The first Saturday of August is usually Bengals’ fans favorite days before the preseason.
Since it is the only practice held inside Paul Brown Stadium, there are plenty of fun activities for younger fans in attendance for “Family Dey”. Even though the Bengals scrapped the “mock game” format of Family Deys past, there was a different atmosphere inside Paul Brown Stadium than there was during a normal practice.
John Ross and KeiVarae Russell were both in jerseys, but not in pads, even though they have been activated. Ross has been day-to-day with a hamstring injury. Russell’s injury is still unknown.
Thankfully, no new injuries were reported.
For the last couple of years, all eyes have been on the offensive line during training camp. During this practice, John Jerry resumed the role at left guard with Billy Price back after being activated on Friday.
Keep in mind, however, that this point last year, Bobby Hart and Trey Hopkins were the starters on the right side of the line during the “mock game” during Family Dey, even though Alex Redmond eventually claimed the starting job at RG. All that is to say, there is more training camp left for things to shuffle around.
Other significant developments are that Hopkins is the second center, Michael Jordan is the second RG, and Christian Westerman is the second LG. Redmond, the returning starter at RG, is still on the PUP list.
Hopkins eventually moved over and played LG with the starters.
I think Trey Hopkins has emerged as the front runner to win the left guard job. Hopkins started 11-on-11 with the first-team offense. #Bengals— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) August 3, 2019
The belle of the ball this year has been Damion Willis, and he hasn’t slowed down. During 1-on-1 drills, he secured a beautiful over-the-shoulder catch going up against Davontae Harris. He scored again before the drill ended against William Jackson.
willis just ended the drill with a score against william jackson— john sheeran (@John__Sheeran) August 3, 2019
Willis later got a chance at playing in the red zone with the starters, lining up out wide opposite Tyler Eifert and Auden Tate.
X’s and O’s
With a new head coach, offensive coordinator, and defensive coordinator, we still don’t totally know what to expect in terms of formations or playcalling.
We saw some clues about what we might get during the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills during Saturday’s practice.
On offense, we saw more play action and jet sweeps, which we expected Zac Taylor to bring from the Rams. We also saw several two-tight end sets, which is more of a surprise. On several sets, Joe Mixon was split out wide, possibly to help mitigate the loss of A.J. Green early in the season.
As for the defensive side of the ball, the Bengals continued to show single-high sets, which is something that Lou Anarumo seems to really like.
Tyler Boyd and Eifert had a pair of great catches in the end zone. Both were close, but the effort was there and the talent was on full display.
I have paused this video about a million times pic.twitter.com/knAiyNBkn8— Jake (@Jake_NFL) August 3, 2019
Trayveon Williams, another under the radar prospect that has drawn some attention to himself, had a great play with the first team in the two-minute drill.
trayveon williams with the 1s in 2-min drill pic.twitter.com/FLS0UH7HWr— john sheeran (@John__Sheeran) August 3, 2019
Auden Tate is once again making highlight-reel grabs in training camp, which he’ll hopefully translate into regular-season games this year.
auden tate double move and high points downfield pic.twitter.com/BbTLLLvX2x— john sheeran (@John__Sheeran) August 3, 2019
On defense, Germaine Pratt and Tony McRae tagged-teamed on an interception, which Pratt (who was a safety at NC State until his junior year) took it to the house.