Saturday, June 12, 2004

Warrick works in practice

Receiver pledges 100 percent recovery by training camp

By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Peter Warrick practiced Friday for the first time in several weeks.

The fifth-year wide receiver, admittedly not yet 100 percent, fielded punts and ran pass patterns on the side without defense.

The Bengals opened their three-day, six-practice mandatory minicamp Friday.

Chad Johnson makes a catch on the first day of Bengals minicamp.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
Warrick is coming back from a cartilage tear in his right knee that caused him to miss Game 15 at St. Louis. He played in the season finale at home against Cleveland and had four receptions, upping his single-season career high to 79.

"It's good to be out there with the guys," Warrick said after the morning practice. "Even when I'm not in there, I'm trying to get the mental reps."

Warrick said he would be 100 percent healthy by the first training camp practice, July 31.

DEPLETED: Warrick, joined by fellow receiver Patrick Johnson, sat out the afternoon practice. Second-year wideout Kelley Washington was carted off the field during the afternoon practice, and coach Marvin Lewis later said Washington was "a little dehydrated."

Quarterback Carson Palmer praised the work of backup wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

"T.J.'s as solid as any receiver we've got," Palmer said. "He coaches up the receivers a lot. You know he's going to be in the right spot. He's going to get the right depth."

SITTING OUT: Tight ends Matt Schobel and Tony Stewart, linebackers Adrian Ross and Dwayne Levels, and rookie running back Chris Perry all sat out.

Perry has a tweaked hamstring, and team officials are being cautious with the minor ailment.

INVESTMENT: The payoff of minicamp work can come early in the season. And coach Marvin Lewis wants to improve on the 0-3 and 1-4 start of 2003.

"We have to find a way to get off to a good start this season," he said after the afternoon practice. "In order to do that, you've got to take care of the details and the small things now, so when something occurs in those first games, you get it fixed and handle it right."

ON HOLD: The Bengals are in no hurry to finalize the deal with free agent defensive tackle Daryl Gardener.

Gardener has visited Cincinnati, but doctors continue to test a potentially degenerative disc in his back that might prevent the 31-year-old from playing again.

The Bengals and Gardener have agreed on a four-year contract worth $9.3 million and loaded with incentive clauses.

SIGN OF THE TIMES: Video headshots for Bengals players will be shot in three shifts beginning at 7:30 a.m. today for use in the team's Monday night game Oct. 25 when it hosts Denver.

ROLLING ALONG: A crew continues to install the FieldTurf synthetic playing field at Paul Brown Stadium. About 90 yards has been rolled out since Tuesday.

VISITORS: Football coaches and assistants from several colleges - Oregon, Bowling Green, Virginia Tech, Whittenberg and Cal-Davis - attended minicamp practices.

THEY'RE BACK: Offensive linemen Mike Mabry and Justin Sands returned from NFL Europe and practiced Friday.



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