Cincinnati Bengals host joint practice with New York Giants at Paul Brown Stadium Practice Fields 08/12/2015
After getting their first snaps against him Tuesday, the Bengals cornerbacks came away impressed with Giants sensation Odell Beckham Jr. But then, they're used to it. They see a perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver every day in A.J. Green.
"We're blessed that we have a one-of-a-kind player in A.J., so we kind of know about goods receivers," said Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard. "And that's nothing against Odell. He's obviously a very good player. He went to the Pro Bowl. He's explosive. He gets in and out of his breaks real nice."
Adam Jones doesn't watch any receiver unless he's getting ready to play them, so it was his first look at him. When he lined up against him for the first time in one-on-ones, Jones nearly got his hand on the ball on the quick comebacker and told him, "Nice catch."
He was reminded of Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones.
"He's got really good hands and he runs pretty good routes, too," Adam Jones said. "I'd like to see them in a foot race, I don't know who's faster. Beckham's hands might be a little better, but once Marv gets going, watch out, he's fast."
Adam Jones did see Beckham's now iconic one-handed catch as he was falling down and says, "Unbelievable. There are some things you can't teach and that's one of them."
It's no surprise to him that Beckham has come up with quite a following.
"He's in the Big Apple," Jones said. "If you can make some plays, you're going to be a rock star up there."
DRE DRAWS: The last time a Manning threw a pass at Paul Brown Stadium, cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick intercepted Peyton Manning when the Bengals beat the Broncos in the last game of the year at PBS back in December. The series before, Kirkpatrick broke the game open with a pick-six to send the Bengals to the playoffs.
So when the Giants' Eli Manning took his first snap here at the Tuesday joint practice, Kirkpatrick cut in front of wide receiver James Jones for what would have been another pick-six.
"Good read. Played good technique and made a heck of a play on the ball," Kirkpatrick said. "I just got my eyes back. I stayed in good technique. When I felt in good position to get my eyes back, that's when I saw the ball and it just fell into my hands."
Kirkpatrick is an aggressive player, so it was no surprise he came out of the gate ready. But he wanted to dial it back a tad. Like when he went up against Beckham.
"Every time we were up there, we knew we were on top of each other," Kirkpatrick said. "And competing very hard. I know sometimes I like to be aggressive. I was trying to be as safe as possible. I don't want to hurt those guys and cause confrontation between the Giants and Bengals…We'll save it for Sunday."
As for Beckham, Kirkpatrick allowed, "Pretty good. Pretty good."
GREEN DAY: Green got a chance to say a brief hello and what's up to Beckham and that's all because "We were on two different fields." Like every other NFL receiver he thinks he can learn from, Green watched him in the offseason.
"He's a special receiver. He does some things I'd like to apply to my game," Green said. The way he gets in and out of his breaks, the way he separates."
Told he's made his share of one-handed catches, Green observed, "Yeah, but not like that."
Green acknowledged the Bengals offense got off slowly Tuesday and on one of those early plays he said he went offsides because he was the last one back to the huddle and only heard the call and missed the word right before it. But they couldn't cover him in the red zone, where he caught two touchdowns.
"I feel like I'm having a good camp," he said. "I'm just trying to get better every day."
DAY TO DAY: Backup quarterback AJ McCarron wouldn't get specific about the injury that kept him out of Tuesday's practice but he called it day-to-day and said it has nothing to do with his shoulder.
In deference to head coach Marvin Lewis, McCarron only spoke in general terms and said his right shoulder has never felt better. That's good news since it was shoulder tendinitis that shelved most of his rookie season last year.
It's believed he suffered some kind of strain in the chest area. He said only that the club is telling him there is no need to rush back for Friday's preseason opener (7:30 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) against the Giants at Paul Brown Stadium.
"I know it's important, but like the guys have been telling me and the coaches I've talked to, if I'm not 100 percent there then there's no reason to push it," McCarron said before Wednesday's practice. "Because just in case, God forbid, I'm needed during the season or what, most of the guys and coaches said I feel like I've done a good job showing what I can do. There's no reason to take a risk on delaying that process. I'm bummed out over it, but I'm taking their advice and doing what they tell me to do."
McCarron, a 2014 fifth-round pick, put together his two best practices of training camp on Friday and Saturday and his frustration at maybe missing what amounts to his NFL debut after a year wait is palpable.
"I'm doing what they're telling me. I want to play," McCarron said. "That's just who I am. I hate sitting out. But at the same time, I know they have the best interest for me."