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Quick Hits: Jake Browning Updates His Resume; Mike Thomas' Classy Move; Iosivas Pays Homage To Ja'Marr 

TE Tanner Hudson (left) and WR Adnrei Iosivas hit the griddy after Iosiva's first NFL touchdown during the Bengals-Commanders preseason game on Saturday, August 26, 2023.
TE Tanner Hudson (left) and WR Adnrei Iosivas hit the griddy after Iosiva's first NFL touchdown during the Bengals-Commanders preseason game on Saturday, August 26, 2023.

LANDOVER, Md. _ There is no one better to do Saturday's pregame speech for the last-shot-everything-on-the-line for the roster fringe that is the preseason finale.

So safety Mike Thomas, the 11-year vet who is the NFL dean of the Bengals locker room and on the fringe himself, gave the speech here in the FedEx locker room.

"This is to update your resume. Your family needs an updated resume. Go out and update your resume," he told them and watched quarterback Jake Browning do exactly that in the 21-19 loss to the Commanders in which the Bengals didn't play any of their starters.

Browning, in his fifth year and looking to make his first 53-man roster out of the preseason, made the necessary changes in completing all six passes for 42 yards in two series and led them to an opening drive touchdown. Trevor Siemian played the next five drives and got two field goals and when the dust cleared in a month-long competition, Browning had generated two touchdowns to Siemian's none.

Head coach Zac Taylor wouldn't say that's enough, preferring to wait to cut the roster Tuesday. But Browning, who has spent the last two years on the Bengals practice squad, had the look of a man who knew he had done all he could.

"Mike Thomas told us before the game to, 'Update the resume,'" Browning said. "Anytime you go out there you want to play well live for the tape. And I think I played well."

Going back to last Friday night's last-minute drive in Atlanta, Brown completed his last ten passes for 84 yards. The biggest in each drive was a back-shoulder throw to the large vacuum known as rookie wide receiver Andrei Iosivas and this one Saturday night went for 25 yards on third-and-three when the 6-3 Iosivas posted up.

"Press man. He's been doing a good job lately catching those 50-50 balls on the DB's back," Browning said. "He did a good job playing into him. Once you give the receiver a ball to work with, it's up to the receiver and he's been doing that."

Then he hooked up with Iosivas for a seven-yard touchdown on the back line of the end zone. He was all alone, but Browning still threw it high enough that only Iosivas and maybe only 50 or so human beings could get it. But that's what he does as Princeton's All-American heptathlete.

"He's a decathlete or heptathlete, whatever he is. I know he jumps," Browning said. "I know he jumps higher than you and I."

Iosivas admitted he had to use his "bunnies," to go up and get it. Once he saw the DBs blow the coverage by doubling Trent Taylor's out, he knew he was by himself.

"(Browning's) always on point. He extends plays. He makes the right reads. He throws it where he trusts you to catch it," Iosivas said. "Like that back shoulder. He knows the game. We've been working on that and it's good to see it come to fruition."

Mike Thomas felt good for Browning, too. Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie was saying, "It's The Jake Show," making Thomas smile.

"We root for all our guys. We love Trev, too," Thomas said. "You see a guy like Jake who has been grinding out there and to see him have success is fun to watch. Yeah, Chido was saying, 'It's The Jake Show," but I won't say the second part he was saying. Too corny."

SLANTS AND SCREENS: Speaking of grinding, the 33-year-old Thomas was all over the place making five tackles on a 90-degree field. With the Bengals down six cornerbacks, he had to play safety as well as wake up the echoes of his rookie year and play the slot corner. He almost matched his age with 30 snaps.

"Full circle tonight. I had fun," Thomas said.

Thomas is thought to be in a roster tractor pull with sophomore Tycen Anderson for the fourth safety job. How about this? Thomas gave Anderson his No. 31 jersey after the game.

"He's my little bro," Thomas said. "You said it. 'Passing of the torch.' If this is my last NFL game, I thank everyone."

But what about the practice squad?

"Any capacity this team wants me," Thomas said …

Ja'Marr Chase asked Iosivas if he scored to do "The Griddy." Iosivas had planned to pay homage to his home state of Hawaii, but he'll save that for his first official touchdown.

"Ja'Marr asked kindly and I'm a Bengal. That's kind of the thing," Iosivas said …

Edge Joseph Ossai, one of their top pass rushers, left with what could be an ankle sprain. It doesn't appear to be broken. He was playing, Zac Taylor said, because he needed the reps ...

Back-up tackle D'Ante Smith left with a shoulder injury ..

It would appear defensive tackle Domenique Davis is a long shot to make the 53, but how immense has he been? Eight more tackles Saturday, three more than any other Bengal ...

You'd have to think before the game rookie cornerback DJ Ivey was a lock. Now you have to figure it's in stone. It seemed like he never came off the field, getting hands on two balls defensed to go with four tackles.

"I saw some good plays on the ball from Ivey. Some contested plays, and even one of the completions he gave up on third down he was right there," Taylor said. "It was contested, he was in tight coverage and the guy made a good play. I thought that he was involved in some key plays throughout the game." ...

A few hours later and a check of the play counts revealed Ivey and cornerback Allan George were the only defenders to play all 61 snaps. Rookie Jaxson Kirkland was the only one to play all 70 offense as he played both guard and tackle in what looked like a bid to secure a practice squad spot ...