Training camp is filled with battles between not only players in the same position groups, but between both sides of the ball. Some days the offense will have the upper hand. The defense will have their dominant outings as well.
Friday seemed to be the latter for the Cincinnati Bengals. Reports of the team’s secondary getting the best of Joe Burrow’s aerial attack filled the timeline and fueled some minor dread amongst the fan base. Is this hyped up passing unit not as good as we thought?
It’s July. We don’t know anything yet.
Brutal day for the #Bengals offense and Joe Burrow (or great day for the defense depending on your optimism).— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) July 30, 2021
Ton of incompletions, little in run game, PBUs and drops.
Pretty much nothing went right other than some spectacular catches late by Trent Taylor and Trenton Irwin.
But that’s the nature of camp: When the opposition is your own team, one side is going to look better than the other. For those who’ve chosen the path of panic, we’ll check in with you in six weeks when you’re optimistic again.
Tyler Boyd certainly isn’t losing faith. Before practice, the veteran slot receiver said the offense can “absolutely” produce three 1,000-yard receivers this season.
But before Boyd and his band of brothers can put the NFL on notice, there’s work to be done on the practice fields. Here’s what stood out to us on Day 3 of Bengals training camp.
While tight end C.J. Uzomah was getting a rest day for his recovered Achilles, Burrow and his receivers were working on goal-line routes.
Looks like C.J. Uzomah is getting a day off. Not surprising considering he’s coming off of a torn Achilles pic.twitter.com/OFQtP2KrzY— James Rapien (@JamesRapien) July 30, 2021
Even backup receivers Trent Taylor and Trenton Irwin reportedly made some head-turning receptions.
Bengals WR Trent Taylor with a diving one-handed catch in red zone drills. Got a reaction out of the onlooking teammates.— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) July 30, 2021
4. WR Trenton Irwin had a pretty TD grab (not pictured) and has made several catches a day so far. “He just gets open against everybody he goes against,” said offensive coordinator Brian Callahan. “I don’t think he’s in any way, shape, or form out of the mix to make our team.” pic.twitter.com/y5z9tsjOgq— Dan Hoard (@Dan_Hoard) July 30, 2021
We heard from offensive line coach Frank Pollack state that Xavier Su’a-Filo is indeed the starter at right guard as of now and that rookie Jackson Carman will have to fight for that spot. Pollack was also the reason why left tackle Jonah Williams upped his weight to 315 pounds this offseason.
A bigger Jonah Williams at training camp this year. Says he’s up 10 pounds to 315. Says offensive line coach Frank Pollack encouraged it. Says the added strength and size gives him a bigger margin of error. #Bengals pic.twitter.com/Kcb8qZUJ3Y— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) July 30, 2021
Finally, kickers Austin Siebert and Evan McPherson nailed a combined eight field goals in eight attempts, and we also learned that they’ve known each other long before they became teammates in Cincinnati.
Most importantly, Austin Seibert and Evan McPherson went kick for kick at the conclusion of practice.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) July 30, 2021
They went a combined 8 for 8, each hitting from 37, 41, 47 and 53. And the 53s left a canyon of room to spare. https://t.co/HVIEDEJFvo
“I’m not trying to be a D-bag or or mean or anything. I’m just trying to get better myself.” Austin Siebert on kicking competition with rookie Evan McPherson. Both were 4/4 with longs of 53 Friday. And plenty to spare. #Bengals pic.twitter.com/lqVzU0LGkm— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) July 30, 2021
Tomorrow, the team will move inside Paul Brown Stadium and practice in front of fans for the first time since 2019. If you’re attending practice, let us know how your experience was!