Bengals rookies learn from vets during OTAs

06/06/2014 06:45 AM

The Bengals have officially wrapped up their second week of OTAs and will head into mandatory mini camp next week. That means the rookies have now had six practices on the field with their new team (except Jeremy Hill and AJ McCarron who missed two due to last weekend’s NFLPA Rookie Premiere). So how are the newest Bengals fitting in? The veterans say they look good.

That’s good news for Darqueze Dennard, who, last week, was frustrated that he was having a difficult time transferring the playbook from paper to the field. “The game hasn’t changed, it’s not faster, it’s just that my mind is going 100 miles per hour,” Dennard said. “I’m a little upset with that — I know everything in the playbook, or I thought I knew everything in the playbook, but I’ve just got to slow it down in my head to contribute.”

For the veterans, OTAs are mostly repetitive. They already know the playbook, so they use this time to focus on fundamentals, sharpen their skills and tweak small parts of their game. That allows time for the veteran players to help teach the rookies. They still want to take every chance they have to get better, but having less on their plates allows them to focus on their younger players and doing what they can to make the transition easy.

Wide receiver Marvin Jones acknowledged that part of the job. “I mean it’s expected for us to go and make sure we take the extra effort to tell them what they need to do and guide them. I know they’re probably big-eyed… and their heads are all over the place but it’s our job to get them straight and make the transition as smooth as possible.”

The team will break for the weekend and return on Tuesday for the start of mini camp.

Kaci Kust

Kaci joined cn|2 in May 2012 and is a graduate of Hope College in Michigan where she earned a degree in journalism. After playing basketball in college, Kaci chose to follow her passion for sports and become a sports reporter. In fact, she says if she wasn’t covering athletics for a living, she’d still be up early checking scores and stats. Follow Kaci on Twitter @KaciKustCN2.

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