Ohio Gov. John Kasich was at Paul Brown Stadium on Wednesday to sign a bill allowing for electronic tolling to pay for a new bridge and highway construction, and before heading back to Columbus he came out on the field to watch Bengals minicamp.
Kasich chatted with Bengals President and CEO Mike Brown while watching the last few minutes of practice, posed for photos with head coach Marvin Lewis and quarterback Andy Dalton and even gave cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones some golf lessons in the south end zone.
“I want you to hit it like you mean it,” Kasich told Jones before interrupting his back swing.
“One second,” Kasich said. “Coach, is this OK? Because I don’t want him to hurt himself.”
Lewis chuckled and nodded, and Kasich went back to coaching.
“Stand tall,” he told Jones. “You’re slumping over.”
After watching Jones solidly striking the plastic ball with a wedge, Kasich walked toward the cornerback for one of the most unlikely handshakes you will ever see.
Joint effort: Last year prior to their preseason opener in Atlanta, the Bengals held a series of joint practices with the Falcons.
Lewis said the experience was positive and he would be open to doing something similar this summer.
“It’s a matter of scheduling with the other team, also the ability to work together with the other coaching staff, and know that you have a good relationship there so that you know both sides could get productive work out of it,” Lewis said.
“And there’s the timing of it, the timing of the week of your preseason game. If it’s a short week, it’s obviously more difficult to do. It worked out great with Atlanta because it was in the first 15 days, so we were able to schedule that. We’ll see what happens.”
The relationship and timing would seem to be optimal for this year’s preseason opener in Kansas City as well as the home opener against the New York Jets. Lewis is close with Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and Jets head coach Rex Ryan.
With the Chiefs game being the opener, timing is not an issue. And the Jets game comes nine days after the Bengals’ trip to Kansas City and nine days after the Jets play host to Indianapolis.
Roster moves: The Bengals signed free agent offensive tackle Will Svitek and undrafted college free agent cornerback Victor Hampton and waived cornerback Brandon Burton and linebacker Bruce Taylor.
The 6-foot-6, 310-pound Svitek is a ninth-year player from Stanford who has played for the Chiefs (2005-07), Falcons (2009-12) and New England Patriots (2013). He has appeared in 74 games with 18 starts. He played in 11 games with two starts for the Patriots last season.
Hampton (5-9, 197) appeared in 36 games with 22 starts in three seasons at the University of South Carolina.
Burton is a fourth-year player from Utah who previously played for the Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills before signing with the Bengals earlier this year. Taylor is an undrafted free agent from Virginia Tech who was on the Bengals practice squad for Games 10-16 and the wild-card playoff last year.