Bengals players concluded their offseason program Thursday with the final practice of mandatory minicamp. It was the culmination of an overall program that saw most players at Paul Brown Stadium regularly since April 15, the first day of the team’s conditioning program.
Asked what he was most pleased about after the roughly nine weeks of activity, Lewis had a ready answer.
“No broken bones,” he said with a smile. “Overall, we’ve been fortunate not to have any longer-term injuries of any kind.”
On the learning and scheme-installation sides, Lewis pronounced himself well-pleased with what the team accomplished.
“I think we got through the revisions and additions we’ve made as a coaching staff,” he said. “It all involves personnel, philosophies and schemes. Hopefully we’ve got the young guys in position so that when we start training camp, they can really show their abilities and play football. They deserve an opportunity to stay here in the NFL, and they’re going to make us better as a team.”
Lewis sent the players on their way to the pre-training camp break with advice both football-related and personal.
“Players have to continue on something of a regimen,” he said. “We’ve given them recommendations on what will be good to do physically between now and when they come back together. They’re at a great level of conditioning and work now. But we have camp in very hot and humid conditions, so they have to continue that work so that when they are back, they’re able to withstand the conditions we’ll deal with day in and day out.”
Regarding personal behavior, Lewis said: “I talked to our guys. I told them to stay away from knuckleheads. Know your surroundings and stay away from people you don’t quite know or who don’t have your best interests at heart. That goes for every day. As NFL players, guys have targets on them. Wherever they go, people know who they are, and you’re not going to win a confrontation. However wrong the other side of a confrontation may be, you’re going to have a hard time coming out of it looking good.”
The Bengals have signed all of their draft picks except the No. 1 choice, TE