PLAYERS OF THE DAY: Wide receiver A.J. Green and defensive tackle Geno Atkins
With Anthony Munoz, who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Ken Anderson, who should be, both in attendance Monday at training camp, we anoint Green and Atkins, first-ballot Hall-of-Famers on the way. Green says he'll go until he's 36, which means he'll be eligible in 12 years. Get your reservations for the class of 2030.
Other guys made some plays. Tight end Tyler Eifert presented himself across the middle for a couple of balls. He had a nice grab in the red zone. Wide receiver Cody Core made a one-handed catch and later posted up for a two-point conversion.
But, let's face it. These two guys can do what they want to do in this stuff and could get it any day. This is the day.
PLAY OF THE DAY: Rookie running back Mark Walton got a big cheer form the offense for going in untouched on a run from the 2 behind one of the back-up lines centered by T.J. Johnson. Walton appeared to make a nifty cut back on what looked to be a zone run. There seem to be more of those surges by the line this summer.
"Just trusting my O-line," Walton said. "The linebackers were flowing over the top and I trusted my ability cut it back and there was a nice lane there when I did cut it back."
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "He had the feet of a dancing bear and he could get mad like one. He was an athlete, man. A pitcher at USC. He and Randy Johnson. Can you imagine that high leg kick coming down from the mound? Yes, that was intimidating. We all know Anthony is one of the best people you'll ever meet. A sweetheart. Wonderful man. But the minute that dude started across that line, he'd hurt you. Ask Bruce Smith." _ NFL Sirius Radio analyst Solomon Wilcots on Munoz, his teammate on the Bengals' 1988 AFC champs.
SOLLY's TAKE: With Wilcots and Munoz in the house, it was a little reminder Paul Brown Stadium is preparing for the celebration of the 1988 AFC champs next month when the Bengals open the home season in 38 days against the Ravens.
It was also a Who's Who of the best analysts the game has seen roaming the sidelines Monday. Not only Wilcots was there, but so was 1968 original tight end Bob Trumpy, a historical figure in the passing game who went to the Hall for his long-time contributions as an analyst. Also on the field was long-time Bengals radio analyst Dave Lapham.
Wilcots has an interesting take. He says it's the best Bengals defensive line he's ever seen and thinks they can easily get 40 sacks, a number Lewis' Bengals never hit until 2011 and now have done it five times in the last seven seasons, including last year.
"The rotations of pass rushers is the best they've ever had when it comes to individual guys. We have to see if it plays out," Wilcots said. "They can get 40 sacks easy and that's spread out. Ten here. Ten there. Ten over there. Carlos (Dunlap), Geno, Carl Lawson. I think Jordan Willis is going to have a big year. Maybe not three guys with 10 sacks each, but definitely three guys with at least eight. They have length, they have size, they can get after a quarterback. Of course,we have to win on the early downs first."
The line got good pressure much of Monday with the Bengals working on a lot of third-and-long stuff. Atkins was his typical bothersome self. Left end Carlos Dunlap brought the heat against right tackle Bobby Hart on two straight snaps forcing quarterback Andy Dalton to side step and hurry it up. Lawson got a good rush on left tackle Cordy Glenn.