When offensive coordinator Jay Gruden heard the Bengals were opening this season Monday night on ESPN in Baltimore, his chain of thoughts were pretty clear.
"Terrell Suggs. Ed Reed. Ray Lewis," Gruden said of the Ravens Pro Bowl defenders. "Historically they're one of the great defenses in the NFL and it's going to be a great test to see how far we've come from last season."
Only then did Gruden think about the reunion with his brother in analyst Jon Gruden's regular-season debut in ESPN's new booth with play-by-play man Mike Tirico.
"You mean, after Suggs?" he joked.
But all kidding aside, "That will be fun," Jay Gruden said. "He'll be able to spend some time around here and see how we do things. I talk to him a lot and he's just a great guy to bounce things off."
Jay Gruden spent all eight of Jon's seasons as head coach in Tampa Bay in the booth assisting his brother on Sundays and he's not afraid to ask him to return the favor when it comes to counsel.
"How could you not? He's seen it all," Jay Gruden said. "He won a Super Bowl and he's been fired. He's seen it all from both sides and he's still on top of the Xs and Os."
ON GUARD: NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock had a conference call Thursday and he addressed the two options the Bengals may be facing next Thursday if they opt for a guard at No. 17: Stanford's David DeCastro and Georgia's Cordy Glenn.
"Two different animals," Mayock said. "If you're looking for a guy who can pull, kick out, it's DeCastro. If you're looking for a guy that can play in a phone booth, it's Glenn."
Mayock calls Glenn, the Bulldogs left tackle, "massive," and says he's a right tackle or guard in the NFL. Mayock says he's heard from enough people that Glenn "can hold up outside and the Bengals don't need a tackle."
Glenn figures to be there at No. 17 and Mayock thinks DeCastro could be, but he's not sure how strong he is and wonders how he'll fare against "people playing over him."