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Thread: Giants vs Bengals Preseason Game

  1. #1

    Giants vs Bengals Preseason Game

    Quick Hits: Everybody Who Can Go Plays Thursday

    Geoff HobsonSENIOR WRITER

    It sounds like Jeff Driskel (6) gets a shot to play wide receiver Thursday.

    The Bengals returned to practice Sunday to rehearse Thursday’s dress rehearsal (7 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Local 12) at Paul Brown Stadium against the Giants.

    Left tackle Cordy Glenn wasn’t on the field, but it’s believed to be a nick and nothing major. If he doesn’t go Thursday, that’s an immediate scenario of who-is-the-next-left-tackle. It would probably be veteran Andre Smith, but in a pre-season game they may take a long look at O’Shea Dugas, a rookie free agent from Louisiana Tech signed as a guard but pressed into service as a tackle and has held up pretty well with the backups.

    _It doesn’t look like wide receiver John Ross (hamstring) is going to be out there because Sunday he was again on the rehab field. So when does he get his tune-up? Or do Josh Malone and Cody Core start the opener?

    Also not working were safety Clayton Fejedelem (ankle), running back Trayveon Williams (foot), cornerback Darqueze Dennard (knee), tight end Drew Sample (unknown), Core (unknown), cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (unknown), cornerback Darius Phillips (unknown), tight end Mo Bohringer (unknown).

    _Head coach Zac Taylor said only one, Trayveon Williams, is done for the preseason but hopes he’s back by either game one or game two of the regular season. He wouldn’t comment on guard Christian Westerman beyond that he’s left the team for personal reasons and wouldn’t speculate on if or when he’d return.

    Williams is out, but before Rodney
    Anderson makes his NFL debut Thursday it sounds like Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard are going to get plenty of carries before they go into mothballs for Sept.8. Taylor said the starters won’t come out for the third quarter.

    “We look forward to Joe and Gio getting a great amount of carries and seeing what this offense looks like with those guys,” Taylor said. “I think the trend, and I don’t really care what the trend is, is the guys will play a series-or-two shorter than what has happened in years past. Whether that’s good or bad, that’s what we believe in — keeping our guys fresh and healthy. They’re getting enough work. We feel good about our plan.”

    By the way, while that’s going on, keep an eye out for the 6-0, 224-pound Anderson in the kicking game. Special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons can’t wait to use his size and athleticism and says he’ll “unleash,” him in a prominent role.

    Paul Abell/AP Photos
    Where will Trey Hopkins be Thursday?

    _Taylor wouldn’t say what offensive line combo he’s going to use, so it’s unclear if he’ll open with his third different one in as many games. He passed on saying if rookie Michael Jordan earned another shot at starting at left guard off Thursday’s 23-13 victory in Washington, or if Trey Hopkins continues to start at center with incumbent Billy Price backing him up.

    “Yeah, anytime you change from one spot to another, it gets your attention,” Price said before Sunday’s practice. “Trey started and did a fine job. Then I went in and he went to left guard and played damn well.”

    Asked if he sees a competition at center, Price observed that one constant with the offensive this preseason is that nothing has been constant.

    “I see it as doing what the coaches tell me to,” Price said. “Whatever they ask me to do, I go out there and execute and play the best I can. If you look at it, we’ve been all over. John Jerry has played left guard, right tackle. Trey’s playing guard and center. I’m just doing what the coaches tell me.”

    Thursday maybe the dress rehearsal, but Taylor says the cast on the line might not be what’s on the marquee in Seattle Sept. 8.

    “We’re not ready to make that decision quite yet,” Taylor said. “We’ll utilize the next three practices, and we may utilize the game if we need to. What’s important, and what Jim (offensive line coach Turner) and I talked about, is that starting early next week, we need to have that ironed down so that starting group gets two good, clean weeks of practice before we play Seattle.”

    _Jordan is going to be the starting left guard at some point this season. You realize it after talking to 11-year veteran right tackle Andre Smith.

    “He’s going be a really good player once his body fills out,” Smith said. “I knows he’s a young guy, 20 years old.”

    Told Jordan is actually 21, the 32-year-old Smith said, “21? He’s still got a long way to go, but he’s going to be a really good player.”

    You also realize he’s going to play at some point this season because on Sunday when you ask him what he has to work on after last Thursday’s first NFL start, Jordan sounds like a 31-year-old.

    “I thought I did well. Just my technicalities, my footwork,” said Jordan who played next to Hopkins on the first line and Price on the third line. “Fix all the little things so it doesn’t affect the big things as much. … Little things for me would be like footwork. Little things turn into big things that turn into maybe getting beat on a play. Take care of the little things the big things take care of themselves.”

    He had a false start, a little thing that turned into a big thing: “A miscommunication error,” he said.

    One of the things the Bengals liked about how Jordan played Thursday was how hard he played. From the first play to his last, his 42nd snap of the night.

    “It just comes from inside, a mentality,” Jordan said. “You make the conscious decision to do or not to do every day.”

    _Mixon on talking with Oklahoma soulmate Adrian Peterson after Thursday's game: "he told me to just keep doing my thing, you're doing a great job, keep up the hard work."

    How about that stiff arm on Josh Norman?

    "If i need it, I need it," said Mixon of his first carry of '19 on which he appeared to be unleashing pent-up energy. "I'm trying to save it for week one."

    Alex Brandon/AP Images
    Joe Mixon meets and greets fellow Sooners great Adrian Peterson.

    _Whatever happens up there on the offensive line, Taylor has been pleased with how they’ve protected the quarterback. They’ve allowed just two sacks this preseason and haven’t allowed one in six straight quarters.

    “The pass protection up front has been really good over these two weeks,” Taylor said. “I watch a lot of games around the league and buzz through some other offenses — it’s a sack fest in some cases. Our guys, fortunately, have done a great job. We need to sustain that through his next game, but so far they’ve done a really good job in protection.”

    _Now, let’s see how the Giants protect Thursday. Taylor said both defensive tackle Geno Atkins and pass rusher Carl Lawson make what is expected to be their only appearances of the preseason.

    _Simmons wouldn’t get into all that when asked if there was now a kicking competition. All he said was that he felt good for rookie Tristan Vizcaino and his 57-yarder in Washington and that he wished he had also made the 46-yarder. He also said back-up quarterback Jeff Driskel isn’t in the competition for punt returner, since he’s never done it.

    “We’ve got enough problems with guys we do have catching punts,” he said.

    But he loves the idea of working with Driskel. He had his teams debut on Thursday as an end on punt return and he’ll get more action this Thursday.

    “When you’re a good athlete and you can run and have a willingness and a desire to do it, I think it shows his unselfishness in trying to find a way to make our team and find a way to improve himself,” Simmons said. “We are going to find the role that’s best for him. It’s still a little bit experimental at this point. We gave him a little taste last week. He had a couple plays at punt return and we are going to try to expand it this week.”

    _Here’s the problem with the young linebackers. They’re not showing up in the kicking game and if they’re not, it’s a hard sell. The only guy assured of making it is third-rounder Germaine Pratt.

    “We’ve got to get better play out of the back-up linebackers,” Simmons said. “Germaine Pratt, Deshaun Davis (the sixth-rounder), they’ve got to play better. Somebody’s got to show up out of that group. Right now, you can throw them in the middle of a hat and pull one out right now to play (special) teams. So somebody’s got show they want the spots and they can separate themselves from the rest of the herd. Right now, they have not.”

    Darius Phillips: still in the mix at punt return.

    _Like Taylor said, Simmons isn’t down on Darius Phillips returning punts. He’s going to get another chance (if healthy) because they certainly don’t want first stringer Alex Erickson doing it in the fourth quarter the next two weeks like he had to this last Saturday, even if it was for a 75-yard TD.

    “Darius had a bad game. He had a bad week of practice the week before the Kansas City game,” Simmons said of the two drops. “He dropped four or five punts. Just had a bad week. Typically, he’s been more reliable than that. We’re counting on him to be more reliable than that.”

    But he’s not going to beat out Erickson on either punt or kick return. Not yet. Even if he ripped off 88 yards on three kick returns in Washington.

    “He did it a year ago in the preseason. He made plays a year ago in the preseason,” Simmons said. “The problem is, like I told Darius last year, Darius was frustrated and Darius has a lot of ability but Alex was third in the league in kickoff returns, I think, so he did nothing to lose that job. So it was hard to take the hot hand out of there at the time.

    “Same thing as a punt returner too. When the guy in front of you doesn’t do anything to lose the job it’s hard to put the next guy in. But obviously, he’s shown anytime he’s had the opportunity to put his hands on the ball as a kick-off returner he’s made plays.”

    But if Phillips can’t play, there’s no one else but Erickson to return punts. Only wide receiver Tyler Boyd and running back Giovani Bernard, two key offensive players. Probably won’t see that in the preseason.

  2. #2
    Game Preview Presented By Papa John's: Bengals vs Giants

    Alex Brandon/Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
    Cincinnati Bengals free safety Jessie Bates III (30) warms up before an NFL preseason football game against the Washington Redskins, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Kickoff: 7 p.m. Eastern.

    Television: Live coverage on the Bengals Preseason Network with broadcasters Mike Watts (play-by-play), Anthony Munoz (analyst) and Solomon Wilcots (sideline reporter). The network is led by flagship WKRC-TV (CBS Channel 12) in Cincinnati. Also on the network are WKEF-TV (ABC Ch. 22) in Dayton, WSYX-TV (ABC Ch. 6) in Columbus, WLIO-TV (FOX Ch. 8.2) in Lima, WDKY-TV FOX Ch. 56) in Lexington, Ky. and WDRB-TV (FOX Ch. 41) in Louisville, Ky.

    Radio: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).

    Thur., Aug. 22 | 7 p.m. ET

    Setting the scene: The Cincinnati Bengals take the field at Paul Brown Stadium for the first time under new head coach Zac Taylor on Thursday night, when they face the visiting N.Y. Giants. The Bengals enter the contest 1-1 in preseason play, and fresh off of last week’s 23-13 victory over the Washington Redskins.

    The Bengals’ reserves stole the show against the Redskins, as all 23 of Cincinnati’s points were scored after the first team had exited. Highlighting the night was the play of the Bengals’ special teams units, which took control of the game by scoring the final 10 points of the evening.

    Rookie K Tristan Vizcaino struck first, breaking a 13-13 tie with a 57-yard field goal, which had it come in the regular season would’ve been a record for longest in team history (current record is 55 yards by Chris Bahr and Mike Nugent). Two minutes later, WR Alex Erickson added to the lead with a 75-yard punt return for a TD.

    But despite the late special teams fireworks, the talk of the night was the play of the young Bengals wide receivers. All eight receivers who played recorded at least one reception, including six who had a catch of at least 12 yards.

    With 2017 first-round pick John Ross and seven-time Pro Bowler A.J. Green both missing nearly all of training camp thus far due to injuries, critics have taken aim at a young and unproven group of Bengals pass-catchers. But the receivers have responded by performing well in both practices and games.

    Among the surprises has been college free agent Damion Willis, who after drawing rave reviews in practices took his show to the game field against the Redskins. Willis notched five catches for 59 yards, and also had a highlight-reel 35-yard TD catch wiped out by a controversial offensive pass interference penalty. Second-year WR Auden Tate, a 6-5, 228-pound target who excels in the red zone, has also turned heads. Tate has made several highlight-reel catches so far this preseason, and got into the end-zone against Washington with a three-yard score.

    Among the other young WRs to impress in training camp have been college free agent Stanley Morgan, the University of Nebraska’s all-time leading receiver, and third-year pro Josh Malone, who is fully healthy after battling a hamstring issue most of last season.

    Also turning heads has been rookie QB Ryan Finley, a fourth-round pick of the Bengals in April’s draft. Through two games, Finley has completed 75 percent of his passes (33 of 44), with three TDs and a 102.4 passer rating. He made headlines in the preseason opener at Kansas City by completing his first 10 passes, and then followed that up by completing his first nine attempts at Washington.

    On the other side of the ball, the story continues to be the Bengals’ pass rush, despite DE Carl Lawson and seven-time Pro Bowl DT Geno Atkins sitting out the first two preseason contests. After consistent pressure that resulted in two sacks against Kansas City, the Bengals turned up the heat in Washington and notched four sacks. DEs Kerry Wynn, Jordan Willis and Immanuel Turner, along with LB Deshaun Davis, were all credited with sacks against the Redskins.

    The defense is led by first-year coordinator Lou Anarumo, who will square off against his former team on Thursday. Anarumo, who is also a native of Staten Island, N.Y., served as defensive backs coach for the Giants last season.

    The Giants enter Thursday’s matchup 2-0 in preseason play, after wins over the N.Y. Jets (31-22) and Chicago Bears (32-13).

    The series: The Bengals and Giants have played only four times in preseason, with the Giants holding a 3-1 series lead. The Bengals, however, won the last preseason meeting, 23-10 at Paul Brown Stadium in 2015. The previous four Bengals-Giants preseason games were preseason openers for Cincinnati.

    In regular-season meetings, the Bengals lead 6-4. The last regular-season matchup resulted in a 21-20 Giants win at MetLife Stadium in 2016. The Bengals and Giants will not meet in the 2019 regular season.

    Bengals-Giants connections: Giants G Kevin Zeitler was originally a first-round draft choice of the Bengals in 2012, and was with the team through the ’16 season ... Bengals OT Bobby Hart entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick (226th overall) of the Giants in 2015, and was with the team through the ’17 season ... Bengals DE Kerry Wynn entered the NFL as a college free agent signee of the Giants in 2014, and was with the team through the ’18 season ... Giants T George Asafo-Adjei is from West Chester, Ohio (Lakota West High School) and played at the University of Kentucky ... Bengals CB B.W. Webb was with the Giants in 2018 ... Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo was defensive backs coach for the Giants in 2018. Anarumo is also from Staten Island, N.Y., attended Wagner College, and coached at Wagner (1990) and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (’89-90, ’92-94) ... Bengals G John Jerry was with the Giants from 2014-17 ... Bengals CB Tony Lippett was with the Giants in 2018 ... Bengals K Randy Bullock was with the Giants in 2016 ... Giants WR Alonzo Russell was originally a college free agent signee of the Bengals in 2016, and was on Cincinnati’s practice squad during the entire ’16 season. Russell also played at the University of Toledo ... Bengals LS Clark Harris played at Rutgers University ... Giants WR Cody Latimer is from Dayton (Jefferson Township High School) ... Giants RB Rod Smith played at Ohio State University ... Giants TE CJ Conrad played at the University of Kentucky ... Giants assistant offensive line coach Ben Wilkerson played for the Bengals from 2005-06 ... Bengals linebackers coach Tem Lukabu is from Avenel, N.J., played (2000-03) and coached (’14) at Colgate University, and coached at Rutgers University (’06-07, ’10-11) ... Bengals assistant quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher is from Cortland, N.Y., played QB at Cortland State from 2008-11, and then coached at Cortland State in ’12 ... Giants defensive backs coach Everett Withers coached at Ohio State University from 2012-13 ... Bengals assistant offensive line coach Ben Martin coached at Wagner College in 2013, and at Union College from ’16-17.

    2019 Preseason Game 3: Giants at Bengals [PDF]

  3. #3

  4. #4
    All indications are wide receiver John Ross (hamstring) won’t play in the Bengals’ final two pre-season games, but with two weeks of practice head coach Zac Taylor expects Ross to play in the Sept. 8 regular-season opener in Seattle.

    After Monday’s practice Taylor said left tackle Cordy Glenn (concussion) also won’t play in the final two games and offensive line coach Jim Turner indicated Andre Smith gets the nod there for Thursday night’s game (7 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Local 12) against the Giants at Paul Brown Stadium. It also appears that rookie Michael Jordan gets his second straight start at left guard and that it will come next to center Billy Price after Trey Hopkins started at center last Thursday in Washington.

    But Taylor called the left guard spot even, giving no one an edge and saying they’ll make the final decision in the middle of next week and not in time for Thursday’s starting lineup.

  5. #5
    Game day, mofos. The kinda fun one.

    I am looking forward to seeing:

    1. Robby Anderson's debut. Given Treyveon's ankle issue, outside chance Anderson is active week 1 AND could see some run. Really curious about him.
    2. Mixon and Gio getting more work.
    3. Lawson and Geno's debut.
    4. Curious if Finley continues to look that sharp. Pretty sure that Driskell is cutsville.

  6. #6
    This mofo won't see the game until Friday morning.

    Most interested in seeing if Finley can keep playing well

    Same for Andrew Brown.

    Probably more interested in seeing what Willis can do. I've got to admit I've already got more faith in him that John Ross.

  7. #7
    Damion Willis starting for Green and Tate starting for Ross tonight. Big opp for Willis. This new coaching staff is a LOT more willing to shake stuff up and give chances to kids than Marvin and his staff were.

  8. #8
    Michael Jordan getting another start at LG.

  9. #9
    I love that everyone is getting a shot with the ones...and I hate that the ones are undrafted-type guys who make our 1st string look kinda ugly.

  10. #10
    Interesting. Atkins lines up at de and Hubbard at DT.


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