Left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who along with defensive tackle Domata Peko has emerged as the unquestioned locker room leader of the Bengals during the lockout, went national Tuesday with NFL.com's estimable senior writer Steve Wyche to say some interesting things.
Whitworth says the NFL won't undergo a curtailed schedule, rookie quarterback Andy Dalton has a personality that reminds him of Drew Brees, and right tackle Andre Smith looks ready to break out because his weight is down.
On the "Cover Two" podcast Wyche does with Bucky Brooks, Whitworth, the team's player representative on labor matters, predicted a collective bargaining agreement during the next month.
It looks like the Bengals may be headed to Georgetown College after all. It's believed the Georgetown, Ky., school needs to know if football is on by mid-July to stage the club's 15th training camp at the site.
"All along we just needed to sit down together," Whitworth said on the podcast. "The problem we really had before was nobody could get around the attorneys and lawyers and all these kinds of things and just talk and figure this thing out. Finally we got a chance where you've got owners and players and (former NFL Players Association bosss) DeMaurice Smith and all those guys sitting face-to-face and negotiating.
"That's how you get a deal done. You don't hire an attorney to get you a contract when you get drafted. You get an agent to negotiate. Once we got around the legal stuff, we started to make ground and I think we're really close."
Whitworth also reiterated what he has been saying since quarterback Carson Palmer demanded a trade. If he's moved on, so have the Bengals.
"He's the kind of guy when he says something he means it," Whitworth told the show. "I feel like people are taking him seriously and we're prepared. He made a decision he feels is best for him and his family and we've moved on."
Meanwhile, Whitworth put in a good word for Dalton, his roommate during these two weeks the Bengals have been on the field in voluntary voluntaries.
"We're just really excited to have him. We're happy that he's with us. … He's got the personality, kind of like Drew Brees," he said.
Whitworth also had kind words for the much-maligned Smith, whose foot is still in a boot after his second offseason of coping with surgery for a broken bone.
"Talent is not his issue," Whitworth said. "His weight has been the only issue. He showed up at these workouts underweight, lighter than he's been since he's been here – and that's with him having a boot on his foot.
"The first thing he said to me was, 'Whit, it's my time. Time for me to step up.'