Lewis enters his third season 10-6 at home in prepping for the Paul Brown Stadium opener against the Vikings. "I know our fans are excited about this. We've enjoyed a great home-field advantage and this is a big day," Lewis said. "They showed how enthused they are at the Indianapolis game (in the preseason finale that set an attendance record) and how they showed up. I know this place will be humming on Sunday, and that's going to be a good thing. It's going to be hot, humid, great Bengal weather on Sunday."
Quarterback Carson Palmer said after playing in the din of Cleveland Browns Stadium last Sunday, his teammates know PBS is louder ... One of the other themes of the week besides the home crowd is the sheer size and ability of Vikings Pro Bowl quarterback Daunte Culpepper and how the Bengals have to make sure they get him on the ground. "He's bigger than me," said 6-2, 255-pound rookie linebacker David Pollack.
A few gems from Vikings head coach Mike Tice in Wednesday's conference call with the Cincinnati media:
- On what went wrong in the 24-13 loss to Tampa Bay: "You got an hour?" On the impact of losing injured Pro Bowl center Matt Birk for the season: "It would be like you guys losing your right tackle (Willie Anderson). On Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer: "A lot more athletic than I thought. He does a nice job of getting out there with his feet and making throws outside the pocket. He looks to me to be in better rhythm than he had been earlier in his career and I think that's part of the growth. Seems to have a grasp of the offense. Puts the ball in very catchable situations. Throws a nice deep ball. I think he's a very bright young quarterback. I think he's got a great future ahead of him." On the possibility Bengals receiver Chad Johnson might talk to him at some point Sunday: "It will be a pleasure to talk to him. He's a great player. You never know, maybe one day he'll be be a free agent."