CINCINNATI -- For most of the Cincinnati Bengals players, they were in their fifth day of training camp and excited about getting a day off Tuesday. For Andre Smith, he was excited just to be on the field.
Smith, the starting right tackle, suited up for the Bengals for the first time since the playoff loss at Houston. That's 205 days.
"I love football," Smith said. "I thoroughly love it and I did miss it."
He signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Bengals during the NFL draft, but he didn't attend any of the offseason workouts and skipped the mandatory minicamp for personal reasons, which drew a fine from the Bengals. He reported to training camp at 342 pounds, seven pounds heavier than last year's playing weight, and he had to sit out the team's first four practices with a minor calf injury.
The best compliment anyone could give Smith was that he didn't look like a lineman who hadn't practiced since January.
"This is the best shape I've ever been in a training camp," Smith said. "I'm excited about that."
Here are some other notes:
The Bengals gave veterans the day off. With Leon Hall and Terence Newman sitting out, the starting cornerbacks in team drills were Adam Jones and Dre Kirkpatrick. In a red-zone drill, Kirkpatrick intercepted Andy Dalton in the end zone.
The biggest hit in practice was delivered by safety Jeromy Miles on rookie running back Rex Burkhead. Miles has fallen back of Shawn Williams, Taylor Mays and George Iloka for the starting strong safety job.
File under mismatch: Dalton likely noticed the 6-foot Williams lined up against the 6-6 tight end Tyler Eifert before the snap. So it wasn't any surprise that Dalton threw a jump ball to Eifert, who easily pulled it down in the end zone.