Bengals Rookie Minicamp

The Bengals are hosting their rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.

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Impressions and Notes From Bengals Rookie Minicamp

The Cincinnati Bengals have closed shop for the team's rookie minicamp. Here's a few of our impressions, notes and other things being said about the newest Bengals players.


Jay Gruden on Tyler Eifert and Giovani Bernard

"I’ve been impressed with how they are studying and working hard. When they mess up, you can tell it hurts them and they don’t want to do it again," Gruden said. "Those two guys are focused on what they can bring to the team and they are going to be very good players."

Cincinnati Enquirer

Bengals Offer A Contract To DT Terrence Stephens

The Cincinnati Bengals offered a contract to Stanford defensive tackle Terence Stephens, who worked out with the team this weekend as a tryout.


Hawkinson Worked Every O-Line Position During Camp

The Cincinnati Bengals are fairly impressed with Hawkinson, who worked all five offensive lineman positions over the weekend, either during team or individual drills.


Lewis' Impression On The Concluded Rookie Minicamp

"I thought they went very good. It’s been very productive. When you have 10 draft picks there’s a lot of opportunity to get those guys involved and see them get incorporated in the offense and defense and then a little bit of special teams. To a man I’ve been pleased with what they’ve come out here and done. Now most will be here this week and get infused with the rest of the team."

Marvin Lewis

PHOTO GALLERY: Final Day of Bengals Rookie Camp

The Cincinnati Bengals wrapped up minicamp on Sunday with the fifth and final practice. A photo gallery of that day.


The Bengals REALLY Wanted Jayson Dimanche

The Cincinnati Bengals were determined to bring Southern Illinois linebacker Jayson Dimanche, that they signed him to one of the highest signing bonuses among all college free agents.


Rookie Minicamp Draws Bengals Veterans

Although the rookie minicamp is for first-year players only, certain Bengals veterans also stopped by to check out the newest members of the team.


Rookie RB Gio Bernard Garners Lofty Comparisons

In his Friday press conference, head coach Marvin Lewis dished out high praise for rookie running back Giovani Bernard, comparing him to current game-breaking running backs like Ray Rice and MJD.


Lewis: Bengals Have "Real, True Depth" On O-Line

The Bengals came out of the 2013 draft with three new offensive lineman after also re-singing tackle Dennis Roland and retaining guard Travelle Wharton. They now have enough depth on the line to foster strong competition and allow development behind the starters.


Bengals Like Joiner's Work During Conversion To LB

The Cincinnati Bengals took a risk staying with Brandon Joiner, despite the player's stint in prison for a crime committed when he was younger.


Lewis on Burkhead: Could Be A Core Player

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis likes what he saw out of Rex Burkhead on Friday, saying that will be a guy to uplift special teams and compete as a core guy.


Photo Gallery: Cincinnati Bengals Rookie Minicamp

Telling a story in pictures with a photo gallery.


Zimmer on Hunt: Football-Wise, he's only 12

The Bengals selected Margus Hunt in the second round, largely to help develop due to his very limited experience playing football.


OT Fragel Held His Own Against DE Hunt

Despite being drafted in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL draft, Reid Fragel will have every opportunity to make the 53-man roster this year.


Schaffer With An Opportunity To Impress Coaches

J.K. Shaffer, who spent 2012 on two practice squads after being signed as an undrafted free agent, is finally being given a chance to show the coaching staff what he can do.


Williams Needs To Get Better In Pass Coverage

Based on the personnel on the current roster, labeling Williams as a starter makes sense. But he has a lot of work to do before he gets there.


Marvin Lewis Impressed With Rookies

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis was clearly impressed from Friday's workout sessions.


Ken Riley Reached Out To Onterio McCalebb

Cincinnati Bengals legend Ken Riley reached out to Onternio McCalebb when deciding to make a position switch from running back to cornerback.


Giovani Bernard Getting Work In Passing Game

Perhaps the highest need of the Bengals this offseason was another running back. One with speed and hands to complement BenJarvus Green-Ellis' hard-nosed running style. Perhaps that's why second round pick Giovani Bernard appears to be the fan-favorite in this year's Bengals draft class.

Bernard got plenty of work on the first day of Bengals practices and is attempting to catch up to the speed of NFL practices. Per Geoff Hobson of, Bernard said:

"He (Bengals running backs coach Hue Jackson) has kind of beat that into my brain after Day One or day half of one. Faster is better. That's the type of players they want for this team and so far so good," Bernard said. "Speed, speed, speed. It is something I learned with my last head coach (Larry Fedora at UNC). He was a big speed guy. Everything is about speed and going as fast as you can."

Jackson, the man who brought you 1,000-yard receivers Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the last decade, has struck up a good rapport with another personality-plus guy in Bernard. "Just meeting him at the combine, I knew he is a great coach," Bernard said. "At the combine I said hopefully I end up with you guys. He teaches it very well. It is going to continue to grow and get better."

Bernard looked comfortable catching the ball, another reason the Bengals made him the first back drafted. He calls catching "second nature. It went (well). Just understanding the playbook and working through the jitters," Bernard said. "At the end of the day you just have to have fun. It will come as second nature sooner or later. Being on top of it. Just have to work through it and have fun with it."

Joe Reedy also chimed in about Bernard saying that he received "plenty of work catching the football". That's one of Bernard's biggest strengths and the hope is that it is an area where he'll aid the offense the most. Quarterback Andy Dalton hasn't had that type of security blanket over the past two seasons.


Cobi Hamilton Has Nice Showing On First Day

Even though the pads aren't strapped on and practices aren't at full speed per se, one can still catch glimpses of impressive plays from the youngsters at Bengals minicamp. It appears some of the rookies on offense have had a good first day of practice, according to reports by both Joe Reedy and Geoff Hobson.

Aside from the notable play of first round tight end, Tyler Eifert, the other receiving option that the Bengals picked up in sixth-rounder Cobi Hamilton also had a nice day. Hobson told us that Hamilton made a nice grab in front of rookie safety Shaun Williams, who had Mike Zimmer shadowing and coaching him up most of the day.

Reedy tells us that that wasn't the only play that Hamilton made on the day, as he had "a couple of nice catches". Hamilton has good size, speed and hands, but is a bit raw and isn't particularly strong against press/bump coverage, per draft reports. He could latch on to one of the team's final receiver spots.


Onterio McCalebb Coached Up By Carrier At Minicamp

In 2009 when the Cincinnati Bengals were on HBO's "Hard Knocks" documentary, there was a notorious scene where team owner Mike Brown suggested that one of the players, defensive end Chris Harrington, should get a look as a tight end. The room mumbled and grumbled while struggling to find an answer for Brown's suggestion and the fans laughed it off as "typical Mike Brown".

A few years later, the Bengals are trying a similar experiment with former Auburn University running back, Onterio McCalebb. They have officially converted him to cornerback, as their running back roster is quite full, and he'll likely have his best shot at making the final roster as a special teams return man.

McCalebb has been receiving pointers from defensive backs coach Mark Carrier in the first day of practices and McCalebb is definitely receptive to the coaching. Per's Geoff Hobson:

"I learned some stuff I never knew from Coach Carrier," McCalebb said.

As expected the toughest thing for a running back-turned-cornerback in his first 90 minutes was trying to play backward smoothly as McCalebb struggled with technique.

"The backpedal. When you open up and turn, you keep your shoulders down," he said. "There's another practice today and I'll just work on the mistakes I made and learn the calls. I haven't played it in some years, but I'm going to compete out there."

Hopefully he catches on and the team can find a way to use his athleticism and track star speed.


Eifert Lines Up Everywhere; Dalton Impressed

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton hung out with his newest teammate Josh Johnson during Friday's session at Paul Brown Stadium, watching Cincinnati's newest crop of players practice underneath the imminent threat of another stormy Cincinnati day. First-round rookie Tyler Eifert, who lined up "in at least four spots" Friday, even making an impressive "one-handed grab on a go-route" (not to mention the pass was off-target), impressed Dalton.

"You can tell Tyler has really good body control when the ball is in the air, but you could see that on film when you're watching him in college," Dalton said.

Eifert is Dalton's newest toy on an offense that's played marginal in the past two years. The impression on Eifert isn't so much as a tight end with great hands; rather the versatility and dynamics that he brings.

Dalton also liked what he saw out of Giovani Bernard.

"It's hard to tell with running backs with no pads, no nothing on. But (Bernard) has a little wiggle to him, you can see that. That would be a good complement for Benny, who's more of a power back."


Zimmer to Williams: Did you ever cover receivers?

Mike Zimmer is Mike Zimmer, available in massive doses of humiliating lessons that players adore him for. As a teacher, they learn. As a coach, they find motivation. Yet players love him and we've yet to hear a player offer a negative perspective on the Bengals defensive coordinator.

Cincinnati Bengals safety Shawn Williams, selected during the third round of the 2013 NFL draft, received his first Mike Zimmer experience on Friday, according to While on the practice field during Friday's opening session during the rookie minicamp, Zimmer got on Williams' case.

"Did you ever cover any receivers at Georgia? What are you waiting for?"

Williams is largely projected as the most likely to start from the team's 2013 draft class, playing a position at safety that's still questionable heading into the quiet portion of the offseason.

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