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5 takeaways from Bengals training camp: day 12

Our biggest takeaways from today's camp practice include notes on AJ McCarron, Leon Hall and Tyler Eifert among others.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals just wrapped up their third-to-last training camp session of the summer. They'll have the day off Tuesday before their final two sessions on Wednesday and Thursday.

With that said, here's our biggest takeaways from today's camp practice:

1. Bodine is still pissing Dalton (and probably everyone) off

Ok, it's getting pretty ridiculous that a professional center can't even snap a football. You know you're screwing something up when Andy Dalton, one of the coolest customers you'll find, is calling you out in the middle of practice.

That's been the case throughout training camp with center Russell Bodine, who seems to have forgotten how to snap a football correctly. Whether it's been high, low or completely out of Dalton's range, Bodine has been snapping the ball all over the place, and it's becoming a real problem with the regular season four weeks away.

This also raises the question as to whether Clint Boling or Kevin Zeitler will be moved to center to supplant Bodine. Trey Hopkins and Chris Jasperse have also gotten reps at center.

2. Dre Kirkpatrick continues his breakout camp

Now in his fourth NFL season, the light finally appears to be coming on for cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. He's been arguably the team's best defensive back through three weeks of training camp, and he didn't allow a catch Friday night vs. the Giants.

As Coley Harvey put it, the game is slowing down for Kirkpatrick, which is allowing him to break on passes at a high rate:

Kirkpatrick is already listed as one of the two starting corners, and it doesn't look like that will change anytime soon. He may be in the for the biggest breakout year of any Bengal in 2015.

3. AJ McCarron is back, but still limited

After missing more of last week, including the preseason opener vs. the Giants, AJ McCarron was back on the practice field Tuesday to take part in individual drills. However, McCarron was unable to go through 11-on-11 work, where Josh Johnson got most of his reps.

With the Bengals not playing until next Monday against the Buccaneers, the hope is McCarron will be healthy enough to make his NFL debut then. At this point, McCarron needs as many live snaps as possible if he is to open the year as the No. 2 QB behind Dalton.

The good news for McCarron is Johnson didn't look good vs. the Giants, nor has he in camp much to this point. That continued today as he threw a couple of interceptions and several others that could have been picked off.

4. Tyler Eifert continues to shine

The biggest star of training camp arguably has been tight end Tyler Eifert. As was the case last year, Eifert has been uncoverable in camp and is becoming a real go-to target for Andy Dalton, something he's not had outside of A.J. Green.

Think about this: Eifert played in 14 snaps Friday vs. the Giants and eight snaps in last year's opener vs. the Ravens before dislocating his elbow. In those 22 combined snaps, Eifert caught five passes for 67 yards. It's a small sample size, but an absurd production rate nonetheless.

During Jermaine Gresham's last 108 games with the Bengals, he caught an average of 3.7 balls for 31.7 yards while playing an average of 63 snaps per game. That's just a taste of how much of an upgrade Eifert could be over Gresham if the third-year tight end stays healthy.

5. Leon Hall finally making noise

For much of training camp, veteran corner Leon Hall has either been a ghost or in the wrong on plays being made on him. Combined with Kirkpatrick's emergence, some began wondering if we were seeing Hall fall out of the rotation at corner.

He finally had a good showing Monday with several pass breakups and seemed to have finally kicked the rust off.

Hall is battling Darqueze Dennard for the starting slot role with Kirkpatrick and Adam Jones being the two boundary corners. With Dennard battling a groin injury, now is when Hall needs to make his move to assure he wins that starting spot back for 2015.

It's no secret the Bengals favor their veterans, but Dennard has come on strong to the point and he's giving Hall a strong run for his money. This will continue to be one of the biggest position battles as the preseason rolls on.