Feb 24, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis speaks at a press conference during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
With the flurry of free agent visits today (four, to be exact), the Bengals staff was still able to squeeze in a visit to a prominent program's Pro Day workout. The University of Oregon held its Pro Day today in Eugene and according to draft guru Rob Rang, Marvin Lewis himself was in attendance.
Along with scouts from "virtually every team," source tells me head coaches Marvin Lewis and Jim Schwartz attended Oregon Pro Day.
This bit of news comes as both curious and telling. It's curious because one would think that with so many free agent visits scheduled, the head coach would want to be there in person to greet and speak with them. I am not certain of the image this would portray to outside free agents when the head coach isn't there to recruit them, but we'll all have to see if it has any effect. It appears that at least three of the four free agents will be staying in Cincinnati overnight, so it's entirely possible that Lewis will catch a redeye flight back to the Queen City to meet with these visitors.
It's telling because it could show a strong interest from the Bengals in these Oregon prospects. With the Bengals in need of speed and big-play ability out of the running back position, it's possible that Lewis wanted to get a closeup look at LaMichael James. Viewed as a second to fourth round pick, James could be a great supplemental back in the committee approach--especially if the Bengals bring a bigger back like Michael Bush in via free agency.
Other notable players on display at Oregon's workout that could be on the team's radar were Josh Kaddu and Cliff Harris.