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2021 Off-season OTA/Mini-camp items/news etc


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So that's basically a wrap until July 27. Hopefully this thread only gets updated w/ musings about the team until then and the team has a safe and otherwise uneventful six weeks off. 

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So, Hubbard said this to Dehner on the recent HTPG, which Dehner transcribed and put into his notes column on the Athletic today:     Whether Hubbard intended it that way or not, that

Can we keep the politics out of this forum.  

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1 minute ago, membengal said:

So that's basically a wrap until July 27. Hopefully this thread only gets updated w/ musings about the team until then and the team has a safe otherwise uneventful six weeks off. 

Epic twitter wrap-up once again mem. 

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2 hours ago, Cricket said:


Man, that escalator just doesn’t fit in with the rest of the stadium aesthetics.   
Can’t we hide/disguise it behind a huge leaping tiger?

 

F7F58DA0-2B34-4EF7-9222-64645C3A6C05.jpeg.7a04a5fdc90d34471c0b15470a9c774f.jpeg

At the least some orange and black stripes/piping, maybe. 

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1 hour ago, membengal said:

So that's basically a wrap until July 27. Hopefully this thread only gets updated w/ musings about the team until then and the team has a safe and otherwise uneventful six weeks off. 


Thanks again for taking the time to post these updates….the effort is very much appreciated 👍

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A few thoughts from recent tweets & updates ...

 

- Sucks about Adeniji, as I thought he had potential to play at one of the G spots or even T if needed. 

 

- Zac is playing it smart not to rush Burrow or use him in 11 on 11s. The Bengals are uniquely 'cursed' as an organization, so every precaution needs to be made that he is not reinjured. I wouldn't even have Burrow taking reps in camp where he could accidentally collide with other players. The first time Burrow is hit or experiences any contact whatsoever, should be week 1 and not a day before then. I think this could be a playoff team if Burrow stays healthy. But if he is injured, the team collapses to 4-13 and all the coaches are likely fired. So it all rests on JB. Literally. An entire franchise is encapsulated in his left knee.

 

- Seems like there is really strong team chemistry, again led by Burrow's example I believe. He just has the "it" that guys want to follow behind. Something that can't be taught or faked. You either have it or don't. Bengals haven't had it at QB since Boomer I would wager. 

 

- I fear Bates is going to break the bank at safety, so the team may want to use the leverage of tagging him at least once. He could reasonably command at least 16-18 a year, which the team likely can't afford for a FS. But he can be tagged for 11.6 or so. So even the first 2 years of tags would be cheaper than the yearly average he will likely command. 

 

- I think it will become very clear that Chase was the right pick at #5, when he is the ROY and leads the team in yards, receptions, TDs etc. Especially as I think Sewell will struggle at RT (early reports are that he already is), as he's really an OG in my view.

 

- If I was an NFL coach I would say get vaxxed or get cut (even though NFL said this can't be done). There's no reason why every player shouldn't be and it should be considered part of their job duties.

 

- Hopefully Zac is working on some shotgun 4 WR sets with 1 RB always back by Burrow in passing sets to catch a free runner, and JB needs to understand that weeks 1-8 just get rid of it and live another down. Save the rolling out heroics for weeks 9-17 and the playoff run. 

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8 hours ago, BlackJesus said:

A few thoughts from recent tweets & updates ...

 

- Sucks about Adeniji, as I thought he had potential to play at one of the G spots or even T if needed. 

 

- Zac is playing it smart not to rush Burrow or use him in 11 on 11s. The Bengals are uniquely 'cursed' as an organization, so every precaution needs to be made that he is not reinjured. I wouldn't even have Burrow taking reps in camp where he could accidentally collide with other players. The first time Burrow is hit or experiences any contact whatsoever, should be week 1 and not a day before then. I think this could be a playoff team if Burrow stays healthy. But if he is injured, the team collapses to 4-13 and all the coaches are likely fired. So it all rests on JB. Literally. An entire franchise is encapsulated in his left knee.

 

- Seems like there is really strong team chemistry, again led by Burrow's example I believe. He just has the "it" that guys want to follow behind. Something that can't be taught or faked. You either have it or don't. Bengals haven't had it at QB since Boomer I would wager. 

 

- I fear Bates is going to break the bank at safety, so the team may want to use the leverage of tagging him at least once. He could reasonably command at least 16-18 a year, which the team likely can't afford for a FS. But he can be tagged for 11.6 or so. So even the first 2 years of tags would be cheaper than the yearly average he will likely command. 

 

- I think it will become very clear that Chase was the right pick at #5, when he is the ROY and leads the team in yards, receptions, TDs etc. Especially as I think Sewell will struggle at RT (early reports are that he already is), as he's really an OG in my view.

 

- If I was an NFL coach I would say get vaxxed or get cut (even though NFL said this can't be done). There's no reason why every player shouldn't be and it should be considered part of their job duties.

 

- Hopefully Zac is working on some shotgun 4 WR sets with 1 RB always back by Burrow in passing sets to catch a free runner, and JB needs to understand that weeks 1-8 just get rid of it and live another down. Save the rolling out heroics for weeks 9-17 and the playoff run. 

 

 

Yeah I'm a little worried they are going to "Reggie Nelson" him and let him go because they don't value safety.

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1 minute ago, Jamie_B said:

 

 

Yeah I'm a little worried they are going to "Reggie Nelson" him and let him go because they don't value safety.

I don't think that is a worry at all. Bates is CLEARLY one of the leaders for ZT's new vision, his stats are off the chart good, and he has expressed happiness at being here. He is exactly the kind of player that Mike Brown has always looked to lock up. I don't think position value will be a factor at all. And that's setting aside that importance of safety is rising in today's game. 

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3 minutes ago, Jamie_B said:

 

 

Yeah I'm a little worried they are going to "Reggie Nelson" him and let him go because they don't value safety.

 

Hope not as well, but can't blame them for wanting to see another top season before paying him. 

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@NicoleZembrodt
·
15m
“I feel like I'm a core piece in Cincinnati. My family's three hours away, so I would love to be here. But my main goal is to take that next level.”

 

Jessie Bates III focused on winning with contract extension talks looming

 

That's a guy who will sign an extension. 

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Dehner OTA wrap=up article:

 

https://theathletic.com/2654381/2021/06/15/why-zac-taylor-called-bengals-camp-early-and-the-advantages-it-could-create/

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How many NFL head coaches would trade two minicamp practices in order to receive all the benefits of in-person meetings during the season?

 

If your answer is anything other than 32, you are wrong.

 

That essentially was the trade Zac Taylor and the Bengals pulled off Tuesday when he ended minicamp after one day. The decision goes deeper than just that, of course, but make no mistake this was about incentivizing what could become a major advantage for the club come training camp and into the season.

 

Safety Jessie Bates III, a member of the players’ leadership group and NFLPA rep, confirmed as much after the final practice of the offseason program Tuesday. Taylor agreed to send everybody off on summer vacation two days early if the Bengals could get the team’s vaccination percentage to a certain number.

 

“He did an awesome job getting the information we needed, and I don’t know whether that was the decision-maker between guys getting vaccinated to leave early or not, but it’s a good deal,” Bates said, his tone suggesting it as absolutely a decider for some.

 

Once a team hits the 85 percent threshold, it is allowed to go all in-person and back to normal operation. That means moving meetings from Zoom rooms to actual rooms. That also means free rein throughout the weight rooms. For now, they need to schedule four time periods for player groups to lift since there is a maximum number allowed at a time.

 

That makes for inconvenient schedules for players and a nightmare trying to plan it all around practices for the coaches.

 

“One of the things that is really going to help us in training camp is the more guys that we can get vaccinated, so we’ve offered several opportunities for our players to get it done here in the stadium,” Taylor said. “We had a fair number of our players (on Monday) who said they would get it (Wednesday). I said, hey, we’re well on our way to making life pretty easy for ourselves in training camp in terms of scheduling and all the protocols. That combined with the work we’ve gotten done, we decided to move on until training camp.”

 

Reports of vaccination rates across the NFL show the league average to be around 50 percent, nowhere near the 85 percent necessary to clear the way to get rid of video conferencing entirely. And for anyone in the American workforce over the last year, they are well aware of how much getting rid of those can improve the quality of life.

 

What the Bengals have done is in addition to the intense incentivization the league has already set forth for players to get the shot. The NFL recognizes it’s the key to the league returning to normal instead of half-measures that could end up in place. That includes unvaccinated players living by last year’s protocols during the season, which include not being able to leave the hotel on the road, forced to quarantine and missing games after close contacts, wearing masks around the facility, no use of the cafeteria and the list goes on and on.

 

Despite the league making clear what it would like to see, nobody can cross the line into a mandate. Some people remain resistant. That makes it a touchy topic to broach considering the advantages a team can gain from personal buy-in.

“The last thing you want to do is tell somebody what to do with their body, so part of the process is just educating guys and first of all, just letting them know what the protocols are going to be, so the pros and cons of doing it or not doing it just from the NFL protocol standpoint and making sure they have all that information,” Taylor said. “It’s a very personal decision for a lot of guys, so I just want to be a resource, the trainers will be a resource, (director of player relations) Eric Ball will be a resource, just let them know where they can gather information. I think we’ve had a lot of really productive conversations and I’m certainly sensitive to a lot of the things the guys go through, but ultimately, I think our team is in a pretty good place right now with where we are headed.”

 

From a competitive standpoint, the Bengals are headed back to normal. Bates looks at the in-person meetings alone as a key component to finding an edge against a contingent of teams in the league that aren’t able to do the same.

 

“When you’re on Zoom, it is very easy to kind of listen to Coach and not have notes down and stuff like that,” Bates said. “That’s why it was important that we got our guys vaccinated because once we get back for training camp, we’ll be able to have in-person meetings, we’ll be able to communicate and look at each other’s notes and be like, ‘Hey, put this down.’ Just stuff that we talked about dang near bye weekend last year.”

 

There’s also an understandable crowd shaking a fist at any coach giving away practice time, particularly one leading a team that has gone 6-25-1 over the last two seasons and preached the need to get work in this offseason. But this becomes about more than three total hours of work. There’s a bigger picture for what this offseason has been for the Bengals that offers an important perspective.

 

Nobody else in the league was turning out 100 percent attendance at their nine available OTA practices in the weeks leading up to minicamp. The Bengals were. The players were happy to show up and all sides were comfortable with the workload put in front of them to create the chemistry and buy-in they hope will pay off when the season starts.

 

Joe Burrow came through looking as healthy as could have possibly been expected. Outside of a pectoral injury sustained by backup tackle Hakeem Adeniji, the team was fully healthy. While the rest of the league dealt with holdouts and distractions and half-attendance, the Bengals put in their work. So, come time for Tuesday, this was no different than any of the other nine sessions already in the books.

 

The work has been done, and offering a reward for the amount of buy-in and effort shown during the process concludes an offseason program as close to ideal as possible for the Bengals. For years, Marvin Lewis would use one of the final OTA sessions for bowling or sand volleyball or a series of events at the stadium. These months are about laying a foundation and creating a sense of chemistry and momentum.

 

Only so much work can be done in the T-shirt-and-shorts setting. They’d checked the major boxes and done so emphatically. So the idea of trading these two days at the end of the offseason program for goodwill and a more efficient, effective workforce and potential competitive advantage during the season?

 

Yeah, this isn’t that tough a call.

 

Taylor knew Monday he’d seen enough numbers on the vaccination front that he would call it quits, but he waited until Tuesday to tell his team. See you in July.

 

“Coach Taylor has done just an awesome job communicating and letting guys know ahead of time before making that type of decision,” Bates said. “Giving guys options. Making guys feel comfortable. Enough to make a decision to get vaccinated or not. … We’re riding on a high note right now leaving mandatory minicamp.”

 

 

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Quick thoughts from reading Dehner's piece - gotta admit, I haven't really appreciated just how rare the Bengals having 100% at the previous three weeks of voluntaries was as compared to the rest of the teams in the league. Won't guarantee anything in the fall, of course, but it sure isn't a bad sign either.

 

And in person meetings and being able to move normally around the facility starting in July at camp would be really, really helpful, for certain. I agree with Bates, there may be some competitive advantage gained from that - especially if some of your opponents are not at that point.

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A few other thoughts rattling around my head with the off-season done and the six week wait until training camp here:

 

---I want them to sign a vet T now w/ Adeniji hurt. Probably won't get my way. Rick Wagner would make a ton of sense if Okung and Moses don't want a back-up/swing tackle role. But they really could use another vet at T in my opinion.

 

---Them having 100% attendance for three weeks of voluntaries and the one practice this week is simply fantastic news - clearly a buy-in - and apparently the only team in the NFL to do so. Excellent.

 

---Still giddy about the situation in the WR room. Feels like a powder-keg of potential.

 

---Apparently, per Dehner in his weekly segment w/ Mo Egger yesterday, after being goaded to talk about it, said McPherson was 4 of 4 during the session - making from 33 to 53 yards. Seibert 3 of 4 (he missed from 53). Happy that this coaching staff won't be repeating the Marvin mistake from four years ago and that they will roll with McPherson come September.

 

---The thing at camp I am quietly curious about? Reports on Chris Evans when the pads come on. I am low-key fired up about his potential in this offense as a change-of-pace back what with his skills catching passes out of the backfield.

 

---I still can't believe that Burrow made it back to participate as much as he did for OTAs. Absolutely awesome development for him and the team on so many levels. He's just such an obvious leader, having him there was probably catalyst for the 100% attendance. That he got to get throws in with Chase, Higgins, Boyd et al over three weeks is potentially huge.

 

---This is as excited as I have been for a season in awhile. Weird, since they are 6-25-1 in their last two years, but, nothing seems impossible to me anymore with Burrow in place and the offensive weapons at his disposal. I don't know at all what the season might hold, but I have no reason to put any limits on what might unfold. Allowing some optimism into my Bengals rooting life feels okay, for a change.

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On the effort to get them to the vax threshold...this just out from the NFL and NFLPA...yeah, trying to get them to the threshold is super important:

 

 

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