(Update 9:44: Bryant sat out the evening practice as well. More below the fold.) The Hobsonator has today's afternoon training camp roundup, including news that Antonio Bryant was sidelined again. Believe what you want about the condition of his knee (said to be a "bone on bone" issue) and his ability to stay on the field this coming season, but it's clear that all the smoke about his bum knee following the Terrell Owens signing wasn't without fire. Hobson adds that Bryant expects to only go once during two-a-days, and to be held out of the pads practice.
Speaking of Owens, he had some words for his critics, but what I found more interesting was this preface by Joe Reedy:
Saturday’s morning session was held on the upper field at Georgetown College and attracted 3,500 fans. After the two-hour session fans kept chanting "T.O, T.O." as Terrell Owens signed some autographs for fans with some signed "T. Owens" and others signed "Terrell Owens."
The reception from the fans has even stunned a 15-year veteran like Owens.
"Honestly, it gives you chills, a sense of hope and makes you ready for the season," Owens said.
Well, T.O., this is the reaction you get from a fan base that's been spit upon by just about every "big name" star the team has ever wooed. Be honest, how many of you -- like me -- were expecting the Bengals to get left at the altar once again, jilted for Oakland or New York? I certainly expect T.O. to help the offense this year, but even if he doesn't it was nice just to see him actually in stripes, unlike so many before.
And on that note, since signing T.O., Cincinnati's Super Bowl odds have improved from 30/1 to 22/1.
He's all yours, Philly.
Update: In his report on the evening session, Hobson say that Bryant was sidelined again. Asked when Antonio might get on the field, head coach Marvin Lewis said:
"He’ll be ready when he’s ready."
"We’re doing what we said we were going to do two days ago," Lewis said. "Backing him off and giving him an opportunity to get himself completely healthy…We’re going to give him the opportunity to be back to 100 percent. He wasn’t with us for awhile (the month leading up to camp) and you have to give him an opportunity."
I can't say that sounds particularly encouraging.