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Lewis: Spending time with Andre Smith was positive; calls character-issue speculation "all over the yard"

In the same post in which Chris talks about Marvin Lewis' bewilderment that Chad Johnson trade speculation is still prominent (he mustn't be a reader at, Lewis went into detail about Andre Smith, saying that spending time with him was "positive":

"This guy's perception has been all over the yard. In (spending) time with him, it's a positive," Lewis said. "You've got to look at his background, look who he's played for. This guy has played for a couple of pretty good coaches, and, secondly, he's played for some guys that (have) been in the NFL for a long time. We've got to respect the opinions they have of the player. Guys like that, it's the fun part of this process when you get down later and you get more of a chance to spend time around these guys. I don't get a chance to visit some of the campuses like I used to, but at least when we bring some of the players here I do get to spend the time, and if I can get out to the campus I love to go."

However, Lewis also points out that it's not necessarily true that the Bengals will draft a left tackle.

"We feel real comfortable with some guys we already have in-house in doing the things we need to do to play productive football," Lewis said. "I don't think we're going in saying we need to get a left offensive tackle. We have three guys who played the spot last year for us here so I don't think we're going into the draft thinking that way."

Maybe the fact we had three left tackles play last year could be the reason to draft a left tackle.

Back to Andre Smith. What does Dave Lapham think?

"I rate him as the top tackle physically. He's never on the ground. That was the thing I would marvel about with Anthony (Munoz). Great balance. You can't be out too far over your feet and you can't be back on your heels. He's got the balance.

"I don't know how the Bengals can’t take him. They've got no depth. It's fine to say you put (Andrew) Whitworth at left tackle and (Anthony) Collins at right tackle. But what if one of them goes down? They're done.

"I think it's a question of immaturity. Did he make some bad decisions? Yeah. He's got his family always hanging around and the entourage and, yeah, that's a concern. But he's not doing anything criminal. I just think he's a guy that's been recruited all his life and maybe is a bit spoiled and he's never been out of Alabama. He's been exposed to the same thing. He's young.

"He reminds me of Willie (Anderson). He can play left tackle, but he's not going to be elite. But he's an elite right tackle. Willie would have been criticized for having a bad body, but he blew people 10 yards off the ball. That's what this kid does. He drills people. And I think he'll be a good pass-protector. His arms are long as hell."

So, Andre Smith anyone?