It's almost like you beg for time to go fast after the NFL draft. That lull between the draft and training camp is usually a baseball game that ends with a 1-0 pitcher's duel. And I dare not degrade the art of pitching; especially among a network of baseball enthusiasts that love it when the game's story features two starting pitchers going head to head like two heavyweight boxers. Pitching is the most difficult and unnatural body motion in professional sports (example: Tom Browning's screwball). But a lot of nothing goes on between the first pitch and the final out in a 1-0 game; just like the period between the NFL draft and training camp.
That was before the impression we have of the total recklessness of the modern NFL player that filled that typically boring lull. They curse, spit, flip, toke coke, smoke, bang, bing, slap, rap, punch, kick, have an usual surplus of one dollar bills, speed, drink, drink more... you get the point. Of course, that's not fair to base that impression as the general stereotype of an NFL player. Bad apples ruin the whole bunch -- and that's primarily evident in Cincinnati.
Kicking Down the Door
Players started showing up in Georgetown yesterday to report for training camp. First practice starts at 3pm, Friday.
Kenny Irons and the Cincinnati Bengals agreed to a four-year deal. Curnutte also mentions that a Marvin White deal is imminent. A deal between Leon Hall and the Bengals is showing progress.
More on Odell
Obviously, I can't get over the fact Thurman will be out for another season. A coworker -- Steelers fan -- asked about it and all I could say is that it must be about something we're not aware of. Perhaps a failed test? Perhaps a bad interview? Who knows. The Commissioner is holding his poker hand. Either way, the punishment is NOT fitting of the crime. He served time for his crime last year. We're still figuring out what crime he committed this year that warranted another season.
If he's trying to make an example, then I question why Odell. Surely there's other players out there that Goodell could make an example of. Surely the suspensions for Chris Henry and Pacman Jones, both of which I personally think were a slight overreaction, could promote his moral-compass vision.
Curnutte gets the players' reaction:
-- Wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh: "It kind of shocked me. It's like the commissioner's being mean. I don't know. It would have to be something to the effect that Odell did something we don't know about. It would have to be because Odell didn't meet all the requirements."
-- Left tackle Levi Jones: "That's extremely unfortunate, and that's going to hurt our team a lot. I don't know how much coaches were looking at him coming in and contributing, but personally I know all his attributes and all the things he has on the field. It is definitely something we could have used."
-- Defensive end Justin Smith: "It could have hurt us a little bit (missing Thurman in 2006). Odell was definitely a big play-maker, things like that. But we have to have everybody step up. I think Ahmad's (Brooks) up to that challenge."
Chick Ludwig also contributes to players' reactions.
Levi's Rehab Setback
It was expected that Levi Jones would be ready for training camp. That changed, reports Ludwig.
"I said back in April that I wasn't worried about it and I was feeling good, but things changed," Jones said. "I got on a different (rehab) program and it didn't go as well as it went before, when I was optimistic.
"I'm about where I was (in April). Hopefully, I can get everything right and be ready for the opener — be ready to play and, hopefully, healthy enough to play well."
It was expected that Andrew Whitworth would replace Eric Steinbach. It was somewhat surprising to see Stacy Andrews further up on the depth chart. Perhaps that was by design so Whitworth could get some work at left tackle -- a position he gained tremendous experience at last season -- in the pessimistic expectation that Jones won't be ready.
Bresnahan on the Hot Seat
Chuck Bresnahan, the Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator, feels that his seat is getting rather warm. I've always thought we had the talent, but failed at getting the defense to come together.