We recently pointed out that Bengals rookie tackle Andre Smith got his Bloomingtons confused, and consequently he showed up very late for a youth football camp in Illinois.
But in our effort to apply a verbal purple nurple to the man who’ll
never outlive his shirtless 40-yard-dash, we overlooked another salient
As a media source has pointed out to us, Smith was attending the
camp because Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander is one of the
As Randy Kindred of the Bloomington (Ill.) Pantagraph explains, “Alexander has made it a tradition for Bengals rookies to work the camp.”
It’s no different than Browns coach Eric Mangini’s magic bus to Hartford.
Sure, the rookies are “volunteering” to work the camp. But what
choice do they really have? As Florio Jr. is learning in his first
foray into football, pleasing the coach is half the battle.
And so it’s a tradition for Bengals rookies to “volunteer” to work
the camp. If they don’t, they’re breaking that tradition, and thus not
pleasing the coach.
It remains to be seen whether Smith’s very late arrival will
create problems for him at training camp. Our guess is that Alexander
already plans to put Smith through the paces aggressively, due to
Smith’s misadventures with the firing and hiring (and firing and
hiring) of agents. As we’ve heard it, Alexander was pushing Smith to
stay with agent Rick Smith of Priority Sports.
So Andre Smith hasn’t gotten off to an ideal start with his position
coach, and that might be reason enough for Smith to hold out for all of
The added benefit is that he won’t be required to find it.