Lewis not interested in locking Lawson into one position

Cincinnati Bengals: Lawson continue to impress, Lewis jinxes practice

While there is a little uncertainty down the street about what position Cincinnati Reds first-round draft pick Hunter Greene will play, a similar question exists with Cincinnati Bengals fourth-round pick Carl Lawson.

The decision with Greene is either shortstop or pitcher. For Lawson it involves what kind of split there will be between defensive end and linebacker.

Lawson showed off his explosiveness Wednesday when he blew by undrafted rookie tackle Landon Lechler for back-to-back sacks.

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But at 6-foot-2, 261 pounds, he doesn’t have the size to be an every-down defensive end, which is why the Bengals are giving him reps at linebacker in hopes of making him a versatile piece defensive end Paul Guenther can move around.

“He’s played on his feet in the defense at Auburn. It’s not anything that foreign to him that we’re asking him to do,” Lewis said. “He’s a smart guy, he’s conscientious. He’s got a great opportunity to affect the game in the positions we’re playing him.”

Asked if he thinks Lawson can eventually build the kind of frame to be an every-down defensive end, Lewis said, “He doesn’t need to.”

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Watch your words

Lewis even said “knock on wood” and tapped his knuckles to his skull Tuesday when talking about how fortunate the team was in regards to injuries. Then on the final play of Wednesday’s practice, wide receiver Cody Core went down with an injury.

Also Tuesday, Lewis dropped what seemed like an innocuous line about the benefit of the hotter weather, saying, “It was a preview for the new and young players of training camp and what July and August bring. The next three days will be very similar to what we face (in training camp) and will kind of give them an idea.”

Then Wednesday in the middle of practice approaching storms chased the team off the field for what ended up being a 25-minute delay.

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The practice originally was scheduled to end at 4, and Lewis called it off at 4:02. It’s not clear if that was because of Core’s injury, or a loud clap of thunder as more storms approached.

Practice observations

For the second day in a row cornerback Darqueze Dennard recorded an interception when he stepped in front of an Andy Dalton pass intended for Core. On Tuesday, Dennard ripped a pass out of the hands of Brandon LaFell, plucked the ball out of the air and took it the other way. … Cornerback Tony McRae turned a bad play into a good one when he got burned on a deep ball by rookie Josh Malone before chasing the receiver down and punching the ball free from behind.

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Offensive lineman Trey Hopkins started the day playing right guard before taking some snaps at left tackle and center. … In the kicker competition, rookie Jake Elliott was 4-for-4 on field goals of 38, 49, 51 and 42 yards, while Jonathan Brown went 3 for 4, missing from 49. Prior to those kicks, each kicker took a shot at the end of a two-minute drill, with Elliott connecting from 48 and Brown making his from 52. … During that two minute drill, safety George Iloka came untouched on blitzes on back-to-back plays. … Cornerback Adam Jones and safety Clayton Fejedelem each had made good plays to break up passes early in the practice. … Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, who is recovering from a fracture hand, did a little more than he has been during position drills but still did not take part in team activities.

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