Brooks to become defensive leader... hopefully

We've heard and read several times about the progress Ahmad Brooks has made this off-season. The early first team middle linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals has promoted, several times, that he needs to be a leader. He's also said, several times, that he needs to prove that he can do the job.

"I watch Urlacher," he said of the Bears Pro Bowler. "Just from my size, speed, quickness. All my attributes I have, he has too. I do watch him on tape just to see if he really is as good as they say he is. You can't take anything from him. I can't say I'm better than him on film. The only thing I can do is go prove it."

And with the news that Odell will likely be out for the entire season, Brooks is the only reason he could lose his job. On the Bengals.com depth chart, the only players behind Brooks is Caleb Miller and rookie Matt Muncy -- a Miamisburg, Oh. and Ohio U. product.

Muncy was an aggressive tackler at Ohio U. His biggest weaknesses were pass coverage and shedding big ugly blockers. He's known for doing his job, sticking with assignments but struggles on sideline to sideline plays. As a junior, Muncy posted 115 tackles and finished his career as a three-year starter and a two-time All-Conference player. At one point, Muncy was on the Butkus Award watch list and nominated for the 2006 Lott Trophy as Defensive IMPACT (Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity) Player of the Year. [Ohio Bobcats Player Bio]

Tab Perry has the edge

Tab Perry is slowly becoming a team player -- in every essence of the word. In Chick Ludwig's latest, it describes how Perry feels like a rookie again. Except this time, while competing for a new role as the #3 wide receiver, he wants to pick guys up and do special teams.

"You're looking at a new, improved Tab Perry," the third-year wideout from UCLA said. "I have a whole new attitude. I'm going to try to keep this intensity and energy all through camp.

Even though we had hoped for it, I doubt we'll have that new born attitude from the guy who maintained that #3 wide receiver role that's out for half the season.

Already down again

Antonio Chatman, another receiver competing for the #3 gig, sat during Saturday's morning practice after tweaking his hamstring on a "go route in Friday's first practice".

All but one signed

In the same report linked above, Marvin White joined the team making Leon Hall the sole rookie not signed -- which was expected considering first round picks by the Bengals hardly ever make it to camp on time.

Year Player Length of Hold Out
2006 Johnathan Joseph Signed first day of camp.
2005 David Pollack Held out 19 days
2004 Chris Perry Held out 11 days
2003 Carson Palmer Signed two days before the NFL Draft.
2002 Levi Jones Signed first day of camp
2001 Justin Smith Signed one day before first regular season game.

Also, Akili Smith also held out for 27 days in 1999 and Willie Anderson missed the first three weeks of training camp in 1996.

More on the injured

Chick Ludwig reports the following players missed practice due to injury.

Willie Anderson
Levi Jones
Jeremi Johnson
Johnathan Joseph
Nate Livings
Blue Adams
Greg Brooks

They are currently on the Physically Unable to Perform Active list -- which doesn't mean a thing other than they are allowed to practice/play when they are deemed ready.

Normally injured isn't

Of all the players that are hurt, one of them isn't Adam Kieft who is practicing for the first time in two years.

Saturday Morning Practice

Mark Curnutte publishes his impressions of the Saturday morning practice. Two things he noted were that Deltha O'Neal looks to be reprising his 2005 form and that Ahmad Brooks continues to impress.

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