Updated: 6:15 p.m.
OK, OK. It's not exactly an engineering feat worthy of a Neil Armstrong quote. But you would think the center-quarterback exchange between strangers in the night would need at least a little time to master.
How many snaps would it take for Jeff Faine and Andy Dalton to be comfortable before venturing into Monday's nationally-televised (7 p.m.-ESPN) chess match where the knights and rooks hit you in the mouth while you can't hear?
Let's see. Faine arrived last Friday. A pure week of 250 snaps per day? One solid weekend of 500? Or maybe something like 50 a day during lunch?
"With Andy and me, it was actually only one or two," Faine said before Wednesday's practice. "Once they know your spot, once they know where the ball is going to be, where the location is, we're all set."
That's just one or two snaps. Not one or two weeks.
Faine snaps the ball back as far as he can since the quarterbacks like that "because they can take the snap standing straight up," and don't have to hunch down to reach for the ball.
"It didn't take long. It is finding where your hands need to be and catching the snap," Dalton said. "It doesn't take too long."
Just one or two.
SLANTS AND SCREENS
» Running back Bernard Scott (hand) says he won't play Monday, but it sounded like he'd be ready for the Browns next week. Scott, who didn't play in any of the preseason games, says it's a matter of being in football shape and the fear is he'll get gassed.
And it also sounded like Scott thinks he can go, but players always do.
» That means BenJarvus Green-Ellis is the feature back, but he's giving the same supporting cast answers. He's not the kind of guy that's going to say he needs to run the ball 20-30 times a game: "I'll do whatever they want me to do 20 to 30 times a game ... pick up blitzes ... catch passes."
» Left end Carlos Dunlap (knee) is looking more and more like a Monday night scratch. Along with cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (leg), he wasn't at practice. Scott was suited and doing individual drills.
» Head coach Marvin Lewis lifted the Twitter ban he instituted just before training camp, saying it is a great way for his players to connect with their fans, season-ticket holders, and their charitable works. But clearly he set some guidelines and while he didn't elaborate he just as clearly sent the message of just being smart.
Left tackle Andrew Whitworth, the club's representative to the NFL Players Association, said the reasons for the ban and the conduct now that it's lifted are understood in the locker room.
"Guys know what we expect and it's important to reach out to all the people that support us," Whitworth said. "And guys know what we expect of them. We know in this locker room what we expect of each other and the way we expect to do our jobs and how we expect to be on and off the field. Tweeting and everything else goes along with that."
» If it's the Ravens, then that means Lewis is talking turnovers. He's always talking turnovers, but he brought that philosophy from Baltimore: "If you finish with one less turnover than your opponent, then you can take 10-6 since 2000 in the National Football League right now."
» Out of a panel of 23 NFL experts at ESPN, two picked the Bengals to win the AFC North. They both happen to be former head coaches, Herm Edwards and Eric Mangini. The Ravens clearly carried the day with 16 votes and the rest went to the Steelers.
» Quarterback Andy Dalton punched his phone to show the picture of him throwing out the first pitch of Tuesday night's Reds game to wide receiver A.J. Green. Dalton, who stopped pitching when he was a sophomore in high school, proudly pointed to his "arm slot." Asked if he ever threw as fast as fellow Katy, Texas resident Roger Clemens, he said he probably threw what Clemens does now.
Asked if taking a snap was more nerve-wracking than throwing out a first pitch, it was no contest.
"Throwing out that first pitch. Some nerves did hit me out there. You walk out there and everything's wide open," Dalton said. "All I saw was A.J. out there (behind home plate). I just tried to get it over there. I thought I threw a good ball though. Maybe the Reds could pick me up to be a reliever or something."
» According to Stats Inc., the Bengals are the 11th-youngest team in the NFL with an average age of 26 years and 120 days. But that is only 185 days older than the youngest team, the Rams.