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James Walker: Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley Could Be Key Contributors for the Bengals

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There really is a lot to look forward to this year. We each have our own lists. I'm looking forward to Carson Palmer returning to his passing glory days. No, not the statistics of those seasons. But the accuracy on the deep pass, having confidence in his receivers and tight ends underneath and increasing his overall efficiency. I'm looking forward to seeing Michael Johnson's development as a linebacker translated on the field. I'm looking forward to Adam Jones' overall contribution as a third or fourth string cornerback and, more importantly, his contribution in the kickoff and punt return games (if he wins those after the preseason.

But more interestingly, I'm looking forward to the help that Carson Palmer and the passing offense will have with the infusion of new talent at Wide Receiver and Tight End. James Walker observed Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley on Wednesday and wrote.

I've been really impressed with two rookie draft picks: first-round tight end Jermaine Gresham and third-round receiver Jordan Shipley. Both players are producing as advertised in minicamp with a lot of receptions. They also seem to have a knack for finding openings in the defense. It's early, but both rookies could turn out to be key contributors for the Bengals.

Though that doesn't mean these guys don't act and play like rookies sometimes. Per Geoff Hobson, Jermaine Gresham stopped in the end zone when the quarterback was flushed out of the pocket during red zone drills.

“The quarterback got flushed, he got frustrated, he stopped. You’ve got to keep playing. Stay alive,” Lewis said. “You have an opportunity to make a learning play out of something in practice. We’re losing a chance to practice something you don’t get an opportunity to practice very often. That’s staying alive. A big man like him making himself big for the quarterback and finish the play.” …

There's a lot of stories that we could latch onto and bury into the ground. One of them is our improved wide receivers and our golden nugget, Gresham. On a side note, haven't heard much about Chase Coffman.