Sunday, July 30, 2006

Men at work

GEORGETOWN, Ky. - The opening of Bengals training camp on Saturday was part CSI, part soap opera and part comedy.

Chris Henry arrived sans dreadlocks perhaps hoping to shed his legal troubles just as easily.

Odell Thurman was a no-show with head coach Marvin Lewis hinting that he might be lost for the season.

Carson Palmer emerged from the locker room amid cheers and chants of "Carson-Palmer" at the urging of Willie Anderson.

And, the first act of the Chad Johnson Show went off without a hitch. That is, if you chose to ignore Johnson's mohawk hairdo and bright orange pants and shoes.

Sam Adams is as big as advertised. The Bengals hope they're as good as most pundits expect them to be.

A crowd estimated at 4,200 greeted the Bengals at Georgetown College.

Of course, Palmer's rehab saga will be the running story of camp. While Lewis remains mum on the QB's progress, Palmer was more forthright.

"I have confidence in my knee as far as running with it and cutting," he said. "As far as getting hit, I don't think I'm ready for that. I don't think my knee's ready for that. I'm looking forward to getting back in there and getting bumped around. Just to get rid of any jitters."

Palmer said he appreciates all of the cards and get-well wishes he's received.

"It's been unbelievable," he said. "Elementary schools, entire junior highs. It's been funny to see the drawings on the get-well cards. I've got pictures of me lying on the field with my leg all crooked."

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