Cincinnati Bengals sixth-rounder, Core, first draft pick to sign

Sixth-round wide receiver Cody Core became the first of the Cincinnati Bengals draft picks to sign his contract, finalizing the deal Saturday morning.

“I was just going to work, I wasn’t really thinking about it, but it’s great to have it done now,” Core said.

Core was back at practice Saturday after leaving Friday’s session on a cart when he suffered a cramp. Core said he was happy with how the first practice went — before it ended prematurely.

“I knew all the plays. I was going fast and comfortable with how to line up, where to line up,” he said. “It’s important to show the coaches that I can learn quickly and be ready for any time for my name to be called, be ready at any moment.”

During a one-on-one drill, Core blew past first-rounder corner William Jackson and then turned around and appeared to say something to him.

Core broke into a big grin when asked what he was saying to Jackson.

“Just come on, catch me. Try to catch me,” he said.

Thompson toiling: Fifth-year defensive tackle Brandon Thompson was one of the few veterans in a locker room full of rookies Saturday afternoon before the second practice of the rookie mini camp.

Thompson remained in Cincinnati to rehab the ACL he tore in his right knee in the season finale against Baltimore. He said rehab is going well and hasn’t been the grueling process some make it out to be.

“I’m never going to back down from any work,” he said. “I’m a hard worker. That’s what I do.”

Despite the injury, the Bengals re-signed Thompson to a one-year contract in March. He said doctors haven’t established a timetable for his return, but he thinks he can be ready for the season opener Sept. 11 in New York against the Jets.

Deflecting praise: Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said he was impressed with third-round linebacker Nick Vigil, noting he looked "like he's been the MIKE linebacker the entire time."

Vigil said he spent time with the playbook in advance of Friday’s first practice, but said the learning process wasn’t that difficult.

“Early on it’s pretty easy,” he said. “They just give you a couple coverages, maybe one or two stunts or a blitz here or there. So it’s fairly simple. But to be able to get it all down in one day with all the motions and offensive parts moving around, every now and then you’ll have a mistake.

“That’s the biggest thing I want to show them this weekend, that I can learn and take it from my playbook and film room and apply it on the field.”

Bad impressions: Each of the 50 rookies at this weekend's minicamp are eager to make an impression, but a couple of them did so in unfortunate fashion Saturday afternoon.

Quarterback Travis Wilson, who is attending the camp on a tryout basis, had the most unfortunate incident when he hit defensive coordinator Paul Guenther in the back of the head with a pass during a 7-on-7 drill.

Guenther, who was squatting with his back to the line of scrimmage, watching the defense, joked about the incident about practice, but it could have been serious. It was a hard shot that sent his sunglasses flying.

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