Sports Today: Positives abound in Cincinnati Bengals first weekend of training camp

The Cincinnati Bengals got going over the weekend down on the riverfront and…. so far, so good. 

On offense, the big story was thought to be Tyler Eifert and John Ross getting clean bills of health

Then everyone saw Giovani Bernard looking like, well, Giovani Bernard despite having ACL surgery less than eight months ago. 

RELATED: Bernard jokes he has two bionic knees

This is a huge development for a team with a very wide gap between ceiling and floor heading into the 2017 season. 

When everyone is there (recently injured Eifert, Ross, Bernard and A.J. Green) and playing up to their potential (Jeremy Hill, Joe Mixon, the young offensive tackles), this offense could be one of the best in the league. 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Like our Cincinnati Bengals News Now Facebook page

During offseason work, there were questions about the readiness of Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher (the aforementioned tackles), the availability of Ross, Eifert and Bernard and the progression of Hill (who hasn’t looked the same since his rookie season). 

Lots of potential — to fly high or fall flat. 

OBSERVATIONS from Day 3 of Bengals training camp

So, obviously it’s just a couple of days (not yet full contact), but just having everyone available isn’t something to take for granted… 

Of course, if you’ve been paying attention much around here, you might know I’m more worried about the defense. 

They had a poor first half of the season but finished on the upswing (Not having to play the Cowboys, Patriots and Redskins in the second half helped), and now coordinator Paul Guenther is hoping to continue that upward trajectory. 

RELATED: Bengals D determined to start quicker in 2017 

The Bengals added a handful of younger, faster players (though none in the first two rounds of the draft), and they will in essence add two first-round talents if Williams Jackson and Darqueze Dennard are healthy all year. 

RELATED: Dennard hoping to show what he can do at full strength

Will it be enough to push them back into the upper echelon of the league’s defenses? 

I doubt it, but we’ll see… 

In other news, high school football practice begins today

There’s nothing quite like getting back on the field after that long break, and of course we’ve got a lot of area teams with very high hopes for 2017 and a huge group of area players who are on the radars of Division I colleges. 

Antwuan Johnson, a linebacker from Wayne who played at Dunbar last season, became the latest area player to commit when he chose Bowling Green over the weekend. 

Johnson originally committed to Michigan before reopening his recruitment last year. 

New teammate Alex Reigelsperger is headed to Kentucky while Warriors receiver Blue Smith is set to announce his choice at the end of the month. 

Trotwood-Madison running back Ra’veion Hargrove is also headed to Bowling Green in 2018... 

The Cincinnati Reds are still playing. Not only that, they won a game yesterday. 

If you don’t believe me, I don’t blame you, but it was actually an interesting result since Luis Castillo out-dueled Dan Straily for the win. 

I have no idea what the Marlins were thinking when they agreed to send Castillo, a young fire-baller, to the Reds for Straily, the type of solid contributor that is much easier to find… 

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

WWE releases pro wrestler over rape allegation
WWE releases pro wrestler over rape allegation

Eric Arndt, who performed under the name Enzo Amore, was released by World Wrestling Entertainment on Tuesday following allegations he raped a woman in October while in Phoenix. According to Joseph Currier of the Wrestling Observer, the Phoenix Police Department confirmed it had responded to a local hospital over a sexual assault that occurred on Oct...
Former Centerville standout reportedly moving to Miami
Former Centerville standout reportedly moving to Miami

Tito Odenigbo, a Centerville graduate, is reportedly planning to transfer to Miami (Fla.) for his senior season of college football.  The former Elk played 27 games at defensive tackle for Illinois over the past three seasons, including five starts.  He had 29 tackles, including 4.5 for loss, last season.  247Sports reported Odenigbo&rsquo...
Cincinnati Reds announce promotional giveaways for coming season
Cincinnati Reds announce promotional giveaways for coming season

Looking for an extra reason to head down to Great American Ball Park this summer to see the Cincinnati Reds in action?  Check out their newly released list of “super Saturday giveaways.”  It’s an interesting mix of old- and new-fashioned items, including the obligatory bobblehead of Tucker Barnhart to commemorate his winning...
Morris continues to climb KR’s career girls basketball charts
Morris continues to climb KR’s career girls basketball charts

One scouting report describes Kenton Ridge High School junior Mikala Morris as a “power-post prospect with deceptive quickness” and a “blue-collar banger on the glass.” The scouting report could use a tweak, just like Morris has done to her game this season. As the lone six-footer on the Cougars’ roster, the 6-foot-2 dominating...
Bengals QB Dalton finalist for NFLPA Community Award
Bengals QB Dalton finalist for NFLPA Community Award

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is one of five finalists for the NFL Players Association’s Byron “Whizzer” White Community MVP. The other finalists are Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long, Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin...
More Stories