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Thread: Mandatory Minicamp Started Monday

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by texbengal View Post
    It’s early, and even at that, I think most would be happy if he played in 10 games. Obviously not as talented, but I think between Kroft and C.J., you have two solid TE options....
    Eifert makes a solid TE group potentially great. Good enough that media darling and emerging folk hero Ryan Hewitt probably couldn't make this team as a pure TE. Or for that matter, as a RB. Lazor practically admitted as much.

    Yet somehow a Pro Bowl player like Tyler Eifert is the one being compared to expensive icing.

    Bengals were aware of the medical risk before signing Eifert but signed him anyways because when healthy he actually transforms the offense. That's reason enough to take the risk. And now, after having taken that risk it's hardly surprising they're playing things close to the vest in OTAs and mini camp...and probably will continue to do so when training camp opens in 6 weeks. In fact, they're doing the very same with other players....including Billy Price.

    This feels like a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't. Because who amongst us wouldn't be calling the Bengals a bunch of slack-jawed idiots if they had exposed Eifert to injury in June?
    Last edited by HOF; 06-14-2018 at 10:52 PM.

  2. #12
    Yes, when he's healthy he transforms the offense. But he has played 1, 2, and 8 games 3 of the last 4 years. I just don't think it's wise to count on him. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm not holding my breath.

  3. #13
    Thursday, June 14

    Participation report

    Did not participate: TE Tyler Eifert (undisclosed), TE Tyler Kroft (undisclosed), RB Tra Carson (undisclosed), CB Darius Phillips (knee), WR Devonte Boyd (right leg, OL T.J. Johnson (undisclosed), OL Justin Murray (undisclosed).
    Limited participation: DE Carlos Dunlap (coach's decision), C Billy Price (pectoral), WR A.J. Green (coach's decision), WR Brandon LaFell (coach's decision), LB Vontaze Burfict (coach's decision).
    Camp at a glance


    • Auden Tate again proved how he can be a physical presence in the red zone, beating William Jackson III's great coverage in the corner with strong hands. Jackson III nearly broke the ball up, but Tate secured the ball and got both feet in. It was an exclamation point on a strong minicamp for the seventh-round pick.
    • John Ross got a lot of work with Andy Dalton on Thursday, and the second-year wideout flashed in 11-on-11 work by spinning corner KeiVarae Russell around on an out and then beating Russell on a corner route for a score. Ross consistently found separation throughout the day.
    • Second-year safety Brandon Wilson broke quickly on an underneath throw to Alex Erickson, and when the ball skipped off the wide receiver's hands Wilson snatched it with one hand. He also had a diving pass breakup while getting some run.


    • The drops. Ka'Raun White, Brian Hill, Jordan Franks and Ross all had a string of drops late in the workout. Ross dropped some other passes, too, as did White.
    • At various points, Andy Dalton, Matt Barkley and Jeff Driskel all had issues completing corner throws to the end zone. Some were misplaced, some weren't thrown well, and sometimes the receiver wasn't in position.
    • Barkley had a tough day, generally speaking, with his delivery. He had passes float and wobble on him throughout the session.

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    The tight end did not participate, as was the case for the entirety of minicamp. On Wednesday, Marvin Lewis said he can't tell us if Tyler Eifert will be available for the beginning of training camp.

    This does not appear to be a setback of any kind and there didn't appear to be any significant concern coming from the Eifert camp as he took off for the summer break.

    “One of (my mentors) told me that it’s what you learn after you know it all that counts. So you’re always constantly learning. You’re either getting better or your dying. Kmart was a great store for what, over a hundred years. They’re not around anymore. They didn’t continue to evolve and get better. It’s all facets of life. Always learning. Always getting better.” – Bengals offensive line coach Frank Pollack on players learning to get better.
    Wednesday, June 13

    Participation report

    Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert sits out during a practice session of Bengals Mini Camp at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (Photo: Sam Greene)

    Did not participate: TE Tyler Eifert (undisclosed), TE Tyler Kroft (undisclosed), RB Tra Carson (undisclosed), CB Darius Phillips (knee), DB Josh Shaw (shoulder), WR Devonte Boyd (right leg, OL T.J. Johnson (undisclosed), OL Justin Murray (undisclosed).
    Limited participation: DE Carlos Dunlap (coach's decision), C Billy Price (pectoral), DT Geno Atkins (personal).
    Atkins was absent for the bulk of the session, but head coach Marvin Lewis said it was excused so the defensive tackle could handle personal business.
    As for Eifert, the tight end returned to the field after missing Tuesday altogether – but he wore only his jersey and rode a stationary bicycle on the sideline. A day after noting only a medical issue would pull a player off the field, Lewis said he could not say if the tight end will be ready for the start of training camp. It was suggested practicing on the turf inside Paul Brown Stadium instead of the grass fields next door was part of the reason he isn’t participating this week.

    GALLERY: Bengals mini-camp, June 13

    Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) drops back for a pass during a practice session of Bengals Mini Camp at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. Sam Greene
    16 Photos
    GALLERY: Bengals mini-camp, June 13

    Camp at a glance

    Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate (19) makes a catch during mini camp practice at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. (Photo: Sam Greene)


    • Joe Mixon's burst. There's no hitting of course, but the second-year running back is still at a point in his career where he's finishing runs, so his quickness around the edge and his speed once he decides to hit a hole within a sea of bodies stood out.
    • Auden Tate told everyone when he was drafted he could high-point a ball, and he showed that off on Tuesday. The seventh-round pick excelled in red zone situations and made some "wow" grabs that even had Andy Dalton asking a camera crew if they caught one reception on video.
    • In a situational drill giving the offense 30 seconds and one timeout to go 50 yards needing a touchdown, the second team made a quick strike and arguably the best play of the day. Matt Barkley threw a dart deep down the sideline and hit Kermit Whitfield in stride as he ran past the defense for a touchdown on the first play. Great ball by Barkley and finish by the Whitfield, an undrafted free agent from last season.


    • Barkley ends up on the bad side as well as the good today. Even with his nice throw he also made two poor decisions that led to interceptions. One ended up in the hands of Sojourn Shelton on a comeback route intended for Ka’Raun White and the other directly to Darqueze Dennard in a red zone drill.
    • With much talk about improving the deep ball this offseason, of note one Dalton’s deep attempts at John Ross sailed out of bounds. There were multiple attempts for the quarterbacks to connect deep with Ross on Wednesday, but neither were hauled in. Another was slightly underthrown by Barkley and knocked away by KeiVarae Russell.
    • Fifth-round pick Andrew Brown saw time defensive end Wednesday and on one play missed an assignment staying with the quarterback on a run fake and left a wide open hole for Andy Dalton to run through. It was met with words from the head coach.

    Quote of the day

    Lewis came away impressed with a leaping interception from safety George Iloka:
    "A nice football play. Good to see from George. Good confidence play. Probably the best catch I've seen him make here on an NFL field. An impressive play from him today."
    Cincinnati Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah has gotten a lot of reps in Bill Lazor's new offense in his contract season. (Photo: Sam Greene)

    Uzomah off to good start in an important year

    Year four.
    C.J. Uzomah knows what that means.
    For players not drafted in the first round it’s the last season of a rookie contract and an important one for players like Uzomah – a fifth-round selection out of Auburn in 2015 – to set themselves up for a second contract.
    “It’s a big year for me,” he said. “And I’m going to do everything in my power to propel myself the best I can.”
    The 25-year-old tight end is getting his first chances at that during the offseason with Tyler Eifert and Tyler Kroft being held out of work for medical concerns. So it’s been Uzomah and Ryan Hewitt getting valuable work with Andy Dalton and in offensive coordinator Bill Lazor’s new system.
    “I feel like I’ve been putting myself in great position for the coach’s eyes,” Uzomah said. “I’ve done a good bit of the reps with the first team and still doing stuff on special teams, so kind of just like a utility player is what I’m hoping they see, like 'oh, we can use him in this situation or play him on special teams' – again a vital part of the team is what I’m hoping they can see.”
    Uzomah has 12 career starts and 29 career games played but is two years removed from his best campaign as a pass catcher. In 2016, he caught 25 passes on 38 targets for 234 yards and a score – but it was a season cut short by injury. Still, he participated in 411 offensive snaps – second-most to Eifert in the position group.
    Last year, with the emergence of Kroft, Uzomah played just 213 offensive snaps (22 percent) while seeing more time on special teams (249 snaps there, or 55.2 percent of them). But, Uzomah was employed in some lead-blocking situations in the run game and has been trusted to be moved to different spots in the offense.
    “That’s the one thing we’ve always loved about C.J. – he had the versatility,” tight ends coach Jonathan Hayes said. “They had done so much with him at Auburn (but) the part that you didn’t get to see a lot of was the in-line blocking; he didn’t run a lot of deep routes.
    “Those are the things I think he has improved immensely on and understanding the defense. He understands where he has to be when the quarterback is ready to deliver the ball. That’s where he really has made leaps in his improvement and in his game to become a better target down the field.”
    Now, Uzomah hopes his breadth of experience on the field and in the meeting room has him poised to figuratively – and literally – cash in this season.
    “From the business aspect of it, I’m trying to do everything I can to raise my level in terms of the eyes of the owners and coaches and I’m looking forward to a good second deal,” he said. “Obviously it’s a brand new offense. Everyone has a clean slate, level playing field, and hopefully I can use that to my advantage. I feel like right now especially, it’s a time to focus on yourself. So as long as I’m focusing on myself and perfecting my craft I feel like I’ll get the team a good chance in offense or special teams or whatever it is.”

  4. #14
    Tuesday, June 12

    Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) runs up the middle during mini camp practice at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. (Photo: Sam Greene)

    Participation report

    Did not participate: TE Tyler Eifert (undisclosed), TE Tyler Kroft (undisclosed), RB Tra Carson (undisclosed), OL T.J. Johnson (undisclosed).
    Limited participation: DE Carlos Dunlap, C Billy Price (pectoral).
    Did not finish session: DB Josh Shaw (right shoulder), DB Darius Phillips (undisclosed), WR Devonte Boyd (right leg).
    Eifert was at the facility during the day on Tuesday and head coach Marvin Lewis had expected the tight end to participate to some degree during the first day of the club's mandatory mini-camp.
    "Well, I don't know actually," Lewis said when asked why Eifert did not participate. "He was here all morning and all of a sudden he wasn't. So I'm sure he's being dealt with in some kind of medical fashion. That's the only reason why a guy wouldn't be here."
    Eifert had been participating in individual drills throughout the organized team activities, but had been held out of 11-on-11 work up to this juncture in the Bengals' offseason program.
    "He's been feeling good about things and they've been feeling good about things," Lewis said. "As time goes on and we start to play football, then we'll have an idea of where he is."

    GALLERY: Bengals mini-camp, June 12

    Cincinnati Bengals tight end Jordan Franks (88) runs through a hoop during mini camp practice at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Sam Greene

    24 Photos
    GALLERY: Bengals mini-camp, June 12
    Camp at a glance

    The first day of minicamp featured a sloppiness you might expect from this time of year, but here’s a look at three of the highs and lows from the two-plus hour practice on the new turf inside Paul Brown Stadium.

    • Right tackle Jake Fisher and safety Shawn Williams made their first appearance in 11 on 11 this offseason, taking anyway any thought they will have injuries that could linger into training camp.
    • Vontaze Burfict made a few back-to-back nice plays, forcing a fumble and recovering it on a pass to Josh Malone then on the next play blowing up a misdirection screen to Giovani Bernard in the backfield. It won’t be until Week 5 we see those plays, but the instincts of 55 have not gone anywhere.
    • Maybe the most fun matchup to watch during practice is William Jackson III going against A.J. Green. The veteran wideout won his fair share, but Jackson didn’t give up much of anything against anybody else on the field.


    • So many false starts and offsides. Sloppy stuff, but more tolerable in June than September.

      "I think since the NFL has instituted the full-time officials they want an opportunity to use them a little bit more over the last couple years because there's not a lot of training areas and ways for guys to train," Lewis said of the officiating group on the field at PBS. "They've been trying to be proactive with that and ask you if you'd like to have officials, so we used them last week and obviously using them this week. Not all these guys are full-time but each group is led by a full-time guy."
    • The biggest takeaway from any of these days will be avoiding injury. They crept up not only with the mysterious no-show of Eifert, but with fifth-round pick Phillips, Shaw and Boyd exited early.
    • One of Marvin Lewis’ repeated pet peeves of players spending too much time on the ground in these practices. There was a lineman rolling near the knees of a quarterback, friendly fire between Shawn Williams and Dre Kirkpatrick.

  5. #15

  6. #16
    Bengals OT Jake Fisher practices for first time since heart surgery

    Jun 13, 2018
    • Laurel Pfahler

    Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Jake Fisher said Wednesday he has been cleared for all football activity -- seven months after undergoing heart surgery.


    The 2015 second-round draft pick had surgery Nov. 18 to correct an irregular heartbeat and has slowly been working his way back to the field.
    After being limited throughout the team's voluntary workouts this offseason, Fisher was full-go Tuesday with the start of mandatory minicamp and participated in 11-on-11 drills for the first time since last fall. His return to practice Wednesday indicates he remains on track.

    "I was able to get out there and put my best foot forward and just keep getting better and knock some rust off," Fisher said after practice. "I've been
    trying to get back, so it's been a process, but you've got to understand and trust your trainers, your coaches and what they decide for you. Ultimately,
    it's not necessarily up to me what I want to do. There's a plan and I've got to stick to it."

    Fisher had been medically cleared for workouts in late February, but he has continued to monitor his heart rate and still will get checked every few

    He came into minicamp without too many expectations and it is going about as well as he can hope.

    "I was a little rusty, but I knew that's how it was going to be," Fisher said. "I hadn't played football since last November, so there's going to be rust.
    You've just got to take it [for] what it is, understand what you're doing wrong and fix it and get out there the next day and do it again."

    Fisher, who remains the leading candidate to start at right tackle, didn't enjoy sitting out through portions of OTAs, but he tried not to worry about
    when he would be cleared for full participation, he said.

    He used the time on the sideline to prepare mentally, as the Bengals are installing a new offense in Bill Lazor's first full season as offensive
    coordinator. The offensive line has gone through changes as well under new position coach Frank Pollack, and Fisher had some time to help bring
    rookie center Billy Price-- recovering from pectoral surgery after the NFL combine -- along as the two sat out of drills together.

    "It's just kind of what can you do? How can you get better today?" Fisher said of being limited during voluntary workouts. "If you can't do the 11-on-11,
    you do something else to get better mentally, physically and prepare for that next step."

    Fisher tries not to think about his heart.

    It was understandably a scary situation last fall when he was sent to the hospital early in the season with his heart racing.

    The 6-foot-6, 305-pound lineman had the same symptoms during a Nov. 5 game in Jacksonville and was again sent to the hospital. That was the last
    he would see the field, as the Bengals placed him on injured reserve a few days later to end his third season after just eight games. Two weeks later, he

    underwent a cardiac ablation procedure, which scars or destroys heart tissue that is allowing the incorrect electric signals and thus causing the
    irregular heartbeat.

    "I don't [think about it] to be honest with you," Fisher said. "I mean, it's in my past, and I'm looking ahead to what's in the future, just trying to be the
    best player I can for this team. After that, you just keep working."

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason_NC View Post
    Yes, when he's healthy he transforms the offense. But he has played 1, 2, and 8 games 3 of the last 4 years. I just don't think it's wise to count on him. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm not holding my breath.

    That's fair and I can't say you're wrong....yet. Just think it's silly to complain when the coaching staff holds him out of practices in June. It's obviously the smart thing to do and we'd all be justifiably upset if the coaching staff needlessly exposed a high risk player to greater risk for no reason.

    According to Lewis there's been no your complaints today are based upon your opinion he shouldn't have been brought back in the first place. But it's not like Eifert did something new to disappoint. Rather, the coaching and training staff shut him down so he can have an additional 6 weeks to recover. And regardless of whether you supported the decision to bring Eifert back that seems like the smart thing to do.

  8. #18
    I'm not one who advocated bringing him back, but I am also one who agrees that the rending of clothes over him not participating in OTAs is weird. He absolutely should not be on the field in June. That said, I also kinda expect him to never see the field again, so that might explain my lack of consternation.

  9. #19
    I don’t think anyone is complaining. More just nervous that he won’t be able to contribute because he hasn’t over half the time. And we know much better this team is with a healthy tyler.

    This offense has a lot of potential with a new OL, speedy guys like Ross and Malone to compliment aj, two solid TE red zone threats and two solid all around running backs. Lots of ifs and have to stay healthy but this offense could take a huge step forward if things go well.

  10. #20
    What is there to be nervous about? Worst case scenario is the Bengals lose the services of a player most of you didn't want back in the first place. All they've risked is some money they probably wouldn't have spent otherwise.

    Slightly off topic....

    I'm looking at the Jake Fisher story a bit differently this morning. Woke up this morning with my body covered in strange markings and globs of glue-like gel that kept the sensors attached while I had emergency heart surgery. Oh, and most of my pubes are missing.

    I'll spare everyone the personal details but suffice to say I'd feel remiss if I didn't pass along a warning to get life screening tests. My soon to be fired ex-doctor never performed the tests and after misdiagnosing my symptoms spent two years treating for the wrong things. Got to admit I'm a little bit angry about the mistake, but mostly I'm feeling lucky. I'm fine.

    Point being, don't wait for your doctor because he or she may be an idiot. Ask for the test.


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