Andre Smith To Andrew Whitworth: It's Time For Me To Step Up

We have many storylines that'll keep our interest. Will the team re-sign Johnathan Joseph, Cedric Benson or Brandon Johnson? What about Dhani Jones? How smoothly can Rey Maualuga make the transition inside? What how will Adam Jones, Morgan Trent, Chris Crocker and Chinedum Ndukwe (if he returns) recover from season-ending injuries? Then there's the more high profile discussions, who will be the team's quarterback at the start of the season, how will that quarterback do and how will he react to adversity? There's other issues, like Clint Boling unseating Nate Livings at left guard.

Then there's Andre Smith, who attended the team's workouts last week but unable to participate while recovering from a broken foot from last season. And even then, it was still an encouragement. Word of significant weight loss broken when Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote that Smith "definitely slimmed down. Definitely not over 350."

Smith credits nutrition and eating right.

"I’ve been working on nutrition and getting healthy. That’s been the major focus and it’s been going real well. I love where my weight is right now. I’ve dropped a bunch and it’s a lot less than it was at training camp last year."

If that's the case and Smith has lost weight, this is as good any news we could have received this offseason. Lighter weight means better conditioning, playing more and reducing the risk of injury. And Smith isn't the only Bengals player encouraged by Smith. Speaking with Steve Wyche and Bucky Brooks on NFL.com's Cover Two Podcast, Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth said:

"Talent is not his issue," Whitworth said. "His weight has been the only issue. He showed up at these workouts under weight, lighter than he's been since he's been here -- and that's with him having a boot on his foot."

Smith had offseason surgery after breaking his left foot.

Whitworth went on: "The first thing he said to me was, 'Whit, it's my time. Time for me to step up.'

Awesome.

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