Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick said on Wednesday that the locker room is a lot quieter this year without Adam Jones.
The same goes for the practice field.
Jones’ absence, coupled with William Jackson’s ascension, has resulted in some wildly entertaining yet mildly verbal battles with Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green through the first few practices of training camp.
“I know how he is, so I know I’m not going to get him going,” Jackson said. “I’ll say some little stuff to him here or there. About the most he’ll say is ‘I got you on that one.’”
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And with the way he’s been performing in the early part of camp, Jackson hasn’t heard that much even though he’s been matched up with Green almost exclusively.
“I get to line up on him a lot this year,” Jackson said. “It’s real fun competing against one of the best receivers I’ve ever seen. He gets me better, and I’m going to get him better.”
Green has been catching everything thrown his way against other corners, but Jackson has made things much tougher when he has the assignment.
Kirkpatrick said after Friday’s practice that he and Jackson are trying to be the best cornerback duo in the league.
Jackson took it a step further Saturday.
“I expect for the whole secondary to do good, not just us as a duo,” he said. “The whole secondary is out here working together. We’ve just got to push each other every day, and we’ll be at the top of the list when the season’s over.”
For the second time in three months, former Miami University wide receiver Jared Murphy is playing catch-up.
With offensive lineman Javarius Leamon not reporting for camp, the Bengals invited Murphy back to Paul Brown Stadium for a tryout on Tuesday and signed him Thursday.
In April, the Bengals placed another emergency call to Murphy to invite him to rookie camp one day after it had already started.
“This time I didn’t unpack my bags, so when I got the call I just threw (it) in the car,” Murphy said.
As if the odds weren’t long enough for a 5-foot-10, 182-pound receiver, Murphy is trying to compete with limited knowledge of the playbook.
“The thing is they already have a lot of the stuff installed, so there just going over it and I’m kind of on my own to catch up and make up ground, so it’s been tough,” he said. “Then I’ve got to run scout team corner and stuff when we’re walking through, so that makes it a little tougher, too. But I understand the position I’m in and I’ve just got to put in a little extra time at night when I get back to the hotel with my playbook looking it over and stuff.”
Guard Christian Westerman passed his physical Saturday and was expected to make his training camp debut.
The Bengals placed Westerman on the Active/Non-Football Illness list on Thursday as he continued to recover from food poisoning. Westerman worked out on the side field Thursday and Friday.
A third-year player from Arizona State, Westerman made his NFL debut in Week 16 last year and is expected to be in the mix for the starting job at right guard this year.
Rookie offensive lineman Rod Taylor will miss the season with a torn ACL.
A seventh-round pick out of Mississippi, Taylor suffered the injury on his first play of 11-on-11 action in Thursday’s first practice of camp. He was pulling from his guard spot on a running play when he went down before being carted off.
Taylor posted a picture of himself on the cart as head coach Marvin Lewis and head trainer Paul Sparling checked on him, with the caption, “God I never question what u have plan … I know u do everything for a reason ##2019myyear”