CINCINNATI -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Cincinnati Bengals training camp:
Paul Brown Stadium was loud Saturday afternoon, and the noise had little to do with the estimated 7,000 who were scattered among parts of its lower bowl. For the first time this training camp the Bengals piped in audio, blaring across their loudspeakers gameday sounds like thousands of screaming fans. Done primarily to get the Bengals to figure out snap calls and to work on silent snap counts, the noise came in the first practice after the Bengals lost 41-39 to the Kansas City Chiefs in a preseason-opening game at the always loud Arrowhead Stadium. An illegal procedure penalty in the game could have been attributed to the volume. During Saturday's practice, the Bengals committed only one infraction. It came when defensive end Robert Geathers jumped offside.
Andy Dalton played only one series at Kansas City, but in it the quarterback looked about as good as the Bengals could have hoped. He went 3-for-5 with 71 passing yards, including a 53-yard hookup with receiver A.J. Green for a first down in the middle of the field. The reception was a clear sign that Dalton has made strides since last season. Early in Saturday's practice, though, he didn't look quite as sharp as he has all throughout camp. He wasn't as accurate in the first couple of drills, sometimes overthrowing his receivers. One explanation might have to do with pacing and tempo. In a pads and shorts workout, perhaps his body was still operating at a game pace when his receivers weren't. Regardless of what caused him to be a little out of sync early, Dalton corrected his issues by the end of practice.
Three of his pass-catchers got involved in their first true, 11-on-11 team drills of camp. Receivers Marvin Jones and Ryan Whalen practiced in the team drills for the first time after spending Monday and Tuesday's practices -- the last two before the preseason game -- going through limited 7-on-7 and position-specific exercises. Both practiced Monday for the first time after entering the year on the Bengals' injury lists. Along with them, tight end Jermaine Gresham also got his first team action of camp with the first team. He spent last week's practices training with the backup units as he returned from a back injury.
Speaking of Gresham, he probably got the practice time he received because fellow tight ends Tyler Eifert and Alex Smith didn't work out. Neither were dressed Saturday, joining offensive tackle Andre Smith (concussion protocol), linebacker J.K. Schaffer (concussion protocol) and linebacker Sean Porter (knee) as players who didn't practice. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins, who has been slow with his rehab, was dressed, although he still didn't participate in any team drills. Neither did veteran offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, who is still easing back from a calf injury.
Among the situations the Bengals worked on were red-zone drills, and ones that began with the offense backed up into its own end zone. One of those plays included the loudest contact of the day, when fullback Nikita Whitlock and safety Shawn Williams met at the line of scrimmage on a Whitlock block. The two created a loud crunch with their pads that had linebackers standing on the sidelines squealing with glee.
Up next: The Bengals will take Sunday off before resuming practice at 5:30 p.m. Monday. They'll leave Paul Brown Stadium for the only time this training camp, practicing about an hour north in Dayton, Ohio, at West Carrollton High School. The practice is free and open to the public.