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Slants and screens: Bengals vs. Vikings

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The first and second offenses both scored touchdowns on their first possessions. The first defense made a red-zone stand and didn’t allow a third-down conversion while the second defense turned in an interception return for a touchdown. Lions TV analyst and Ohio State great Chris Spielman offered the benediction when he said in the final five minutes that all three Bengals offensive lines controlled the Lions’ front seven.

Here’s a look at the roster as the Bengals get back to work in Sunday’s 3:40 p.m. practice at West Carrollton High School, their first prep for Sunday’s game (8 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 5) in Jacksonville for the pre-season’s obligatory dress rehearsal.

The Giants didn’t have half the good players head coach Mike Zimmer has and that’s a major reason why future Hall-of-Famer Tom Coughlin was here Wednesday in his new role as a member of the NFL office instead of still the Giants head coach.

The Bengals dominated the Giants last season in their two-day session, but it was much more even this year with the Minnesota defense stifling the Bengals’ long ball early before Andy Dalton and company made hay in the red zone. The Bengals defense looked slow early in 11-on-11 passing, but flexed its muscles against the league’s best running back and came up stingy in the red zone.

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While Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer feted both staffs at his New Kentucky Home Thursday afternoon with the Cincinnati delicacy Montgomery Inn ribs, their players cooled down from the last practice before Friday night’s pre-season buffet (7:30- Cincinnati’s Channel 12) at Paul Brown Stadium.jersey

Zimmer and cheap jerseys and Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis oversaw a brisk one-hour set in shoulder pads Thursday morning on the PBS practice fields and then outlined their Friday plans to the media. Maybe the biggest bomb dropped was by former Bengals tackle Andre Smith, who revealed that Zimmer is “more relaxed,” in Minnesota than Cincinnati.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis danced with the weather all day. When there were indications the storm was blowing in at 4 p.m., he moved up practice an hour, from 3-2. When the radar didn’t let up, he opted for meetings and indoor walk-throughs. There was a rainy-day-at-summer-camp feel to it when card games and ping-pong broke out in between assignments …

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Wednesday is going to be a much tougher day. They figure to wear full pads to greet Mike Zimmer’s Vikings in a 3 p.m. workout on the practice fields. They’ll ease through an 11 a.m. Thursday practice with the Vikes before opening the preseason with them Friday night (7:30-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) at PBS.

Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert (ankle) isn’t expected back until early in the regular season. After suffering a knee injury Tuesday, his backup, Tyler Kroft, may be out until the Sept. 11 regular-season opener. So now Uzomah and Ryan Hewitt are running with the first teamers, but it didn’t change anything for Uzomah.

In team drills in the red zone, Uzomah muscled past linebacker Karlos Dansby and made a handsy catch of an Andy Dalton bullet over the middle for a touchdown. In 7-on-7 in the red zone, Uzomah got inside safety Derron Smith on what McCarron called a skinny post for a touchdown. Then in short yardage Uzomah beat linebacker P.J. Dawson over the middle for a first down, ripping the ball away from coverage.