Bengals Training Camp: Thursday Recap

The Cincinnati Bengals have started the week by adding pads to the training equation, and you can tell the intensity and urgency are up a notch.

This week, the team also hosted referees for the first time in training camp. Maybe it wasn’t a name fans were too excited to see.

It may be a little too early for this kind of reminder of the Super Bowl loss.

Of course, there was also a lot of good to be learned from this practice. One of the most eye-catching was quarterback Joe Burrow returning to cart duty as he continues to recover from having his appendix removed. Here are some of Burrow’s best shots during Bengals practice.

If training camp doesn’t end with a Tokyo Drift-style race between Burrow and owner Mike Brown in their wagons, then what’s even the point of this season.

While it’s fun to watch the franchise quarterback, it’s also important to note that he’s made some progress since his last appearance.

Progress is a recurring theme at all boot camps, and an unhappy partner in some cases is opportunity. Several Bengals continued to miss practice with varying degrees of injury, but one of the most notable was cornerback Eli Apple who did not participate in team drills with an injury that does not appear to be serious.

This gave several young Cincinnati players outside opportunities at cornerback. Including first-round pick Daxton Hill, who had another great day.

What was really surprising was Undrafted cornerback Allan George gets first team reps to Apple’s position on second-round pick Cam Taylor-Britt. Both of these players are very young, but it’s quite interesting to see that the team is currently favoring George to take these valuable first-team reps. It’s definitely something worth watching during pre-season.

The offense had a bit of good news mixed in with a lot of bad news.

It was good to see Cappa mingling in team drills as the unit tries to build chemistry. Cappa has been one of the cornerstones brought in to improve this attacking line, so getting him up to speed on the attack is essential.

The bad news. First, the offensive line was still missing its biggest piece (both figuratively and literally) in La’el Collins who was sitting recovering from a back injury. What was worse was the offensive line’s struggle with pre-snap penalties.

We also saw Drew Sample go down with an apparent knee injury. A good sign was that he had climbed into the passenger seat off the field.

It wasn’t all a loss for that offense on Thursday, however. We had some good plays from players that we may hear more of once pre-season kicks off.

However, it was clear that the defense was once again the star of the show. With quarterback Brandon Allen and an offensive line still phased, the offense had no real chance.

This tweet is probably the best advice the entire offense can take.

The attack lost the day, but they did not leave empty-handed.

It’s never too early to inject a little more competition between offense and defense at this stage of training camp where things could get a little stale. The offense couldn’t be happy not having Burrow in charge, but the offense must find a way to score with all the weapons at their disposal.

It’s fun trying to find hot takes right now, but it’s very important to realize how early in the process we’re still. There’s plenty of time for this offensive line to rise, Burrow will be back eventually, and the defense has been wobbly. This team has plenty of time to get back on track.

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