Gary Landers
May 09, 2015

CINCINNATI (AP) Mario Alford moved up to catch the short punt, caught it in stride and took off, his golden cleats churning away. Nobody could keep up.

The Cincinnati Bengals added an extremely fast player when they drafted the receiver out of West Virginia in the seventh round. He's only 5-foot-9, so he's seen as more of a slot receiver. For now, they're trying to teach him how to return punts.

The challenge is to figure out how to use his speed most effectively. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson has been on him to focus on catching the ball during rookie camp this weekend.

Jackson thinks that Alford is fast enough to keep up with Cincinnati Reds leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton in a race.

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Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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