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Camp report: Perfect day for kicking while Dalton nearly is


Darrin Simmons is most likely watching the protection for Jake Elliott on this snap and not the kick.

Darrin Simmons, the Bengals' meticulous special teams coordinator, unveiled the first installment of The Veteran (Randy Bullock) and The Rookie (Jake Elliott) Sunday on the third day of Bengals training camp.

And there's a pretty good chance he didn't even watch the eight field goal tries and asked after he eyeballed the protection, "How'd we do?"

Couldn't have been better. Working into a slight breeze on an 85-degree day, Bullock and Elliott each hit kicks of 38, 48, 43, and 45, which means Bullock is seven-for-seven and Brown is the only one with a miss but he gets another chance Monday when he sets it up with Elliott, the fifth-rounder from Memphis, as Bullock takes a seat in the two-man rotation.

Elliott even did the right thing when he missed. The play was waved off because Simmons 'iced," the kicker by calling a time out as the ball was snapped.

"We're trying to distract them," Simmons said. "But we want them to kick it (even if the timeout is called) so they get an extra rep, a warm-up kick."

 He says Elliott won't be downgraded because he missed his icer while Bullock hit his.

"It's a good start," Simmons said. "But its baby steps. We just started putting our feet in the pond."

Elliott watched Bullock and Brown kick Saturday after he tuned up Friday on what amounts to the J.V. field for his camp debut as a pro.  He admits there is a difference when teeing up in practice.

"Nobody is really looking behind the bleachers, but I got a lot of work over there the other day," Elliott said. "When you've got the crowd and everybody is looking, there's a little more pressure. But that's why we do it."

As only Simmons can put it, "That practice is the closest thing they get to the big stage."

Speaking of the big stage, he has no idea who starts the Aug. 11 pre-season opener against Tampa Bay. "A long way to go before that," Simmons said. Now is the easy part. He knows how many field-goals tries they'll get in practice, but the games? "That's going to be tough to manage," Simmons said. We could get one or eight. You don't know."

One thing Elliott knows. He's 4-for-4. He's not keeping track of Bullock and Brown.

"I'll just worry about myself," Elliott said, "and the rest will take care of itself."

PLAYER OF THE DAY: Quarterback Andy Dalton shrugged off the first day of shoulder pads and kept throwing like he was in a state of Texas 7-on-7 stuff when he drilled 11 of 12 passes, the only miss a corner route to rookie wide receiver Josh Malone that was slightly overthrown. He hit A.J. Green long, short, and intermediate, and took turns hitting wide receivers Brandon LaFell, Tyler Boyd, and Alex Erickson over the middle.

"We've been doing it awhile. That's what we expect," Dalton said. "We had a good day today. There were a lot of completions. Guys are in the right spots."

They're also in different spots Rookie wide receiver John Ross may not be ready for contact until maybe the third game of the preseason, but when he lines up in the non-contact stuff he has been in both the slot and outside. Same with LaFell and Boyd, which makes them even more dangerous. It will be recalled that LaFell had his best years for Carolina in the slot.

And, yes, it's early, but Dalton had nice space in the pocket, which is a good sign for new left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi.

"I thought the offensive line did well," Dalton said. "And we did a good job with the blitzes we picked up."

Dalton also went a little extra when he stayed behind after practice. With a little help from three-year-old son Noah, he threw some balls to Ross. Ross still has a couple of more weeks until he can go against a DB as he continues to rehab from shoulder surgery, but Dalton said every little bit helps.

PLAY OF THE DAY: Second day in a row it's a bomb from Dalton down the left sideline. Saturday it was Cody Core. Sunday it was Green. And Dalton put it right there. He had to. Cornerback William Jackson was draped all over him, but Green shielded him and was able to catch it over his head and hold on as they both went to the ground.

"He's going to be good," said Green of the 6-0 Jackson, which is one of the reasons they call him, "Willow." He's tall and he can run.  He had good position."

"Willow," came into the workout with two pick-sixes in as many days. Not Sunday. But after that play he did get a "good coverage, Will" from cornerback Adam Jones. "Keep playing."

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Green on the crisp timing with Dalton even though it's the first day of pads: "We've been here seven years. It should look like that."

 SLANTS AND SCREENS:  Bad day for safeties. Starter George Iloka (knee) and backup Derron Smith (ankle) got carted off together for MRIs. It's believed that Iloka hyperextended it while covering a quick pass over the middle to wide receiver Alex Erickson on the second snap of 11-on-11s. It's unknown how bad Smith's ankle is after he went down in a 7-on-7 session …

Jackson didn't get a pick-six but the defense kept its streak going of one a day when cornerback Bene Benwikere got one a few snaps after Iloka went down …

Ogbuehi looked to hold up in shoulder pads. The first chapter of Ced-rookie pass rusher Carl Lawson in 1-on-1 rush drills probably went the way you'd think. On the first snap, a bull rush, Lawson got into Ogbuehi pretty good. But on the second one, when Lawson tried the speed rush, Ogbuehi flashed his athleticism and kept Lawson at bay …   


Cincinnati Bengals host Training Camp at Paul Brown stadium Practice Fields 7/30/2017

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