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Bengals Banter: Rookies Are Working in Camp; Wide Receivers Acquire Small Injury Bug

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"I think I'm pleased with what we're doing. Little things, such as Jermaine (Gresham) having to line up in a left-handed stance and things like that he's not used to having done. Small things like that," (Marvin) Lewis said. "I noticed this morning, every time he went out on the other side of the line, he was changing and he was having to think about it, whereas this afternoon he just went out and did it. Things like that were cool to get done right now. So when they come back, those things are all out of the way and he has a chance in two weeks to reiterate that and focus on that and lock that down." [CNati]

After the first day of rookie minicamp -- attended by several veterans like Carson Palmer, Andrew Whitworth, Rey Maualuga, Morgan Trent, Nate Livings and Andre Smith -- several players were slowed by injury. Dez Briscoe strained a groin and is likely to sit out the rest of camp. Freddie Brown reportedly "came up lame" and tryout players like Carlos Singleton and LaMarcus Coker sat because of cramps. Other notes from around the web after the first day of practice.

+ Geoff Hobson features a guy that has a career goal of being a company commander in the military. Even though Tight End Alejandro Villanueva might be a long shot, but he'll be heading to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border with the Tenth Mountain Division early next year as a second lieutenant. Villanueva is 6-foot-9.

+ The newest Bengals wide receiver Jordan Shipley is already impressing the wide receivers coach Mike Sheppard.

+ Speaking of Shipley, he might have an additional role on this team as a holder. Lewis said that if Shipley “were the best holder, that would be great.”

+ While the debate regarding the appropriateness of Dez Bryant's past is interesting, it seems to me that people are playing the role of shocked sensible observer far too often. Is the question appropriate? I'm not a general manager and I don't own a football team so I don't know the history of appropriate questions with NFL football players for the past 50-plus years.

In my opinion, to expect owners and general managers, guys that put their reputations on the line, to blindly sign a guy to millions without questions about a player's past would seem incredibly naive. But I also don't think Ireland's point was to examine Bryant's past, so much as I think they wanted to learn how he'd react. Would he react like a crazy man or would he simply answer it and move on? And in that regard, it seems that Bryant's reaction was as professional as you can expect from a kid.

+ I know that Pacman referred to the Bengals in a recent radio interview as one of the teams he's still talking to, but honestly, this is one of those stories that you feel has no legs; just some yammering from a jobless cornerback. If the Bengals wanted to sign him, they'd have done it already. But if you want to believe a desperate unemployed football player throwing names out there to generate interest among those teams that might actually be interested (James Walker), then go for it. Hey, give Walker credit. At least he remembered that the division actually has three other teams not named the Pittsburgh Steelers.

+ Former fan favorite in the NFL Draft, Dez Bryant, was "having trouble keeping his breath, and was often kneeling on one knee in between drills."

+ Saints quarterback Drew Brees calls it totally screwed an honor to be voted by fans as the next victim cover on the Madden video game.

+ You have to love Tight End Scott Sicko so much that he makes you sick. I'm totally the first to make that funny-ass pun. Sicko had elected not to play in the NFL after he wasn't drafted to pursue graduate studies, even though he had several teams actively pursuing the tight end. Then he realized that teams pursuing you is actually a good thing. Therefore he signed with the Cowboys.

+ Alex Marvez asks if the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has too much power. Ask me four years ago and I would have undoubtedly said yes without a follow up comment. Ask me today and I think he's very powerful, but at least he's applying it in a way that's beneficial, making sure the league stays healthy.

+ A group of Hall of Fame and retired players are accusing player agents of manipulating the system and getting rookies signed to massive contracts. While it's probably somewhat true, I can't necessarily fault the agents here. The goal is to make money. The demand is consistently answered by NFL teams. Is that the agents fault or the system? The system is what Roger Goodell wants to change; not the agents heart to preserve any unwritten rookie wage scale.