While the offense struggled throughout the 105-minute practice, there was one stretch in particular that summed up the day.
In the second session of 11-on-11 drills, the offense ran 10 plays, six of which resulted in “sacks” in the no-contract drill, two of which were by linebacker Vinny Rey, while another pass attempt went the other way when Dre Kirkpatrick stepped in front of an Andy Dalton throw to Chris Brown for a pick-6.
There also were two false starts.
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On the next set of 11s, Vontaze Burfict picked off a Dalton pass intended for Tyler Eifert while the defense added three more sacks, two of which came from rookie defensive end Jordan Willis.
The day also featured a fumbled snap by backup quarterback AJ McCarron and an aborted play when rookie tight end Mason Schreck was unsure where to lineup. Schreck also had one of the false starts.
Following a third consecutive poor showing by the offense in 11-on-11 work, the last of which was in the red zone, Lewis stopped practice and called the team together for a loud talking to.
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The red-zone session was the one that featured Schreck’s alignment issue, which came two plays after Lewis yelled at him and defensive tackle DeShawn Williams for getting into a shoving match after a play. The red-zone drill ended with back-to-back sacks of Dalton and McCarron by defensive end Chris Smith, who had help from Carlos Dunlap on the first one.
The kicking competition continues to be anyone’s job to win after both Jake Elliott and Randy Bullock went 3 for 4 Monday, with both of their misses coming from 48 yards and both sailing way wide right.
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Both kickers connected from 38, 44 and 45, where Bullock technically hit from twice. Lewis pulled out the “icing the kicker” drill again, where tight ends coach Jonathan Hayes blew the whistle as the ball was snapped and Lewis charged as though he was an official and stood nearly on top of Bullock as he drilled the kick.
Running back Cedric Peerman (hamstring) practiced for the first time after passing his physical and being activated from the Non-Football Injury list. … Rookie running back Joe Mixon showed off his competitive spirit on the interception by Burfict, chasing the linebacker down for 40 yards before trying to punch the ball out. When that didn’t work, Mixon gave Burfict a shove, sending him tumbling to the turf. … Andre Smith, who was wearing a large brace on his right arm, returned to practice and played right tackle with the second team while Trey Hopkins handled the first-team duties at right guard. … Rookie linebacker Carl Lawson was limited due to a shoulder injury, while running back Tra Carson left early with an ankle injury. Wide receiver Cody Core (ankle) and cornerback KeiVarae Russell (concussion) sat out after suffering injuries against Tampa Bay. Safety George Iloka (knee), linebacker P.J. Dawson (wrist) and tight end C.J. Uzomah (ankle) also missed practice.