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Camp report: fast and crisp


Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, who suffers fools and turnovers with equal disdain, liked it. And if he didn't, he would have told you so.

But, no, the 68-year-old future Hall-of-Famer who was old school in the old school, liked what unfolded at Tuesday's joint practice with the Bengals on the Paul Brown Stadium practice fields.

Coughlin called the workout fast, crisp. There were no dangerous piles. There were no fights. When Giants wide receiver Preston Palmer got knocked down by safety Shiloh Keo and had words with Keo, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis barked at his player, "Avoid the collision."

The last time Coughlin had worked out with another team was 10 years ago,. It started disastrously and ended  with Coughlin screaming at Jets coaches.

But Tuesday was crisp. Just what he had in mind when he called Lewis a few months ago when the preseason schedule came out and felt him out on the subject.

"It has to be someone you trust because obviously there is an awful lot at stake when you work," Coughlin said after practice. "But it is good for your team to work against someone else, the intensity goes up a notch and they realize all the drills are meant for their own improvement and to get a handle on where your team exactly is. I think from that standpoint, I thought the Bengals did a good job preparing for us and things went well."

Coughlin praised Lewis, the man he trusted enough to make the trip, and the pair put on organized chaos. When they did individual drills, the teams each had their own field. When they did drills together the Bengals offense went against the Giants defense on one field while at the same time the Bengals defense went against the Giants offense on the other field.

 And when special teams worked on one field, other groups used the other field.

 "I thought the initial special teams drill was good," Coughlin said of punt cover. "Then I picked my spots the rest of the way."

 Lewis  was just as enthusiastic about working against a team known for its coach's commitment to mistake-free, no-nonsense football.

 "He prides them on being low on penalties, low in error. They've been a good run football team, a good play-action football team, which is great for our defense," Lewis said before the workout. "To me, it's exciting because we had our quarterback a few years ago get to watch how Matt Ryan did things (in Atlanta in 2013). The same thing now, he gets a chance with Eli (Manning). Those guys have some years on Andy (Dalton), so he has a chance to take away some good thoughts from them."

 The estimated crowd of 2,200, a record for a Paul Brown Stadium training camp practice, had to have their heads on a swivel and they saw plenty, among them Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. treated like a rock star... PLAYER OF THE DAY:  Bengals WR A.J. Green.

OK, he went offsides on one snap. On another play he had a miscommunication with Dalton, one of those where he stopped short while Dalton threw it long down the right sideline.

 But he was the best wide receiver on a field that also boasted Beckham. Green got deep a few times in 7-on-7 and wriggled over the middle for a few slants in 11-on-11 while he and tight end Tyler Eifert kept struggling offense breathing.

 When the Bengals  broke out in the final team drill of the day in red zone, the Giants couldn't cover Green  with starting cornerback Prince Amukamara on the sidelines.

On the first snap, Green ran a stop and go down the right sideline and Dalton corkscrewed cornerback Jayron Hosley into the ground with a pump fake for a touchdown. Then a few snaps later Green ran past cornerback Bennett Jackson for easy separation on another touchdown pass down the right sideline.

Meanwhile, Beckham ran some drag routes over the middle, but he had trouble breaking one.

 PLAY OF THE DAY:  Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick.

 There could have been a few.

 Like the last play of 11-on-11, when Dalton rifled a sideline pass to rookie wide receiver Mario Alford and he snatched it from cornerback Chandler Fenner before falling out-of-bounds.

 Or Eifert's catch in the second team session. They needed something after Green's offsides, the miscommunication, and two snaps where coverage forced Dalton to run. After wide receiver Mohamed Sanu was wide open on a shallow crossing route, Dalton sifted a first down pass over the middle to Eifert creating separation against linebacker Jon Beason.

 But we'll go with Kirkpatrick on one of the first 1-on-1 snaps, if not the first. The Bengals had reportedly expressed interest in wide receiver James Jones right before camp started last month, but he apparently had his eye on the Giants.

Cincinnati Bengals host joint practice with New York Giants at Paul Brown Stadium practice fields 08/11/2015

Kirkpatrick had one eye on Jones and the other eye on Eli Manning and was all over what looked to be a slant and picked it clean to set the tone for the week. The Bengals press corners aren't going to be easy and Manning said as much after practice when he noted they didn't get much deep.

"I thought Pacman (Jones) and Kirkpatrick, both those guys are good in press coverage," Manning said. "We tried to go over the top and throw some back shoulder balls, they were all pretty contested. Maybe we completed one, but they covered a couple of them. I thought that was good work for our 1-on-1s, going against different corners with different techniques. I thought there were a lot of contested throws and guys going for the ball and that's what you want."

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Coughlin on writing a letter to Browns head coach Paul Brown in 1958, long before the Bengals were a twinkle in his eye:

"When I was 12 years old, after a game, probably a Giant playoff game, I sent him a note and he sent one back. That was the highlight, of someone of his stature of that time reacting to me sitting there critiquing his game at the age of, like, 12. Tremendous history. All you have to do is think about the man's success and his career, way back in the beginning, high school."

SLANTS AND SCREENS: Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson had mixed emotions after practice. He liked how productive they were in the scoring zone, but didn't like the sloppiness when it came to turnovers.

"It showed us where we are,' Jackson said. "We've got a lot of work to do.  There was a lot of good things too. The scoring zone was really good. But there were some things I know we can do better and we've got to get it done."

In the first team session, center Russell Bodine shotgunned high two snaps on the first four plays. In the next team drill, Green went offsides, had the  miscommunication with Dalton, and Dalton had to keep it twice when they couldn't get open against man-to-man. Plus, running backs Rex Burkhead and Cedric Peerman had fumbles later in the day before they heated up.

"I want to make sure why. Maybe they covered us that well. But maybe they didn't," said Jackson as he went to the film room. "There were a couple of times I thought, 'Wow, what's going on here?'

"I know it was good for our guys because you've got to measure things in a different light," Jackson said. "The elementary thing of getting the snap from center, are you kidding me? Those things can't happen. Those things have reared its ugly head again. I'm about tired of that. I've had enough about that. We'll get it fixed, but I'm getting tired of it."

Bodine had similar problems last camp, but it didn't carry over into his rookie season. Jackson sent a message when he replaced Bodine for a few plays with T.J. Johnson and when Bodine returned there didn't appear to be a problem.

"There's a lot ways to get it fixed," Jackson said. "I'll figure it out." …

Backup AJ McCarron didn't practice after straining a rib Monday and it's unclear if he'll get the second-team snaps Friday night or if it is Josh Johnson. For the second straight practice, Johnson stepped up and had a good day with McCarron's snaps.

He seems to have developed a certain chemistry with Alford, who caught another long pass from Johnson after he scored a TD from him Monday in the red zone….

Although Burkhead had the fumble, he also had a terrific conversion on third-and-six when Dalton threw a strike to him out of the slot for a first down on the sideline…

Rookie Tom Obarski was 6-for-8 on field goals Tuesday with both misses coming from 46, but he went on to hit 49 and 52 yards after the misses…

Right end Michael Johnson (MCL) was on the field for the first time since spraining his knee Aug. 2.  It looks like it's going to be a close call in Oakland Sept. 13…

Left guard Clint Boling (knee) didn't work and again was replaced by Eric Winston. Rookie left tackle Jake Fisher also moved in there for a few snaps….

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