Bengals finishing up virtual offseason, team hopes to see each other in-person next month

James Rapien

The Bengals' virtual offseason is coming to an end. This is the last week of meetings for the veterans. 

The rookies will hang around for another week, as coaches put the exclamation point on arguably the most unique offseason in NFL history. 

Bengals' coaches still haven't seen No. 1 pick Joe Burrow in-person since the NFL Combine in February. 

They're hoping that changes next month, as training camp is scheduled to begin on July 28 at Paul Brown Stadium. 

"I think we've gotten a ton done. Just from a practical meeting standpoint in terms of installation of stuff we're probably as far as long as we've ever been," special teams coach Darrin Simmons told Geoff Hobson on Bengals.com. "I would trade all that for some time on the field. I would trade all this individual meeting time we had to get more time on the field. But that's not part of the process right now."

The Bengals have had plenty of roster turnover this offseason. They completely remade one of the NFL's worst defenses. They signed six projected starters in free agency, drafted Burrow and other rookies that are expected to contribute right away. 

The offensive line is the biggest question mark on the team. Center Trey Hopkins is their most consistent player of the group. The team believes the offensive line is going to surprise people this season. 

"You miss the physical reps, but as far as sitting through things, it was pretty efficient," Hopkins said. "Now we're an older team. We're able to nail down more minute things. We're not just installing new things. We're looking at why something didn't work as opposed to last year when we had to go through games and see what to adjust."

The Bengals are banking on a lot of their rookies to perform at a high level right away. 

Burrow is going to be the Week 1 starter, but Tee Higgins, Logan Wilson, Akeem Davis-Gaither and Khalid Kareem could all have important roles in the opener against the Chargers. 

"The advantage for the younger guys is they're not as overwhelmed with the physical right now," Hopkins said. "It's a great opportunity for the rookies to at least know what your assignment is. You might not know the technique, but you know the assignment. There's less to think about from that aspect." 

The Bengals' opener is 89 days away. The team is hoping that the next time they meet, it's in-person at Paul Brown Stadium for the start of training camp.

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