Bengals safety Gibril Wilson isn't what we'd call a game-changer. Oh sure he's made a difference during his six seasons before joining the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010, posting 13 career interceptions, 8.5 quarterback sacks, seven forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, a safety and nearly 600 total tackles as the starting strong safety with the New York Giants, Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins. What we mean is that Wilson won't be a game-changer when it comes to the overall chemistry of the team's roster at safety.
Currently the team's third-string safety, as per the team's released depth chart on Monday, Wilson's biggest detriment right now is that he's facing the rehabilitation of a torn ACL in his left knee during a preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles last year. How he returns from that, during his second one-year contract with the Bengals, will decide if he makes the team or not.
For the first time since suffering his injury last year, Wilson returned to the field to practice on Monday for his first training camp session of the season.
"It felt pretty good the whole time," said a much calmer Wilson after practice. "I don't think I'm where I was, but if I continue to keep going up, I think I'll be ready. I know I'm much further along in the playbook than I was because I've been out a year and I've been learning the defense. I just have to get physically ready." …
Wilson, who got into an altercation with running back Jonathan Williams Monday night, isn't expected to be factor into the team's starting lineup. But if he returns to a fraction of the pedigree he's shown in his career, the Bengals only benefit from it.
Other Notes From Practice
- Along with Wilson and Williams getting into it on the sidelines, linebacker DeQuin Evans (another undrafted free agent that's impressing the coaching staff) "got into it" with Anthony Collins (though Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer says it was backup center Reggie Stephens). When faced against the team's best offensive lineman, Geoff Hobson writes that "Andrew Whitworth enveloped" him.
- ESPN's AFC North blogger James Walker was in attendance at Georgetown observing a sub-par Andy Dalton performance. Along with at least three false starts by the first-team offense, Walker observed that "Andy Dalton's timing also looked off with several receivers" which included an interception by linebacker Rey Maualuga.
- We've known that the Bengals are impressed enough with undrafted tight end Colin Cochart, whose massive frame is holding his own, turning the heads of some of his coaches. Walker came away with the same impression on the rookie writing that Cochart "made several really nice blocks against the first-team defense on Monday. The rookie could be an early sleeper in training camp." If the Bengals only take three tight ends this year, figure that Cochart could be a likely candidate to land on the practice squad. Or maybe with Bo Scaife on the roster, the team moves on from Chase Coffman and Cochart takes the third spot. Or the team wants to bake and eat their cake with other galaxy-redefining cliches while keeping four tight ends.
- Brandon Johnson, the player we've been telling you is the best pass coverage linebacker on the team, deflected another Andy Dalton pass.
“It shows that they have confidence in me. I don’t think they would have drafted me if they didn’t have that confidence. I’ve just been trying to come in here, take the coaching that I get and try to apply it on the field. Hopefully I can keep doing that and improving.” – (Andy) Dalton on being named first string on the first depth chart of the season.
- Cincinnati Enquirer