Here's what the Bo Scaife signing may ultimately mean to the Bengals roster and that's a big may with preseason games yet to be played.
It gives them a six-year veteran that can balance out the youth of 22-year-old Jermaine Gresham and 24-year-old Chase Coffman. It also means that South Dakota State's Colin Cochart, who has been impressive in the first week, is going to get a long look as a potential fourth tight end or practice squad candidate.
It also puts the future of Reggie Kelly in more of a holding pattern. He can still be an option, but right now it looks to be if someone gets hurt or they don't like the way the preseason is unfolding. He has one of the more important and underrated careers in Bengals history. In his eight seasons, Kelly, 34, has provided such a huge locker room presence that he was nicknamed "The Reverend," and his ability as a blocker was just as important. Particularly in pass protection against the feared rushers from Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
The 6-3, 250-pound Scaife, 30, isn't as big as the 6-4, 260-pound Kelly and he's not known primarily as a blocker. But he can do it and his receiving numbers (251 catches in five seasons) dwarf Kelly's 125 catches and is second in Titans history to Frank Wycheck. The tight end gets plenty of work in offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's West Coast set because of the number of double and triple tight-end formations.
LIVE SESSIONS: Gruden has some scripted plays for Friday night's scrimmage that's not really a scrimmage. There are going to be some live sessions and Gruden is going to keep giving the ball to Andy Dalton for the first five or six plays of every set. He was pleased with what Dalton produced in the "move the ball" drill Thursday, where he completed all his passes with the first group. And he was not pleased with the other groups.
"That first group was very efficient; they were fast and physical," Gruden said. "We've got to get the other groups playing together."
Gruden is getting what he wants out of Dalton, particularly the stuff that can't be coached, like "leadership and poise." Gruden says Dalton is a hard guy to make blink. And he's trying.
"He's got a way about his demeanor that makes everyone calm and confident, myself included," Gruden said. "He looks at me like I'm crazy sometimes. He's starting to correct me if I go too fast. He'll say, 'You mean trips right.' Oh yeah, right. I try to rattle him. Talk a little trash to him. He's got a calmness about him. I'm trying to get under his skin."