Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said Thursday he expects right tackle Andre Smith to report to next week's mandatory minicamp that starts Tuesday and ends Thursday. Smith didn't participate in the nine voluntary field sessions (OTAs) with Lewis citing personal reasons.
Left tackle Andrew Whitworth is looking forward to having Smith back.
"I'm sure any time you're away from the guys that guys will mess with him about stuff, but they'll be happy to have him here," Whitworth said. "He's part of this team and he's going to be a key to what kind of season we have. You hope he's doing everything he needs to do to this point, just as every guy in this locker room has and we'll be where we need to be."
ROLLING ON A RIVER:** Per tradition, Lewis gave his club the last day of OTAs off Thursday and took them on a field trip. This time it was a bowling tournament with newcomer James Harrison taking the Outstanding Bowler trophy with a high game of 190 that led his team to victory.
Naturally, it was at Super Bowl in Erlanger, Ky., and the timing was perfect since it rained heavily during the regular practice time.
Harrison was one of the captains in a selection process that looked, for the most part, to be by NFL seniority for the offense and defense. Joining Harrison were Whitworth, defensive linemen Robert Geathers and Domata Peko, center Kyle Cook, cornerbacks Terence Newman and Adam Jones, running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and tight end Jermaine Gresham.
Despite going into his third year, quarterback Andy Dalton captained a team but he was saddled with the last draft pick because he was the youngest captain. And it turned out his No. 1 pick, Tyler Eifert, couldn't bowl because of a minor malady that won't keep him off the field next week.
"We didn't make it to the championship, but we had fun; that's what was important," Dalton said. "I wouldn't expect that going in that (Harrison) was going to be a really good bowler. He had good form, nice spin on the ball. It looked like he had done it before."
He has, but not all that much lately.
"I probably played, the last four or five years, once a year," Harrison said. "The Steelers do the same thing."
Harrison's father is a good teacher. His high game is a 238, but his father beat him with a 239, and Harrison says his father nearly bowled a 300 but just missed and finished in the high 290s.
STRAIGHT SHOT WHIT: Whitworth, the club's rep to the NFL Players Association, won't exactly be selected for the NFL international committee.
He's not only dead set against the NFL expanding to London, he's pretty sure a huge majority of the players are against it, too.
"I would hope that I was financially able to quit," Whitworth said when asked what he'd do if his team ever got transferred to London. "That's what I would hope. Because if I was, my (retirement) papers would be the first one in. I don't see that a lot of guys would want to do that. I don't see any players that would enjoy that. Sure, you may find a handful of guys that say, 'Oh hey, that'd be cool,' but the rest of them wouldn't."
He even detests the idea of playing a road game over the pond.
"I would hate it, but it is what it is. But, one time, it's not fun but you've got to do what you've got to do. But I wouldn't enjoy that either," he said.
Also, leave it to Whitworth to sum up just exactly what padless workouts mean with three of them left.
"Coaches love this opportunity to get back to being on the field. The real truth is this means nothing. Until you put pads on and strap something up and see each other in live contact the real players stand out. The guys that are actually legit show up," he said.
"There are a ton of guys out there on the street that can mentally handle this game. As far as knowing what to do on an assignment. It's whether or not they can get it done. Until you put pads on and find guys that can do it in live contact it doesn't really matter."