Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Even veterans have learning to do


Richardson keys on 'small things'

By Mark Curnutte
Enquirer staff writer

GEORGETOWN, Ky. - Kyle Richardson has 494 NFL punts. But even a pro with six years of experience needs coaching.

Richardson, who appears to have an edge in the competition for Bengals punter, credits special teams coach Darrin Simmons for reacquainting him with fundamentals.

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"I've let myself not pay attention to certain things, and I think with his help, it will get back to where it should be," Richardson said after practice Tuesday afternoon, a session dedicated primarily to special teams.

Richardson kicked better than rookie Kyle Larson for most of the one-hour practice.

"The longer you go in this, the more small things count," said Richardson, who has a 40-yard average in 11 games with the Bengals in 2003. "And sometimes it's hard to match the intensity."

The Bengals picked up Richardson after releasing Nick Harris five games into the season.

TOUGH WORDS: Running back Chris Perry and cornerback Keiwan Ratliff missed their fourth days of camp in a contract holdout.

"Our offer was very much in line with what has occurred (with players drafted) around him. And that offer was there a week ago. So nothing has changed," Lewis said of Perry.

The Bengals are believed to have offered a five-year, $7 million contract to their top pick.

"And we're not going to change. Everything fits," Lewis said. "I've seen the numbers in both spots and that's not going to change. ... They've got a row to hoe when they get here, if they get here."

NEW GUY: Paul Guenther, 32, is new to the Bengals organization as advance scout and is working during training camp as an assistant to wide receivers coach Hue Jackson.

Guenther replaces Greg Seamon, who was hired as a Bengals scout.

A graduate of Ursinus College (Pa.), Guenther, at 25, was the youngest head coach in college football when he took over at his alma mater. He spent the previous two seasons on the Washington Redskins staff, and he worked with Lewis in 2002.

"You get that maximum for the minimum because he's a 24-7 worker," Lewis said.

MONSTER: Rookie offensive lineman Stacy Andrews is the tallest and heaviest man on the training camp roster at 6 feet 7, 346 pounds.

And though he has played just a partial season of organized football, last year at Mississippi, Lewis drafted Andrews in the fourth round. So far, so good for the football development project some NFL experts consider the steal of the draft.

"I do see a lot of improvement. This guy is a fine athlete who wants to be a great football player," Lewis said. "He just soaks up everything they tell him. He doesn't seem to make repetitive mistakes."

NOT HERE: Wide receiver Peter Warrick, recovering from surgery on his right knee, did not practice Tuesday. He was doing rehab work off the field, Lewis said.

WHISTLE STOP: An NFL officiating crew headed by umpire Jim Quirk will work Bengals practices Thursday and Friday, the scrimmage Friday night and the mock game Saturday.

Defensive holding beyond 5 yards and excessive celebrations are two points of emphasis in the rulebook for 2004.

The NFL rules video made reference to wide receiver Chad Johnson's "Dear NFL" end zone sign from 2003, saying it would draw a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

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E-mail mcurnutte@enquirer.com




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