GEORGETOWN, Ky. — The intrasquad scrimmage and Mock Game live, but not as we know it.
Head coach Marvin Lewis has decided to hold the intrasquad scrimmage Friday at 7 p.m. at Georgetown College. No score will be kept, but there will be officials. He'll also hold the Mock Game Saturday at noon, but won't break it up into teams.
» Nate Clements arrived for work here Monday knowing that Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall were one of the NFL's top pair on the corner. Asked if the Bengals could still be considered having one of the best now that he's in town, Clements sounded like his new head coach.
"We definitely have (the ability) to be one of the top duo corners," Clements said in an impromptu news conference here at Georgetown College. "You can say it, but basically the bottom line at the end of the day is you have to go out there and do it."
» That head coach is like everyone else down here at camp raving about No. 1 pick A.J. Green. He catches everything, no one's covered him, and when he is, he jumps up and takes it away.
"He showed his physical prowess out there today," said Lewis with a shake of his head at his own news conference.
Even though the Bengals had a pair of 10,000-yard receivers last year in Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, Lewis offered, "He's an upgrade … we're improved athletically."
The 6-4 Green, who turned 23 Sunday, launched himself over safety Chris Crocker to make one of those "wow" catches where you can hear him snap the ball like some amphibian at the top of his jump. It came on the first play of an 11-on-11 after quarterback Andy Dalton play-actioned and rolled out of his pocket to the right and threw one that hung high enough for Green. Later Dalton threw a beauty of a bomb down the right sideline that Green caught in stride. In one-on-ones Green bedeviled that very good corner in Hall and in 7-on-7 he beat him in the slot on a quick move to the corner and Dalton completed a nice touch pass over the shoulder.
"He's in the upper echelon right now, I'd say," said Crocker, a vet of 110 NFL games.
» There's been a lot of talk about the non-diva aspect of this club now that the you-know-whos are gone and Lewis called himself out. He's drawn a lot of abuse for letting The Ocho get away with flouting the rules and when Andre Caldwell came out for the first practice in orange shorts and Jerome Simpson was the last guy on the field, Lewis let them have it. He made Caldwell go inside and change and he jumped all over Simpson.
"We just buried them and it was good; closed the chapter," Lewis said. "Old habits are hard to break. That's what happens. That's my fault. Shame on me."
But Lewis knows he has nothing to worry about with Caldwell and Simpson. Simpson came up to him and said, "Coach, that will never happen again."
"And he means it," Lewis said. "You don't have to worry about it. You don't have to have it corrected in three days."
» Caldwell says it's a different kind of room now.
"There's a lot less clowning around, but we've got a job to do," he said. "I love being a leader. Lead by example. I'm not like Chad where I'm loud with all the antics and stuff. ... We're like businessmen in there, we've got a big job to do. There's not much clowning around like there used to be."
» Lewis singled out Mike Nugent for his three bullets from 36, 39 and 44 yards, his first field goals with the team since ripping the ACL in his kicking knee in Indianapolis Nov. 14, noting it looks like he's got the strength pretty much all the way back.
"Feels like last camp," Nugent said. "The key is how does it feel tomorrow?"...
Of course special teams coach Darrin Simmons was watching other things during the kicks. He can see them on tape all he wants.
"Did they make them?" Simmons asked.
Free agent rookie Thomas Weber of Arizona State also boomed his three from closer range.
» It was the Bengals' first action in pads, but the skilled guys carried the day in Green and Nugent. Dalton had a better day than Sunday, although he did have some overthrows and some floaters. He seems to be developing some chemistry with tight end Jermaine Gresham, a frequent target over the middle ... The rookie running backs slowed down a bit Monday and didn't make many splashy runs.
» Cornerback Morgan Trent isn't practicing because of his knee. His contract was tweaked and he can't get on the field until the CBA is ratified. He says the knee feels good.
» Also out Monday was cornerback Jonathan Wade, who injured his shoulder Sunday. Running back Bernard Scott and fullback Fui Vakapuna continued to rest hamstrings. Tight end Garrett Mills was in a boot.
» Randy Moss, the wide receiver the Bengals turned down twice in the 1998 draft largely because of his baggage, was 3-1 in four games against them. He had 20 catches for 288 yards and three touchdowns for a 14.4 average with a long of 61 with the Vikings, Raiders and Pats. His lone 100-yarder came in the Monday night 2007 game that New England won with 102 yards on nine catches and two TDs.