Save for the usual A.J. Green highlight reel, Cincinnati's offense hasn't featured much enthusiastic success during training camp. Yet even Green has been challenged by Adam Jones, who beat Green to a spot on a slant route during Saturday's practice, juggling the football and securing the catch for an interception. Quarterbacks are throwing picks, starting tight ends are dropping footballs and Cincinnati's cornerbacks are enjoying relative success against receivers, despite league rules preventing press coverage this early in camp.
Their struggles on Saturday translated into Sunday, when players wore shoulder pads for the first time. And it wasn't a good practice for the offense.
"We've got some work to do. Obviously it wasn't good enough," said Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson via Bengals.com. "I'll be the first to tell you that. I think they know that. I don't like the turnovers. The ball's on the ground too much and the execution was way too sloppy. Not where I expected it to be. If the offense isn't going anywhere, nobody is having a good day."
AJ McCarron took the brunt of those mistakes, clearly shown on NFL Network's coverage of training camp, often overthrowing receivers during one-on-one drills with receivers, and then fumbling a snap exchange with starting center Russell Bodine. Since most of his work is done with second-team center T.J. Johnson, McCarron says he wasn't used to Bodine's timing. However, McCarron isn't alone; there were at least three poor quarterback to center exchanges and multiple turnovers on Sunday.
You expect these things during training camp. Cincinnati holds 14 training camp sessions and supplements the rest of preseason with practices that fans aren't allowed to attend. These things will get worked out.