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Bengals Cancel Oklahoma Drill; Team had Mixed Feelings about it

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It's easy to see why even players and coaches can be split on the drill's effectiveness.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals won't be holding their annual Oklahoma Drill today. It's believed the wet weather was the determining factor, as it causes the field to be looser, making it easier for players to loose their balance and suffer an injury.

While it's a fun and productive drill, it's not one that all of the Bengals coaches and players are high on.

Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther isn't high on it, more so because the reall 11-on-11 work and other drills are more useful for developing players.

"[It's] overblown for me," Guenther said. "The faster that gets over with, the better for me. I'd just like to get to football."

The same cannot be said for Vincent Rey, who enjoys the extra chance to lay into some of his teammates.

"It's football," linebacker Vincent Rey said. "You come down, try to get on the block, get off the block and make the tackle. I like it."

Veteran linebacker Rey Maualuga doesn't share the younger Rey's thoughts.

"If you don't make the tackle, does that make you less of a player?" Maualuga asked. "Everyone is just worried about the initial contact. Everyone thinks of the Oklahoma drill as a smashmouth, downhill, who's going to get the upper hand kind of drill. You can dominate the blocker but not make the tackle. Does that mean you lost? I don't think so.

"The older you get, you're just trying to get through it. We're trying to get out of that drill feeling good. That will probably be the first thing we do after stretching and individual drills. But we've still got four other periods we have to get through. What it will do is just set the tone for practice."

Does anyone else find it ironic it's Vincent who likes the drill, and Maualuga does not...

Anyhow, it's easy to see why even players and coaches can be split on the drill's effectiveness. Personally, I do think it's a great drill for keeping players sharp while providing them a semi-realistic football situation. For defensive lineman, many plays they are simply just trying to shed one man's block and tackle the running back.

Offensive lineman in turn are often blocking one-on-one and trying to keep his man from getting to the ball-carrier.