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Notes: Smith to start practice

By C. Trent Rosecrans, CNATI.com Posted October 19, 2009 4:26 PM ET

Bengals first-round pick Andre Smith could be ready to make his NFL debut as soon as the Nov. 8 game against the Baltimore Ravens, head coach Marvin Lewis said on Monday.

Smith, who held out all of training camp and broke his foot in his third practice, will join the Bengals' practices this week, Lewis said. Lewis said he hopes to get Smith into a game after the bye week.

"(His progress) will be based on what we see as coaches and what the medical people feel," Lewis said. "He'll do some of the things. He won't do everything right now. We'll progress him week by week."

Smith has worked out with the coaching and training staff on the side during practices, but has yet to work with the team. Lewis said it shouldn't be an issue.

"He's had a training camp. He's had a better training camp than what most guys would like to have," Lewis said. "He's had a training camp since the second week of the season when we got him off the crutches totally and got him in the pool and got him on the non-gravity treadmill."

It has appeared that Smith has dropped quite a bit of weight since he's been working.

ODOM ON IR -- The Bengals placed defensive end Antwan Odom on the Reserve/Injured list on Monday. Odom suffered a torn Achilles' tendon in Sunday's loss to the Texans and underwent surgery on Monday morning.


Antwan Odom

Odom was tied for the NFL lead in sacks with Denver's Elvis Dumervil with eight.

Defensive tackle Domata Peko suffered a knee injury in the first quarter of Sunday's game and didn't return.

"Domata has a knee injury. It's not believed to be real severe and see how it goes," Lewis said.

Lewis said safety Roy Williams (forearm) was "iffy" for this week.

"We'll see how Roy is during the week," Lewis said. "I just chose to let Roy rest last week, and we'll see how he responded to that."

Running back Brian Leonard said he should be ready to return this week. He missed most of practice last week and Sunday's game with a groin injury.

"I feel real good right now and I hope I can go in practice Wednesday and see how it feels," Leonard said. "Working with the trainers, it's felt good, but football speed is a different thing."

COFFMAN CLOSER -- With the recent drops and fumble by tight end Daniel Coats, many have asked where rookie tight end Chase Coffman has been. The Bengals' third-round pick out of Missouri has yet to make an appearance on the active roster.


Chase Coffman

"I think you'll see Chase this year -- I'm anxious to see Chase," Lewis said. "Again, I've got to make those guys who suit up on Sunday, they can fulfill covering those kicks, they can do all those things Chase Coffman didn't do a whole lot of at the University of Missouri before he got here."

Coats said he knows he's had a problem and is working hard to fix it.

"You just have to catch the football. It's something you've been doing since you were a young guy," Lewis said. "He caught a lot of passes after that one, but he fumbled one and that hurt us. You just have to run and catch the football. You keep doing it and doing it. Unfortunately, he's had some drops. This is professional football, and you can't stay around here very long if you keep dropping the football. It's not fair to the other guys around here. That standard ain't never going to change."

Quarterback Carson Palmer said he hasn't lost confidence in any of his receivers.

"I have all the confidence in the world that our guys are going to catch all the balls in practice this week and show up on Sunday and catch the ball," Palmer said. "I don't ever assume there's a drop coming, or I don't ever assume a ball I might throw may go through someone's hands. I have to stay confident in those guys and they need to stay confident in themselves."

NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS -- New Bengals long snapper said he walked off the field after his first snap and heard his name being chanted by Bengals fans, happy the Bengals were able to convert an extra point.


Clark Harris

"As I came off to the sideline, I was talking to Shayne (Graham) and Kevin (Huber) they said they'd never heard such loud applause for an extra point," Harris said. "One small section started chanting my name."

Harris said they chanted his last night -- perhaps because it was the part that was on the back of his jersey.

"They probably didn't know my first name," Harris said. "I'm surprised it wasn't a 46 chant, because they probably didn't know my first name."

Harris said he enjoyed it, but doesn't expect it to be a trend.

"That's a first and a last, just like next week, they'll forget about me," Harris said.

Harris' first snap wasn't perfect -- "it wasn't very good at all," he said -- but he did have a nice one on a 50-yarder at the end of the half.

"The snaps could have been better, but we got our job done, we didn't miss any field goals, no punts got blocked, so we did our job," Harris said.

THUMBS UP -- Palmer said he'll continue to wear the brace and glove on his left thumb and that he's been doing all his handoffs with his right hand.

"I got used to it last week during practice and thankfully haven't had any issues with it yet and hope to keep it that way," Palmer said. "We got more practice with it last week and (Cedric Benson) did a great job making sure he got the ball in the right spot."


The Big Guy should be ready for the Ravens, Coffman is getting close...

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I'm already tired of hearing Marvin's pseudo-excuses for Coats, the guy is terrible and can't catch, or block very well, move on already.

Some notes from ESPN2:

By David Fleming

Page 2

Archive | Contact

Here are my Top 10 observations from my trip to Cincinnati:

• I was shocked to hear national pundits rip the city of Cincinnati for the last-second sellout despite the Bengals being 4-1. If you ask me, it was an impressive and strong (if not long overdue) statement from the fans, who said, "Hey, after 20 years of bad football, we're not gonna get fooled by four fluke wins."

• Let Cedric Benson Week begin with the Bears coming to Ohio to face their former No. 1 pick. But the truth is, Benson and the Bengals have already won this battle in a landslide. Thanks to the Bears' mismanagement of the fourth overall pick in the 2005 draft, the Bengals got the third-leading rusher in the NFL (and a thoroughly changed man) for roughly $20 million less than they normally would have had to pay.

• Even with the loss to Houston, the improvement of the Bengals' offensive line (from five no-name, inexperienced misfits to a 4-2 start and the third-leading rusher in the NFL) has to be one of the most remarkable accomplishments of the first half of the season.

• In the first half alone on Sunday, I counted a half-dozen plays when Bengals rookie linebacker Rey Maualuga was badly out of position. That's to be expected with a high-motor rookie tackling machine. But even more disturbing were the white leather loafers Maualuga was sporting after the game.

• Besides being one of the most underrated tight ends in the game, Houston's Owen Daniels has a nasty TD spike (the ball went at least 25 feet in the air) and a pretty mean farmer's tan to boot.

• After talking to the Texans linebackers, I worry that the Bengals use so much misdirection on offense that it's beginning to have the opposite effect: Instead of tricking tacklers, it's actually telegraphing exactly where the ball's going.

• Headline on the cover of the Cincinnati Sunday paper -- Chris Henry: family man.

• If you thought the Bengals' "Who Dey?" chant was a tad hokey, you should hear the fight song they play inside the stadium. The only saving grace is that they play Johnny Cash's "I Walk The Line" when the refs are measuring for a first down.

• Maybe part of the problem is that the visiting locker room at Paul Brown Stadium is too comfy. Folks from the Texans were commenting that it was one of the most spacious and clean visiting locker rooms in the NFL.

• I worry that the now injury-plagued Bengals are about to become living proof of the most boring but essential tool in determining success in the NFL: roster depth. The problem? They have none.


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I don't know that I agree with the assessment that they have no depth. Fanene looked pretty decent filling in for Odom and we'll all find out soon enough how talented Michael Johnson is.

The offense needs to spend this week working on catching and holding on to the ball. Foschi should be starting over Coats by now. Coats can barely catch a cold, let alone a football. I understand they like him as a blocking TE, but when he starts dropping first down passes, touchdown passes, and fumbling the ball it's time to do something about it.

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Well we have depth in the sense that there's another name behind the starters but yeah, not much depth at all. We have a couple of options if the O-line needs reshuffling and DT, if Peko is good to go, is reasonably strong but apart from that? Maybe Jeanty gives the LBs a little bit of depth across the positions. The CBs - zip, nadda. And I don't count the odd showing of promise by a late round rookie as depth. As for our safeties, well they need improving even when everyone is healthy. So depth is the least of our worries there.

RB and WR we're deep.

I love most of our starters and some backups have come in and done well but we are paper thin in some positions. No amount of heart and character will overcome that unfortunately. Not in this league. We can afford 0 injuries on top of losing Odom, and even that loss alone will have an effect on the D as it stands. I have all my digits crossed than nothing happens to Leon or JJ. Please God, give me this one thing.

Huh, I don't want to give the impression that all is lost and I've given up hope because I haven't. Not by any means. I'm very excited and pleased by our start and the attitude shown by all the players and coaches. The team is still a work in progress though and our depth is very suspect.

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