The Bengals were in full pads for the first time on a toasty, 86 degree afternoon. The final practice of July went as well as the Bengals could have hoped, with no major injuries and plenty of excitement.
There was plenty of buzz all around the field, whether it was offense, defense, or special teams.
The biggest questions involve high profile players like Jonah Williams and A.J. Green, and who their replacements will be in their steads. The Bengals got some answers to those questions today that will hopefully clear things up going into the preseason.
After the fifth day of training camp in 2019, here is what we saw:
The first order of business was to sort out the offensive line.
appears westerman warning up with the 1s today— john sheeran (@John__Sheeran) July 31, 2019
Christian Westerman getting a lot of time with the 1s today. #Bengals— Laurel Pfahler (@LaurelPfahler) July 31, 2019
Michael Jordan second team center today— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) July 31, 2019
While it’s still too early to really tell anything about the starting lineup, it’s worth noting that Christian Westerman has started at left guard for the last three days, after playing second fiddle to John Jerry on the first two days of camp.
Another interesting note is that fourth round pick Michael Jordan worked with the twos today at center. With Trey Hopkins presumed to be the second center on the roster, this could mean OL coach Jim Turner has plans to play Hopkins primarily elsewhere.
A.J. Green’s replacement
Naturally, with A.J. Green and John Ross dealing with injuries, fans want to know who is going to step up in their absence. The Bengals had plenty of young prospects perform well in 1-on-1, but Damion Willis stood out the most among the young prospects.
Willis, who was an undrafted free agent this season, is improving his stock in practice today.
WR Damion Willis drew some "oohs" from the crowd with a nice one-handed catch.— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) July 31, 2019
fake news, it was willis— john sheeran (@John__Sheeran) July 31, 2019
Undrafted rookie WR Damion Willis making the most of his opportunities, had a great contested one handed catch earlier, is now getting some reps with the ones. #Bengals— Jed DeMuesy (@Local12Jed) July 31, 2019
Day 3 pick Trayveon Williams, who is slated to be the third running back behind Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard, also had a great showing.
RB Trayveon Williams just turned a screen pass into a big gain. He's had a couple of really good reps today.— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) July 31, 2019
Trayveon Williams getting a lot of work today. #Bengals— J. Angelo Carriero (@AngeloMediaLex) July 31, 2019
New looks for offense and defense
As far as scheme, with brand new offensive and defensive coordinators, we saw some changes to what we are used to. The Bengals used a lot of play-action on offense, which many speculated Zac Taylor would bring over from the Rams. On defense, the Bengals practiced their single high safety looks.
Play-action passing with Core out of the backfield with a chip on Hubbard. Interesting. #Bengals— J. Angelo Carriero (@AngeloMediaLex) July 31, 2019
defense is exclusively in single high looks, brandon wilson second team FS behind bates— john sheeran (@John__Sheeran) July 31, 2019
second team MIKE is still nickerson
On the injury front, everything was as to be expected, with the exception of LS Clark Harris joining the NFI/PUP gang on the rehab field. Harris was just cleared and participated in practice yesterday, so he is probably taking it easy today.
Rehab field: Ross, Harris, Dennard, Anderson.— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) July 31, 2019
Haven’t seen Billy Price at all. He’s been at every camp practice so far even though he’s on NFI.
Price is out here. Not in jersey. Watching O line work.— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) July 31, 2019
Hunter Sharp and KeiVarae Russell on the bikes, Alex Redmond on the sled as guys not in pads at the moment. #Bengals— J. Angelo Carriero (@AngeloMediaLex) July 31, 2019
Even Tyler Eifert was in on the action, as he recovers from a horrible, season-ending leg injury.
Eifert with a catch from play-action, would’ve scored a TD in a game. Fans loved to see that. #Bengals— J. Angelo Carriero (@AngeloMediaLex) July 31, 2019
But most importantly, the Joe Goodberry can change the three this counter to a four.