Heard Around PBS

Marvin Lewis (AP/David Kohl)

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski spoke with the media following Tuesday's first on-field coaching session.


Q: What do you learn during these workouts? "It's a good day, a good start. Our goal is to come out, we're installing a new defense. We have an opportunity for some guys who didn't play as much on offense for us, whether they be new, to get a good head start."

Q: That's a lot of wide receivers you have? "Well, yeah (everything means something) because we're not going to be able to take them all to camp. Everything they do is competitive and important with guys vying for jobs."

Q: How will the team be affected by no more NFL Europe exemptions? "It won't affect us the way it will other teams. We're somewhat restricted by the number of, the way the training camp was built at Georgetown, very comfortable, and it's a certain size. It won't restrict us as much."

Q: This is a passing camp with no linemen. Can you please explain why? "There's a lot of difference. We started without linemen. They get pretty bored. We have more time to work individual work. My goal was to start this way this year because our line is somewhat experienced and you kind of run out things you can do pushing around each other without pads. We have more time with the skill positions, yes."

Q: On Chris Perry? "He did fine out here today. He has been working in the offseason program. He came out here and did what we expected."

Q: Is Rudi bigger? "Rudi looked like he has looked when he is healthy. He has had a good offseason. We're in this part of football now. We've gone from the speculative part to the underwear and shorts part. You know. It's a progressive thing. Our guys have been in the program for more than six weeks, and this is the next step."

Q: Are you upset TJ and Chad are not here? "This is all voluntary, which is good. We're excited about the guys, as usual, who have been here, which has been common to our football team."


Q: How did Chris Perry look? "It was good to see him out here. I went over at one point and told him, 'It's really good to see you out here.' To me, with him, it's going to tell over time how he handles the wear and tear of going every day. But he got off to a real good start today."

Q: What does he mean to the offense? "If you go back to the last year he played healthy, he gave us a lot of catches, (51) receptions. His run-average per carry was real high. He was a nice change of pace to Rudi. He was a very important part. He had some big plays for us. If we can get that back, it's certainly going to make us a better offense."

Q: Could you tell anything about the way he's moving around? "From what I saw, he looked good. now we'll have to just continue to go through this. See how he handles it and how everything comes out over time, day after day of doing things. But I thought he got off to a great start.'

Q: Chris said his body feels fine. He just has a long way to get back to football shape? "It's been a while since he's played, and that takes time. It's one thing to do all the conditioning, but the unexpected changes in direction that you get on a football field, the different angles on the routes you have to take...those things take a while. To a good athlete, they come along pretty quick."

Q: Does Perry have good hands for a running back? "Oh, he's got excellent hands. He made a couple of one-handed catches out here today. He's got, not above average, but excellent hands."

Q: Rudi looks thicker. Would you agree? "Rudi's worked really hard in this offseason. He's got a great attitude and really approached it as a professional, and that's a very positive sign."

Q: It looks like a crowded house in the backfield. You've also got 12 wide receivers? "It's kind of like a survivor course. Who's going to manage to do things over time and make it through the battles. It's going to be very competitive."

Q: With your running backs, will you have a good sense by the end of camp, health-wise, where guys are at? Or will you cross your fingers until the start of the season? "By the time we get through training camp, we'll know where we're at. You obviously have the unforseen things that happen after that. But we'll know where we're at as we get to the end of training camp."

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