Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis wrapped up a decade of rookie minicamps Sunday impressed with the NFL speed and size that were displayed in the five practices at Paul Brown Stadium.
After the final workout in a steady rain he praised the work of a deep field of receivers and said that third-rounder Mohamed Sanu is going to push to start in his first year out of Rutgers and indicated fifth-rounder Marvin Jones is going to be busy.
"I thought Sanu was everything we expected him to be. I think he's going to be able to come in here and play right away as a rookie and he's going to push to start, play time," Lewis said. "To me, Marvin had a great five practices. His ability to be a returner as well will stand out. His height, and his ability to go catch and compete for the ball. He really tracks the ball well in the air. You see that speed paired with that size (6-2), that's big."
But Lewis isn't ruling out adding a veteran wideout. When asked if he felt better about his receivers than he did Thursday he said, "I felt good about them on Thursday. I think you (media) feel better about them now than you did on Thursday. You should write that."
*SLANTS AND SCREENS *
» Most of these guys are going to be back Monday for their first appearance in the offseason conditioning program. A couple, because their school has yet to graduate, aren't eligible. First-rounder Kevin Zeitler, for instance can return later in the week. Indications are the only rookie that can't be at the OTAs starting May 22 is free-agent UCLA safety Tony Dye, who won't be able to come in until June. Sixth-rounder Daniel Herron has already gradauted from Ohio State, so he can be here Monday.
» No moves were expected Sunday, but if Lewis's hints come through the Bengals will sign two tryout players this week: Kansas State outside linebacker Emmanuel Lamur and Morgan State fullback/running back Jourdan Brooks. Those were the two guys he mentioned when asked who did well.
» Free-agent middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict arrived sautéed in an enigma and boiled in a question mark. But Lewis likes what he saw during the weekend. Particularly from a guy that wasn't in position very often in school.
"Very pleased, very pleased. He's done well," Lewis said. "It will be great once we get deeper into special teams. In order for linebackers to stay around they have to be a big-time contributor on special teams.
"I thought in the (three days) of special teams work we've had out here he's done a nice job of picking up the assignments. He's in great football position. Those are things. If you watch the tape of him you see him do it two or three times a game. Now you're seeing him do it three plays in a row. That's the key. He'll be fine."