linebackers coach. It's hard to see the globetrotting Jones going into the coaching profession but as Zimmer said, "He's sharp. He tells guys where to line up. He knows the checks, he knows what everybody does on the defense. It's really nice having a guy like that."
Although Marvin White (knee) won't work until training camp, he continues to look good rehabbing. In the afternoon session trainer Nick Cosgray had him on the field going through agility drills.