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Notes: Reid-ing Dalton; Bengals won't practice when Reds play

James Urban

Updated: 4:25 p.m.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Bengals play in Philadelphia this year and Eagles coach Andy Reid knows a good offense when he sees one.

"The Bengals are back," Reid said Wednesday during the NFL coaches media breakfast.

It's a little personal for Reid, a quarterback guru who earned his stripes in the same halls of the West Coast offense where Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden paid his dues. It was Reid who encouraged Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis to hire his quarterbacks coach, James Urban, as receivers coach in a move that turned out to ease Gruden's transition to a staff that was already in place.

With no spring camps, quarterback Andy Dalton became the first rookie quarterback to start all 16 games and lead his team to the playoffs.

"They did a phenomenal job. I put James Urban in that group because he had the young receiver (A.J. Green)," Reid said. "I think you're going to see Jay as he continues this process as an eventual head coach in this league. James Urban is a future coordinator. I wasn't sure it was going to happen at our place. He had to make a move in order to grow and Marvin gave him an opportunity to do that. I think the sky's the limit for him."

Plus, the redheaded Reid found a lot to like in Dalton.

"I was a big Dalton fan coming out, mainly because he has red hair," Reid laughed. "He sure had enough throws in college to evaluate.

"He's a smart kid. He's way more mobile than people think. He throws great on the run, actually. He understands the dropback game, which is the most important thing. He's got good feet, he's tough, he's got bend and arm strength."

BENGALS WON'T CONFLICT WITH REDS: Bengals president Mike Brown says his club won't schedule open practices at the same time the Reds are playing next door at Great American Ball Park during training camp, complicating the Bengals' first preseason at Paul Brown Stadium.

The normal Bengals window is about 20 days once camp begins the last week in July, a stretch in which eight of the Reds 10 games from Monday, July 30-Thursday, Aug. 16 are at night.

"We just don't think we want to open up our practices when they're having a game. I don't think it's fair to them," Brown said Wednesday as the NFL meetings broke. "Yet we want to have enough practice where the public can come and see. We've got to figure it out almost day by day how we're going to do it. We have yet to work through that."

During the last nine camps under head coach Marvin Lewis at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky., Lewis scheduled the intrasquad scrimmage and Mock Game for the camp's second weekend with the scrimmage on Friday night and the Mock Game Saturday afternoon.

This year the Reds are home against the Pirates in 7:10 p.m. games on those dates. An ideal solution would be practices from 3-5 or 4-6 on nights the Reds are home, but that has its own set of problems.

"We think that would be good, but on the other hand, we've got weather issues," Brown said. "We don't think we ought to be practicing out there when it's 100 degrees, so all this has to be thrashed through and we have yet to dot the Is and cross the Ts. We know the issues. Probably more will come as we work on it.

"We would practice at night because it was cooler. Well, if we do that in the stadium it might work, but it would conflict with the Reds on some occasion. So how do we respond? That's an example of the issues we have to figure out."

Brown said the club has not sat down to talk to the Reds about the conflicts, but he's adamant he doesn't want to interfere with the Reds schedule or the teams' current relationship.

"We support them and what they do. I think in Cincinnati in all the time I've been there we've had a working relationship with the Reds," Brown said of the 43 seasons they've played in town together. "Sometimes it's been healthier than at other times. I think right now it's good. I want to keep it that way."

Brown said the club is also considering practicing against another NFL team and whether to travel or host it if it decides to do it. Also to be determined is which players are going to be housed in hotels, or if veterans and rookies will all have to stay.

The one thing Brown does know is that training camp is probably never going to leave PBS again. The current 10-year collective bargaining agreement, limiting camp to one practice per day, has made going away obsolete.

"We can only practice one time a day. There's no need to have dorms for the players to rest in between practices," Brown said. "That was the principal reason we thought it would be better not to pull up stakes and get up and running 100 miles away. Just keep everything the way we do for our practices when we return from training camp. Which is one a day. It's going to be that year-round now at our site."

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