Prior to his team’s practice at West Carrollton on Sunday, Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis spent some time in the school gym giving advice to the Pirates football team.
But it was a member of the team who gave something of greater value back one of the Bengals players. West Carrollton senior wide receiver Bryan Jones loaned his cleats to Dre Kirkpatrick after the cornerback left his at Paul Brown Stadium.
“It was just a blessing that he was there and he had his cleats,” said Kirkpatrick, who added that Lewis probably would have made him practice in socks had Jones not come through.
“I want to tell him I appreciate him, and I thank him,” Kirkpatrick said. “I’m going to try to send a little care package up here for him.”
While wearing Jones’ cleats, Kirkpatrick snagged an early interception on a throw by third-string quarterback Keith Wenning. But later in practice Kirkpatrick had to make a couple of trips to the sideline to get some extra tape on the cleats.
“They were size 13. I wear a 12,” he said.
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The practice drew 6,000 fans to Dayton Outpatient Center Stadium as the Bengals held their first workout since beating Detroit 30-14 in a preseason game Thursday night.
After the practice ended, Kirkpatrick signed the cleats and his gloves and gave them back to Jones, and he plans to include a new pair in that care package so that the 6-foot-2, 180-pound wide receiver and linebacker doesn’t have to play in the signed pair when the Pirates open the season Friday night at DOC Stadium against Miamisburg.
“It was good to be able to help out a professional player, something I hope to be one day,” Jones said. “I’m glad I could help out anyway possible. I just want to thank him and the Bengals for everything.”
While the fans enjoyed unseasonably cool weather for two hour-plus practice, they didn’t see any 11-on-11 action between starters on both sides of the ball as the Bengals spent much of the practice doing install and scout-team work in preparation for the Sept. 11 regular-season opener against the Jets in New York.
The most noteworthy part of practice was the fact that Brandon LaFell returned to work. The veteran wide receiver injured his right hand the day before the preseason opener against Minnesota and didn’t play against the Vikings or Lions.
“We’re going to try to get him out here and see what he can do,” Bengals wide receivers coach James Urban said. “He’s working through it and he had a good day out here today.”
Wide receiver Jake Kumerow also practiced after missing the first two games with a hamstring injury.
Among the players who did not make the trip was linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Guard Alex Redmond also didn’t attend. The other players who weren’t present are all injured – not practicing Sunday were wide receiver Mario Alford (ankle), tackles Cedric Ogbuehi (toe) and Jake Fisher (ankle), cornerbacks Darqueze Dennard (ankle) and William Jackson (chest), tight ends Tyler Eifert (ankle) and Tyler Kroft (knee) and defensive tackle Andrew Billings (knee).
The Bengals return to practice Monday at Paul Brown Stadium.