Joe Mixon has looked good early.
There's no question that rookie running back Joe Mixon is the most impressive of the newcomers as Bengals training camp winds into its fourth day Monday and the first full-padded practice. But maybe we haven't seen anything yet.
"That's more of an advantage on my side compared to the little guys," said the 6-1, 228-pound Mixon before Monday's practice. "Because I feel like I move even better with them on."
Which has to make you wonder because he moved so well without them in the first two days that fans cheered his 4.46 40-yard speed as he jetted past the back seven. And it's getting rough out there. Just ask running back Tra Carson. During Sunday's first day in shoulder pads, linebacker Vontaze Burfict blew him up in the hole and he went backward on his backside on the first thump of the year.
Since Mixon wears No. 28 there's been a little bit of a rumbling about his resemblance to the 6-1, 225-pound Corey Dillon, the Bengals all-time leading rusher, although Dillon was a bit more compact and Mixon is faster. And if there is anyone Mixon is modeling himself on it's the 6-2, 217-pound Adrian Peterson, the former Viking now headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame via the Saints.
Peterson, who came before Mixon and 11,747 NFL yards at Oklahoma, hosted Mixon for a 10-day visit to his Houston home before training camp. They not only worked out with Chargers running back Melvin Gordon and Packers running back Ty Montgomery, but Peterson gave Mixon the entire picture of a pro.
"He's been taking me under (his wing) ever since my freshman year," Mixon said. "It was fun. We talked a lot about off-the-field stuff. The big thing was about taking care of money. How to approach things business wise. He pretty much was showing me the ropes."
Peterson's on-field advice is probably simpler.
"Stay in the playbook and take care of your body," said Mixon of Peterson's counsel. "I learned a lot in the spring and I'm just trying to carry it on. Right now I'm able to play fast."
And Mixon is fast. Everywhere. He got here when he was 20 years old. He turned 21 last week and he's the still the youngest guy on the team by four months. He agrees that people forget he's so young, but he doesn't mind.
"I like being the young buck, "Mixon said.
He's so young, he was born the week Willie Anderson's training camp opened on July 24, 1996. That was Dillon's last year in college. How young? The first guys Mixon remembers watching in the NFL are Randy Moss and Michael Vick with Vick his favorite.
"I remember Corey Dillon his last year with the Bengals and then when he went on to New England," Mixon said.
Mixon says Peterson, 32, still has a few years left.
"Plenty left,' he said. "He's got three or four left."
GREEN BIRTHDAY: Speaking of birthdays, Monday is A.J. Green's 29th. Remember when Green said he wants to play seven more years? Well, he looks better than he ever did so in his honor we had Santo Labombarda of Elias Sports Bureau track the top five receiving yardage leaders after their 29th birthday. If Green keeps going at his current pace, he would log 8,324 yards from today on. Which wouldn't make Santo's list:
Rice, Jerry 14,584
* Brown, Tim 10,200*
* Smith, Jimmy 9,431*
* Harrison, Marvin 9,026*
* Smith, Steve 8,804*
But Green looks so good this year, he looks like 10,000.
DIDN'T TAKE LONG: Special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons said he wanted to get down to two kickers at some point this camp. But he probably didn't think it would be this quickly. It probably is just a coincidence that free-agent Jonathan Brown is the only kicker who suffered a miss and is gone.
It probably has more to do with safety Derron Smith's ankle injury. After he was sighted in a boot Monday, the Bengals cut Brown to add safety Cedric Thompson.
The 6-0, 215-pound Thompson, a first-year player, was a fifth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in the 2015 NFL Draft, and he spent the entire '15 season on the Dolphins' practice squad. After spending the 2016 offseason and two pre-season games with the New England Patriots, he later was signed to the Minnesota Vikings' practice squad, where he spent a total of nine games last year. The Vikings waived him on May 4.
The Bengals got back free-agent rookie running back Jarveon Williams Monday after he passed a physical.
Cincinnati Bengals host Training Camp at Paul Brown Stadium Practice Fields 7/31/2107