There are only so many people on the planet like Pat Sims that combine the bulk of a sumo wrestler with surprisingly nimble feet.
"That's right," said defensive line coach Jay Hayes. "And he's one of them."
The 29-year-old defensive tackle spent his first five NFL seasons with Cincinnati before signing as a free agent with Oakland prior to the 2013 season. After two years with the Raiders, Sims is back with the Bengals after inking a one-year deal in March.
"I think his time away from here has been good for him," said head coach Marvin Lewis. "You get additional training and coaching that's different and you come back and you're a step beyond where you were which is good."
"I just felt that this was the right place for me to come back to," said Sims. "I want to come back and show what I can do."
In his previous stint with the Bengals, Sims proved to be an effective run-stuffer and a valuable member of their defensive line rotation.
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"He's a big physical guy that can help our run defense and can push the pocket in pass situations as well," said Hayes.
"He has the big man mass that you need to be able to play inside like that," said Lewis. "He's an experienced player who has been really productive on the inside for us."
Sims battled injury problems and missed 13 games in his final two seasons in Cincinnati but the former third round draft choice did not miss any games over the two years he spent in Oakland.
"I haven't been injured since I left," Pat told me. "Hopefully we're going to keep it that way.
"I feel like the best is yet to come for me. I'm just going to go out there and showcase my talent."
Sims will be in the middle of one of the most intriguing position battles in training camp as the Bengals figure to keep four defensive tackles from the group of Geno Atkins, Domata Peko, Brandon Thompson, Devon Still, fourth round draft pick Marcus Hardison, Kwame Geathers and Sims.
Coach Lewis liked what he saw from Sims during the Bengals mandatory minicamp in June.
"I thought his last week was really good," said Lewis. "He's getting himself into the shape and condition that he needs to be in."
Sims was part of one of the NFL's best defensive lines during his previous stint in Cincinnati. Should Bengals fans expect that to be the case again in 2015?
"I guess y'all just gonna have to wait and see," he said with a laugh. "We can talk about it all day, but we just have to go out there and show everybody."
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