Look for the Bengals to practice indoors at the University of Cincinnati bubble Wednesday and Thursday if the current Arctic forecast holds up, but they'll try and keep the same intensity from last week that players say fueled Sunday's 27-10 victory in New Orleans.
The Bengals engaged in faster, harder practices than they usually do at this point in the season and the workouts were seen as a major reason they bounced back from the 24-3 loss to Cleveland.
"I think we had some focus of things we needed to do," said head coach Marvin Lewis in his Day After news conference Monday. " We needed to continue to block physically up front and we've got to defend blocks physically up front and I thought we did a good job of that. We need to take that through the rest of the way. That's important, we can't back down off of that. That never works well in my opinion in the NFL. Teams that seldom practice (well) seldom win."
Despite last week's frigid temperatures in the 20s and 30s, the Bengals were able to focus on the task at hand. But there is even colder weather and sharper winds on the way.
"It's going to be cold, we'll see. It's going to be cold and windy from what I've been told Wednesday and Thursday so the wind more than anything,' Lewis said. "We kind of braved the wind and the cold last week and proud of our guys how we did it. We kind of balanced altering our schedule a little bit for a little less wind. Not that it's not as cold inside, but a little less windy inside."
DEA FINDINGS: After inspecting the Bengals before they left New Orleans with a 27-10 victory, the DEA said the club is in compliance with any controlled substances.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's New Orleans office told The Advocate in Baton Rouge, La., that the Bengals "had everything they were supposed to have," when agents met the team at Louis Armstrong International Airport and requested to see their medical practitioners' registrations and paperwork for any controlled substances they were carrying.
"Everything was in compliance," The DEA told the paper. "They had all the paperwork they needed."
The Bengals were one of four visiting teams that were investigated Sunday, including the 49ers, Seahawks, and Buccaneers. Various media outlets reported the DEA's spot checks stemmed from an investigation into former players claiming NFL teams mishandled prescription drugs in order to get players back on the field sooner.
"The Bengals have never had any issues regarding prescriptions/controlled substances," the club said in a statement. "We have a highly rated medical staff that handles these matters with concern for proper and legal practices. Any issues which might be present elsewhere are not present with our organization."
HERE COMES QUEZ: It seems like the Bengals may be hitting it just right with their injured players getting back just in time for the stretch run. They may have everybody back for the trip to Houston Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) except linebacker Vontaze Burfict and tight end Tyler Eifert.
(Backup defensive end Margus Hunt looked doubtful this week when he surfaced in a walking boot Monday.)
First-round pick Darqueze Dennard, hampered by a hip injury early in the second preseason game and various nicks since, looked good Sunday when he played the last 10 snaps in the slot with cornerback Leon hall resting a sore Achilles.
Dennard, who has now played 44 snaps, was playing so well in the spring and early in training camp there's no telling how much he'd be playing if he stayed healthy. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said Monday that Dennard "didn't miss a beat,' against the Saints.
But Dennard is an everything-happens-for-a-reason guy and he thinks he's been helped watching Hall, and the other two regular cornerbacks Terence Newman and Adam Jones.
"Patience and just learning how to be a pro. That's the biggest thing. I've got three great guys in front of me. They're all in kind of the same role but have been on three different paths as well," Dennard said Monday. "I'm just learning from those guys. They've played eight-plus years, and all at a high level. They had the same high expectations as I have coming in, which is high first-round draft picks and to have the organization pretty much on their back to perform.
"I'm happy to have them here with me through the ups and downs through this season. With me being hurt, those guys have been there to pick me up and tell me to keep working. That helped me out through this whole process."