With Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis' staff set to land in Indianapolis for Thursday's start of the NFL scouting combine, he already has a good idea what the TBA rookies are going to face in the spring. Without giving away any hints, he says he's going to tweak the spring schedule by keeping in mind he wants his team fresh when it leaves training camp at Georgetown College in August.
"We were fresh last year when we broke camp and the weather helped," Lewis said last week as he recalled the unseasonably cool temperatures of August and September. "The thing I've got to understand if we get extremely hot weather like we didn't a year ago is we've got to do things down there so we make sure we come back here not physically drained. It's already going to be a little different."
He did indicate the mandatory minicamp that ends the spring workouts is going to be about the same time, Father's Day weekend in mid to late June.
HUSH HUSH ON REY REY: Asked last week if SAM linebacker Rey Maualuga had checked into the Betty Ford Clinic in the wake of last month's DUI arrest, Lewis said no and he wouldn't confirm if or when Maualuga was headed to the facility in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
"Rey is going to make good choices and do the right things to help himself," Lewis said. "But we're not going to comment publicly on what those are. It won't be public knowledge on what we decide to do with Rey Maualuga."
Lewis did say he believes Maualuga is self aware and he thought his recent trip to Samoa with Domata Peko and Jon Fanene is going to help him.
"The good thing is whatever problems and issues people have, once they recognize them they generally will work with it," Lewis said. "The trip was really good for him. Beneficial. We've got to continue to address the (broken) ankle, the rehab of that, and address some of the other issues we're dealing with."
GYM OCHO:Lewis has been keeping up with wide receiver Chad Ochocinco and is glad to see him back in the gym already.
"Ocho is omnipresent," said Lewis with a laugh, a couple of weeks after he saw him at the Super Bowl. "The thing I think that Chad has realized is he looks at some of these big guys that are being productive in the NFL, and by him continuing to train like he did (last year), it will keep the muscle on that he has. As you get a little older, you don't want to thin out in the upper body."
The Ocho didn't show until June last year, hitting the last two voluntary workouts before the mandatory weekend but Lewis said he thinks this year that "he'll be around when we get on the field." Yet Lewis also knows that he's a got a guy heading into his 10th season.
"He understands training. He obviously showed that last year," he said. "He got here in good shape and he was ready to go and that's what I expect out of him."
Lewis called The Ocho's '09 (72 catches, 1,047 yards, nine TDs) "a good year," but he thinks he's got a better one coming.
"By Chad's standards, it wasn't as good as Chad can be but remember, we were different. He didn't have as many opportunities," Lewis said of the tilt toward the running game. "The thing we hadn't seen in a couple of years is he was making contested catches and those were big. He got himself uncovered in Cleveland to win the game. He got uncovered against Kansas City to win the game. He hadn't done that in a while where there were guys hanging all over him, so it was good to see."