Nick Vigil comes down with his first NFL pick after timing his leap.
After Thursday night's pre-season finale, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis gave rookie linebacker Nick Vigil the ultimate Marvian compliment as he recalled watching the Utah State tape before the draft.
"As a linebacker in college he did everything you'd expect a guy to do," said the old Steelers linebackers coach. "He'd play in there, do a nice job versus the run, he was a good tackler, a guy that understood the passing game, passing lanes, and he can run. He's just going to continue to grow bigger and stronger."
Vigil lined up as the WILL backer in the starting lineup and showed just how much he understands the passing game when his leaping interception over the middle at the Colts 4 with 29 seconds left in the first half kept the game scoreless.
"It's a pretty common route teams run when they get in that formation. Especially in that place on the field," Vigil said of the spread formation with two receivers on each side. "I messed this up three or four times in camp. Finally got it right."
In the first three pre-season games, Vigil had some passes get over him in his zone. Not Thursday.
"Early on I wasn't getting enough depth," Vigil said of his drops into coverage. "I wasn't protecting the middle of the field like I'm supposed to in that coverage."
SLANTS AND SCREENS: In nostalgia for last year, it looked like the Bengals avoided injuries Thursday. Backup cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris (shoulder) had a stinger, but he'll be ready for the Sept. 11 opener .. .
Nearly half the Bengals' roster of 75 players didn't play with 36 players staying on the side …
Rookie wide receiver Alex Erickson looks to have grabbed the fifth active spot on the game day active sheet vs. the Jets. He had another nice punt return Thursday where he made a defender miss for 14 yards. He also had two huge third-down catches on Cincinnati's lone TD drive, one for 22 and another for 18.
How good of a preseason did the Undrafted one from Wisconsin have? He averaged 30.8 yards on six returns and only fellow rookie receiver Cody Core (8) had more catches than Erickson (7) . . .
Offensive coordinator Ken Zampese looks ready. QBs Andy Dalton (107.5) and Andy Dalton (106.8) rated in triple digits in pre-season passer rating ….
Defensive tackle DeShawn Williams looked like the Williams of last year with three hits on the QB . . .
The Bengals gave up just 70 points in the preseason. That would translate to 280 in the regular season, just one point less than last year's franchise record 279 …
Cincinnati Bengals host the Indianapolis Colts at Paul Brown Stadium in week 4 of the preseason 9/1/2016