GEORGETOWN, Ky. — Head coach Marvin Lewis looked aghast Monday as he saw two media members furiously tweeting the highlights of his first depth chart of the year. Lewis has often said it is not worth the paper it is written on and, "I only do it because they make me."
Especially this one, since his team has been on the field all of seven times.
The only slight surprise is Andre Smith getting the nod at right tackle ahead of Dennis Roland even though Roland has had more snaps as the team tries to ease Smith's troubled foot back into action. But it shows how much the Bengals think of him when healthy.
Everything else in the starting lineup is pretty standard with rookie Andy Dalton the No. 1 quarterback and Bruce Gradkowski 2-3 and Jordan Palmer. Rookie A.J. Green and Jerome Simpson are the starting receivers, Chris Pressley is the starting fullback and left end Robert Geathers is holding down his starting job ahead of last year's NFL rookie sack king Carlos Dunlap.
The more intriguing moves are on the back line, where Dan Skuta has moved to middle linebacker and is now backing up Rey Maualuga. That means Skuta, last year's leading tackler on special teams, can play four different spots: MIKE and SAM backer, nickel right end, and fullback.
Until Bo Scaife gets settled, Chase Coffman is the No. 2 tight end behind Jermaine Gresham. Andre Caldwell's superb camp has been rewarded with a backup spot behind Green at flanker and even though Quan Cosby has been active only since Thursday, he's running No. 2 behind Jerome Simpson at the X receiver.
Running back Bernard Scott hasn't worked since the first practice with a tight hamstring, but he and Brian Leonard are 2-3 to Cedric Benson.
The backup safeties behind Chris Crocker and Reggie Nelson are a pair of young guys who bring versatility to the battle. Jeromy Miles became a factor as a rookie last season on special teams when he was activated in the last two months of the year and Tom Nelson won a spot on the '09 roster with his ability to play both cornerback and safety but spent all of 2010 trying to come back from a knee injury.
With a slew of cornerbacks shelved this past week (Jonathan Wade, David Pender, Brandon Ghee), veteran Fred Bennett has moved behind the top three of Leon Hall, Nate Clements and Morgan Trent.
The Bengals have two new backup guards. Even though Max Jean-Gilles played mainly right guard in Philadelpha, he's backing up Nate Livings at left. And Otis Hudson, the man offensive line coach Paul Alexander calls his most improved player next to Smith, is backing up Bobbie Williams at right.