The first Bengals practice of any kind at Paul Brown Stadium this year came Friday, 231 days after Carson Palmer led the Bengals New Year's Eve workout before the season finale in Baltimore.
Now, Jordan Palmer is in his brother's corner locker, former UFL receiver John Standeford is in The Ocho's locker, and the starting quarterback is a rookie who was sporting the beginning of a red goatee.
But unlike Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton says he'll be clean-shaven for Sunday's 7 p.m. game in the New Meadowlands (Cincinnati's Channel 12) against the Jets.
"Being lazy," said Dalton with a laugh, lockering in rookie row, the extra metal portable lockers in place until the roster cutdown.
He's in good company. No. 1 target A.J. Green is next to him as the new Carson and Ocho wait for their own spacious wood lockers.
Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer has been looking at a guy like Green on tape. Plaxico Burress is making his comeback and head coach Rex Ryan says he'll play into the second quarter like the rest of his starters.
"He's a little bit of a long-strider, but he catches the ball like this kid Green," Zimmer said. "Pretty similar in how they do things. He catches the ball (well)."
Zimmer knows the Jets have averaged 200 yards per game on the ground in the last three games against the Bengals, but he also wants to make sure the Bengals do what he emphasized in practice this week and cover the pass tighter.
"They've been physical. They've run through some tackles and they had a 60-yard reverse on us last year," Zimmer said. "I'm sure we'll get a reverse. We'll get some of that stuff.
"Little better. Not happy yet (with the coverage). We have to cover better and we have to rush better. The linebackers have to be in better spots. It's not one thing."
Safety Chris Crocker faced Burress back in the day when he was with the Steelers and Crocker played for the Browns, but this isn't a matchup kind of game.
"It's preseason. We're more worried about ourselves," Crocker said.
What they're worried about is coverage.
"You can't say we weren't physical last week. We missed too many tackles in coverage. We played too far off and gave them easy balls. The goal this week is contest everything," Crocker said.
As for the problems, the Bengals have had against the Jets running game Crocker believes "it's a case of guys getting out of their gaps. I can't say they outmanned us. (Or that) they were just more physical. We just actually weren't technically sound and they got a couple of big runs."
» Head coach Marvin Lewis says the offensive starters are going to play at least the first half … Tight end Jermaine Gresham, who missed the entire of week of practice with an unannounced ailment, worked Friday and says he's a game-time decision … All but one of the wide receivers (rookie Ryan Whalen) practiced. It will interesting to see if receiver Quan Cosby (muscle soreness) returns punts or if free-agent rookie Jamere Holland gets to showcase the speed of a California prep sprint champion.
» A dozen players didn't work Friday, among them running back Jay Finley and left end Carlos Dunlap. They didn't practice at all this week and most likely won't play.
» It's believed the Bengals are interested enough in former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor that they'll staff this weekend's workout headed by former Bengals quarterback and assistant coach Ken Anderson before Monday's supplemental draft.