The Bengals see a familiar face this year when they host three college coaches in the NFL's Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship program.
Former wide receiver Glenn Holt, who played for the Bengals from 2006-2008 after making the team as a tryout player at the rookie minicamp, is set to work next week's mandatory minicamp from Tuesday through Thursday. Holt is a student assistant at his alma mater the University of Kentucky.
Dwayne Foster, assistant head coach and offensive line coach at North Carolina Central, joins the Bengals just before the July 26 start of training camp and works through Aug. 9. From 2005-10 Foster coached at Prairie View A&M.
Arnold Ale, linebackers coach at Los Angeles Harbor Community College, also arrives just before camp and works through Aug. 11. Ale also serves as head coach at Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, Calif.
"These coaches will assist our regular staff in their work, and their experience here will be twofold," said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis in a Tuesday news release. "They'll increase their knowledge as experts in their field, and they'll be able to make new contacts within the NFL. I had the opportunity to work in this program as a young coach (with the 49ers and Chiefs), and we're excited to make it available to others each year."
PRO PRO BOWL: The first rookie quarterback-wide receiver tandem in Pro Bowl history is happy there'll be another one next year and they're cool with what A.J. Green sees as a pretty cool tempo.
Earlier this week Green and quarterback Andy Dalton talked about the lack of intensity in the game that threatened to extinguish it until the NFL recently announced it's going to be played at least one more year in Hawaii. The decision came despite the AFC's 58-41 victory back in January that had less hitting than the OTAs that are currently taking place in helmets and shorts.
"I don't think anybody wanted to get hurt; it's an all-star game," said Green, who still managed to become the first Bengals rookie to score in a Pro Bowl via Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's 34-yard touchdown pass.
"I didn't want to step on any of the vets' toes, so I was doing what they were doing. They were chilling. That's fine with me. It's an all-star game, so I don't think anybody wants to see anybody get hurt."
Dalton, who threw two touchdown passes, admitted he was a bit taken aback at the speed of the game when he glimpsed the NFC's first running play. He thinks it could be played faster, but he also understands the dilemma.
"So that's the tempo we're going to be playing at?" was his reaction after that first run. "Definitely it's to make sure nobody gets hurt. It could be picked up a little bit. There's give and take. If you do something to (speed it up), your natural instinct is to take somebody out and then something bad happens.
"I think people understand it's going to be an offensive game. There is a lack of intensity, but nobody is trying to get hurt. As long as guys are going hard but not doing anything stupid ... as a quarterback, that's fine.
Then jokingly Dalton offered, "As long as the defensive ends and defensive tackles aren't going hard."
The right tempo may be a mystery but as far as Dalton is concerned the game is in the right location. One option that has been discussed is playing it a week before the Super Bowl in the same city.
"It's a reward for a successful year and Hawaii is a great place to hang out with the rest of the guys and not worry about anything else. You can go to New Orleans anytime," Dalton said of the upcoming Super Bowl site. "But Hawaii, you have to make a trek out of it. It's a true reward."
SLANTS AND SCREENS
» Bengals rookie right guard Kevin Zeitler, one of the team's first-round picks, has showed up and been every bit the serious, smart and fundamentally sound player the Bengals thought he was.
But he's a power player, so the OTAs aren't exactly his thing. Plus, there's an emphasis on what he needs to add to his game at this level, which is more sophisticated pass protection. And he's getting a heavy dose of it right away going against Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins and his lightning-quick rushes that helped him lead NFL interior linemen with eight sacks last year. The Bengals figure if Zeitler can end up blocking Atkins, he'll do OK against most everybody else.
» WILL linebacker Thomas Howard has noticed the roster scrum involving the young players vying to be backup backers, such as middle and SAM backer Micah Johnson, middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict, and WILL Emmanuel Lamur.
He noticed that both Johnson (Fort Campbell, Ky.) and Burfict (Corona, Calif.) were prep All-Americans and are gifted.
"You can see it," Howard said of Burfict. "Very smart. He has the natural instincts of a middle linebacker. Once he understand how offenses are trying to attack him based on what they see and what the quarterback sees out of the safeties and things like that, he'll have a better understanding of what's going on around him. But he has good natural ability and instincts and Micah is a big guy with a lot of talent."
Lamur, a 232-pound rookie free agent out of Kansas State, reminds Howard how he roamed "the field" at Texas El-Paso.
"He's smart and moves well," Howard said. "All these guys seem to know what's going on and if they don't they ask good questions."