CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati's other famous red head showed up Thursday, and that means six more months of football.
Yes, the Cincinnati Bengals are officially open for business this season, with the team convening for training camp. First workout of the season is at 3 p.m., although there was a short walk through Thursday morning.
We were in the Bengals locker room to get player interviews early Thursday. I had a long talk with Adam Jones, who told me he has nowhere near the amount of miles on his body that another player his age has. Jones is 30, but, as he told me, "I didn't play for three seasons". He of course, missed a lot of that time serving various league suspensions.
Leon Hall will answer the bell for the start of camp. He's coming off his second season-ending Achilles tear. It's believed that Hall is the only player in NFL history who will attempt to play after two separate Achilles tendon tears. Hall says his comeback this time was a bit easier, because a number of his teammates were working out with him this offseason, in particular, defensive lineman Geno Atkins. Atkins, by the way, won't be ready for the start of drills but will eventually join the team this camp.
The best interview of the day belonged to linebacker Vinny Rey, a player who seized the moment two years ago when Rey Maualuga went down hurt. Rey stepped up and made several big defensive plays that led to Bengals wins. Rey told me he believes this team will succeed in January, where past Bengals teams have failed come playoff time.
"I play each snap as it's the most important part of the day", said Maualuga.
He lives in that world which dictates: If you spend a lot of time reminiscing about yesterday, you've done nothing today.
Bengals projections for 2014 are all over the map. Many experts believe the team will win the AFC North division. But several, such as USA Today's Nate Davis, believe the Bengals will not make the postseason.
Their prospects for winning the season opener in Baltimore just got a little better, too. Ravens running back Ray Rice received a two game suspension from NFL Commissioner, Roger Goddell, in the wake of an altercation with his wife in the offseason that left her unconscious in an elevator
I'm anxious to see the team on the field. If you're there, stop by and say 'hi' to Nine On Your Side photographer Mark Slaughter and me. And make sure you follow me on Twitter: @KenBrooWCPO