NFL fans get a pre-season treat Tuesday when the NFL's top two rookies from last season take to the Paul Brown Stadium practice fields for the first of two joint practices pitting running back Jeremy Hill's Bengals against wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.'s Giants.
Making it even more special is that the two are former LSU teammates and close friends who speak daily. When the Giants arrived at their Cincinnati hotel Monday night, Hill picked up Beckham and drove him to meet Bengals wide receiver James Wright, another LSU product lost for the season with knee surgery.
"It was a pickup me up for Jimmy," Hill said. "It put a smile on his face."
Beckham was the runaway winner of Rookie of the Year at NFL Honors earlier this year, even though Hill was nominated after leading the NFL in rushing the last nine weeks of the season. Hill says they got it right.
"Most definitely. Without doubt. What he did in 12 games, it's unbelievable," Hillsaid. "I've never seen some one do that in the amount of games he played in. It was truly incredible. Yes. He's definitely deserving of that award.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and Giants head coach Tom Coughlin planned to meet an hour before the 3 p.m. practice to go over the final logistics. Not on the agenda are brawls, like the ones last weekend pitting Washington against Houston and the one that ended the Giants-Jets practice in 2005. Coughlin hasn't let his team practice with another until now.
Lewis scolded the media for writing about the potential for fights with "Let it go…We don't practice like that…and they don't either." …
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton got off a good line Tuesday before practice when asked if the coaches are emphasizing no fighting.
"They've specifically asked me not to get in any fights," he joked…
Dalton has a win over Giants quarterback Eli Manning when he was the reigning Super Bowl MVP in 2012, but he met him before when he attended the Manning family's quarterbacks camp while he was in college. Dalton knows Eli, but he said he probably knows father Archie better. Lewis said he hopes Dalton gets to spend some time watching Manning work and get a chance to talk to him like Dalton did two years ago with Matt Ryan in Atlanta…