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Lewis no fan of later draft date

Count Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis among those who are not thrilled with the NFL Draft being pushed back two weeks this year.

The player evaluations have long since been completed, so the extra time is no benefit in that regard.

“It’s like watching paint dry,” Lewis said.

More problematic than two weeks of inactivity is the fact that the later date – which is the result of a scheduling conflict at Radio City Music Hall, where the draft has been held since 2006 – has eliminated the rookie mini camps and forced clubs to squeeze more work into a shrinking offseason schedule.

“I think the calendar the way it is this year presents problems for the football side of things,” Lewis said. “This is the time we should be spending with the players. It takes away an opportunity for the rookies. As far as teaching goes, it’s a great progression to have an opportunity for them to come and spend time at a rookie camp, have an opportunity to go home for a bit and absorb what they got exposed to and then come back with the other players and to have the second time around.”

The way things line up this year, the rookies will not participate in football drills until May 27-29 when they report for Organized Team Activities alongside the veterans.

“We are kind of skipping a step of that now because there is no reason to bring those guys in next week and then overwork them the next weekend because they are going to be the first guys that have all the soft tissue injuries,” Lewis said. “We are going to spend a little time with them after the fact. We are going to carve out some extra time with them to spend with their position coaches.”

The NFL has yet to announce when it will hold the 2015 draft. But the longer the league draws out the process, the more attention and revenue it generates.

And while Lewis is not fond of the extra inactivity leading up to the first round, it is keeping the mock-draft crowd, and one member of the organization, busy.

“My boss, Mike Brown, he has a mock draft about every hour,” Lewis said of the team’s president and CEO. “He plays the devil’s advocate constantly, and I think it’s a good thing. If this guy is not available, if these players are all gone and we’re looking at this pool of players, which player do you prefer and why.

“And I think that’s the scenario you’ve got to go through,” Lewis continued. “So it’s important for he and I to be always on the same page that way, and I feel like we are. We’ve got a few more times to discuss it, but he knows how I feel and whatever pick we turn it, we’ll make him the best player he can be.”

Ticket talk: Ticket Packs for the 2014 home schedule will go on sale at 9 a.m. Thursday, and both two- and four-game packs will be available.

The packs are good for seats on all three levels of Paul Brown Stadium and offer preferred options over single-game tickets, which are not yet on sale.

There are two four-game options. The Orange Pack includes games against Tennessee (Sept. 21), Carolina (Oct. 12), Jacksonville (Nov. 2) and Denver (Dec. 22), while the Black Pack features Atlanta (Sept. 14), Baltimore (Oct. 26), Cleveland (Nov. 6) and Pittsburgh (Dec. 7).

The two-game choices are Pack A (Atlanta and Pittsburgh), Pack B (Tennessee and Denver), Pack C (Carolina and Jacksonville) and Pack D (Baltimore and Cleveland).

For more information, call the ticket hotline at 866-621-TDTD (8383), click or visit the ticket office at PBS.

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