Hard Knocks III

Updated: 6:30 a.m.

The NFL Films cameras caught a little bit of everything in the third episode of Hard Knocks Wednesday night, from running back DeDe Dorsey vomiting on the sidelines during the New England game to wide receiver Chad Ochocinco's weekly manicure.

There was also rookie linebacker Rey Maualuga getting off the ground exulting softy, "My first tackle, my first tackle," after drilling Patriots running back Fred Taylor on his first NFL snap.

Some clues were also uncovered as the Bengals mulled their personnel during a series of coaches meetings. The defensive coaches pretty much agreed that Maualuga is going to end up starting at SAM linebacker, along with Dhani Jones in the middle and Keith Rivers at WILL. The script also indicated that the coaches believed rookie Bernard Scott has earned one of the two spots available behind starting running back Cedric Benson with the final third spot between Dorsey and Brian Leonard.

Bengals president Mike Brown wasn't present during those scenes and it will be interesting to see if the coaches' say in personnel decisions sparks as much debate about Brown's role after that scene in the first episode showed a personnel meeting of coaches and scouts.

There was a sobering scene with trainer Paul Sparling telling quarterback Carson Palmer his sprained ankle is going to bother him for several weeks. But after that scene went in the can, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis told the media Tuesday that Palmer had improved and thought he could resume practice when the Bengals did.

As they say, stay tuned.

But like it did on the final night of training camp at Georgetown College, the rookie show stole the show, led by tackle Gus Parrish's uproarious imitation of unsigned first-round pick Andre Smith. Parrish first replayed Smith's now notorious workout at Alabama by taking off his shirt and running across the room while emphasizing his upper body.

Then, with defensive end Michael Johnson acting as his coach, Parrish reenacted the first episode of Hard Knocks, where Smith ended up breathing pretty hard after taking some drop steps.

But fullback Chris Pressley probably got the biggest laugh with his dead-on act of Jones, complete with short colorful shorts.

Smith was a frequent topic in this most recent show. The cameras camped outside the four-hour meeting this past Sunday between Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn and Smith's agent Alvin Keels. But they couldn't get much, except a shot of Keels getting picked up by his driver after he and Blackburn exchanged pleasant goodbyes and pledged to keep the dialogue going.

"I'm ready when you're ready," she told him.

The best part of the chronicling of wide receiver Chad Ochocinco's night in New England in which he kicked the winning point came during his discussion with a referee during warmups. The ref repeated The Ocho's new catch phrase, "Child, please." And when he came out to kick off in the second half, he asked "Where do I put it?"

Other memorable moments include:

» Linebacker Darryl Blackstock taking a five-year-old boy into the locker room after the last open practice of training camp and emerging with an autographed football.

"Do you know this guy? What's his name?" Cedric Benson asked the child as he signed the ball.

When he didn't quite know, Benson said, "I don't know him either."

» A hilarious interval when safety Chinedum Ndukwe takes Maualuga shopping for furniture upon the team's return to Cincinnati.

» Quarterback Jordan Palmer getting the guys a deal during a meal at a local eatery of what looks to be most of the offense.

The show provided a nice look at the style of defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. "Thanks for coming," he told some fans as he signed some autographs. "Now I have to go yell at people." The storyline of Maualuga's injury and how he came back in time for the second game was solid, and head coach Marvin Lewis' disdain of injuries was good for a laugh.

 

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