Hot, humid, a bright sun. Perfect weather for … football?
That was Marvin Lewis’ take Monday at the Cincinnati Bengals’ Georgetown College training camp.
“It’s been pretty good,” Lewis said after the team’s seventh practice of camp. “I think the weather has been cooperating — hot and humid, and helps get us acclimated and ready for the season.”
Lewis gave the morning off to several players, including running back Cedric Benson. Dressed in jersey and shorts, as were all the Bengals, Benson merely watched. He’s scheduled to be back in the mix for Monday night’s workout.
“We’ve been able to give our players who need a little bit of some rest some much-needed … time off their legs at times,” Lewis said. “And some of the young guys, lean on them a little bit more to get them a little bit more reps. Guys that need to have a little bit more learning, getting that opportunity, so that’s a good thing.”
Lewis also had several of his veterans working at their “second positions” — spots where they may have to move later in the season in case of injuries.
Returning to action Monday was cornerback Leon Hall (back tightness) and guard Evan Mathis (calf). Still out due to pre-camp surgery and/or injury are safety Tom Nelson (knee), linebacker Rashad Jeanty (leg) and offensive tackle Andre Smith (foot). Rookie defensive end Carlos Dunlap also is out (concussion).
“Our tempo has been pretty good,” Lewis said. “Obviously there’s a couple plays that wane in there and I have to remind them about it. Because we seem to have a little dip every once in a while, which is natural and expected. But we’ve got to pick it up and get going — your tempo in and out of the huddle, getting to the line of scrimmage and the things we need to do.”
* Wide receiver Antonio Bryant, who gave up his No. 81 jersey to Terrell Owens, is wearing No. 19. However, Bryant likely will be wearing a number in the 80s before the season begins.