Wednesday notebook: Coles impressed

Posted Apr 8, 2009

Posted: 10:20 p.m.

Laveranues Coles briefly flashed why he's considered such a solid team player Wednesday when he reluctantly met the media for a quick sound bite.

Despite nine NFL seasons and 631 career catches, Coles was worried about missing a meeting a good month before the team even takes the field to work out.

"Y'all made me late," said Coles with a smile as he ran to the door.

But he's still seeing some things he's never seen before. Although he's never moved around to all three wide receiver spots at once, he says the coaches are teaching him every position.

Then he got an eyeful of the workouts prepared by strength coaches Chip Morton and Ray Oliver and has been impressed how his teammates have responded. It illuminated Morton's observation last week that the first week of offseason workouts netted the largest average daily attendance since Marvin Lewis arrived six years ago.

"Probably the hardest working group I've ever seen," Coles said. "The young guys are eager to learn. They take pride in themselves in the weight room. The coaches don't have to repeat things over and over. The guys are excited about being here, so any time you come into a locker room and you don't have to motivate guys to come in and give good effort, you're off to a good start."

Since the offense has the same number system he had last season with the Jets, Coles says he's off to a good start learning the playbook. All that's left is some pitch and catch with quarterback Carson Palmer, and that ought to start in a few weeks.

"In any system, it's (learning) the things he's comfortable with," Coles said. "You get an understanding of it just being on the field with him. I need to find out the things he likes and the things he doesn't like and if I'm where he needs me to be, I think we'll get along just fine."

HALL IN LIMBO: It is unclear if Bengals cornerback Leon Hall is going to be suspended for a game after he was charged with DUI early this past Sunday morning.

It is the Bengals' first DUI since NFL commissioner Roger Goodell instituted a new conduct policy in April 2007. And while Goodell can call his shot whether there is a conviction or not, the league indicated Wednesday that according to the substance abuse policy a first offense DUI with no aggravating circumstances normally results in a fine. Plus, prior history is always a factor in disciplinary decisions.

Given that it is Hall's first offense and character has always been one of his strong suits and never been an issue with him before this incident, he may only be fined.

The Bengals had one player charged in 2008, but even though the assault and criminal damage charges against wide receiver Chris Henry were dropped Goodell suspended him for four games.

The Bengals have had few problems since April 2007. According to, the last arrest before Henry's was a May 18, 2007 fourth-degree assault charge against linebacker A.J. Nicholson and he was cut hours later. A charge of disorderly conduct against former running back Quincy Wilson the next month was dropped.

According to PFT, in the time between the arrests of Hall and Nicholson, a total of 29 NFL teams had someone either arrested or charged.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Wednesday that Hall was arrested at 3:11 a.m. Sunday on Ohio 125 in Union Township by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. A breath test showed Hall had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.149, over the legal limit of 0.08.

The Bengals had no comment and neither did Hall's agent, Doug Hendrickson.

In just two years in Cincinnati, Hall has established himself as one of the club's leaders in the community. When Madieu Williams left before the 2008 season, Hall took over his work with Mercy Hospitals and last spring hosted 300 children at a football camp in South Avondale.

NO OCHO TRADE-O? While Coles balanced the media and meetings, the fate of the other starting wide receiver continues to bounce somewhere between fact and fiction.

After a weekend of Internet and radio buzz trading Chad Ocho Cinco to Oakland, Wednesday's scuttlebutt had the Eagles interested.

But what isn't known is if the teams have been interested enough to offer a trade or if the Bengals are even interested.

The same principles that squashed The Ocho's trade-me-or-trade-me demands last year are still in play. Even though he's taking the silent route this year, he's got a contract through 2010, the deal Bengals president Mike Brown has often cited that he expects him to fulfill.

When The Ocho didn't show for the start of offseason workouts last week, head coach Marvin Lewis said only the sessions were "voluntary."

Lewis has been conciliatory to The Ocho, but also pointed. When he was asked at the NFL meetings two weeks ago if they were close, he said, "Very close. But he's a young man who has to make some decisons in his career, I can't let our closeness get in the way of winning football games."


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