With starting left tackle Andrew Whitworth still rehabbing from offseason knee surgery and starting right tackle Andre Smith a no-show, Anthony Collins continued to pull double duty at both spots Tuesday as the Cincinnati Bengals opened their mandatory minicamp.
“Busy ain’t the word,” Collins said after practice. “I’m exhausted. But it’s my job. I’m going to do what they ask me to do.”
Collins mostly played left tackle during 11-on-11 drills Tuesday, but he saw plenty of snaps on the right side during the recent three-week voluntary OTA (organized team activities) sessions.
“It’s perfect for me because I’m athletic enough to play both sides and learn both sides,” he said. “I don’t have any complaints at all about the position I’m playing.”
Collins has played in 44 games with 18 starts during his six seasons in the NFL, all of which have been with the Bengals.
“He’s matured,” head coach Marvin Lewis said. “We know we’ve been able to count on A.C. every time he’s been called on. He’s worked hard at some of the things that (offensive line coach Paul Alexander) and (offensive coordinator Jay Gruden) have talked to him about, that this will help you be a better player, which makes us a better team.”
After the three-week minicamp ends Thursday, the players will have six weeks off before reporting to training camp in late July. Asked if he was going to do anything fun, Collins scoffed.
“I’m going to Beaumont, Texas, to workout, and I’ll be there Friday morning ready to go full speed,” he said. “This ain’t a fun time. It will be a fun time after the Super Bowl.”
Andy Dalton still is listed at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, and he still has his signature red hair. But Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said his quarterback is looking a little different these days.
“He’s a different guy,” Lewis said. “He looked a little different walking by me just now in the hallway coming out of here than he used to. I think his leadership, his spreading his wings, we all feel that. I was at his (charity) event Sunday evening, and I felt that there.
“He used to have that deer in the headlights look a little bit,” Lewis added. “I think he knows there are certain things that are asked of him. We’ve all collectively got to do better, and I think he’s excited to lead us in that direction.”
Dalton has started all 32 regular-season games and both playoff games the Bengals have played since he was drafted in the second round in 2011.
“I don’t know if there’s a number of years that you have to play to consider yourself ‘not a young quarterback’ anymore,” Dalton said. “As a leader on this team — not only playing quarterback, but being a guy that’s played quite a bit and understands what we’re trying to do — it makes it easier for me, and for guys to say, ‘OK, he knows what he’s doing. He’s obviously been out there. He’s played and knows what to expect.’ ”
Marvin Lewis is spending some of his rare down time these days trying to craft an idea into a slogan. The Bengals coach has made a habit of putting his motivational phrases on T-shirts that he gives to the team prior to training camp.
Last year it was “DNO,” as in Destination New Orleans, the site of Super Bowl XLVII.
“There is some thought that goes into it,” Lewis said. “It’s a reflection of maybe an attitude and maybe something that we have talked about, worked on since we have come back together. Something to kind of put in their minds when we get to camp. I’ve got it, I just can’t figure out how to make it catchy.”