Postcard from Bengals minicamp

CINCINNATI -- Here are my impressions from the first day of Cincinnati Bengals mandatory minicamp:

  • Starting quarterback Andy Dalton showed a good feel for the pocket, moving up and outside of it when the pass rush closed in. One of his better plays was throwing while running to his left, which is a difficult pass for right-handed quarterbacks.

  • Don't be surprised if defensive end Carlos Dunlap gets his wish of becoming an every-down lineman. If I was the defensive coordinator, I would try to get the four best linemen on the field, which means Dunlap and Robert Geathers at ends and Domata Peko and Geno Atkins at the tackles. Michael Johnson might be the odd man out in the starting lineup.

  • It was a tough day for first-round pick Dre Kirkpatrick. The rookie cornerback was beaten on a double move by Brandon Tate and then got scorched deep by A.J. Green. But having up-and-down days at this time of year is usual for young cornerbacks.

  • The Bengals aren't going to give the starting safety job to Taylor Mays. The team is giving a hard look at Jeromy Miles, who led Cincinnati in special teams tackles last season.

  • The Bengals are stocked with former first-round picks in the secondary. But the cornerback that stood out the most Tuesday was Brandon Ghee, a 2010 third-round pick who has had a solid offseason. He broke up a pass and ran stride for stride with Green on one pass.

  • In the strangest moment of practice, right tackle Andre Smith jumped offside at midfield in a team drill and kept on running until he got to the end zone. He actually looked better than his infamous 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.

Now, it's onward to Pittsburgh.