DAYTON, Ohio – There’s no doubting Forest Brooks’ passion for the Bengals. Just look at him sporting his authentic, custom made Giovani Bernard jersey.
Yet until Saturday, Davis, a factory worker and pastor from Springfield, Ohio, had never ventured to Cincinnati for the team’s training camp, only games at the old Riverfront Stadium.
Brooks though had plenty of company at Welcome Stadium for the team’s first official training camp practice with 7,500 fans in attendance. The experience made quite an impression on Davis.
“I love seeing the team out there,” Brooks said. “I’m excited for the defense, I’m excited to see the offense and head coach Zac Taylor.”
The Bengals kicking off training camp in Dayton is part of a partnership effort with the NFL to celebrate its 100th season. Dayton is considered one of 13 “Original Towns” the NFL will honor in 2019, starting with the Bengals opening training camp.
The huge turnout, driven by optimism for the coming season and balmy sunshine, was exactly what the Bengals had been counting on as the annual training camp got under way.
“I think it was good to get in front of these fans,” Taylor said. “The Bengals fans here in the Dayton region is a big support base for us so it’s exciting to get out here and get a chance for these players to perform in front of them.”
The team performed individual drills, then went into 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 sessions. Following practice, the entire team met with fans in attendance for an autograph session.
For 12-year old Raeshon Jones, seeing the Bengals in Dayton brought back memories of a happier time with his grandfather who passed away two years ago.
“My grandad was a Bengals fan and growing up we used to watch the Bengals games a lot,” Bowers said. “He passed away a few years ago I never thought I would get a chance to see the Bengals play here in Dayton.
Raeshon’s mother Dorinsa echoed her son’s excitement.
“I had never seen the Bengals practice here and it’s exciting to have the Bengals be a part of this,” Dorinsa said. “I’m so excited for my son to be able to witness this and see everybody wearing the orange and black. I was a fan, then I started to cheer for another (NFL) team, but now I’m back.”
The remaining training camp practices will take place in Cincinnati. For the latest schedules and camp information, please visit Bengals.com/camp.
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Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap jokes with teammates before the start of the team’s first training camp practice.
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DE Sam Hubbard shades his eyes from the sun at the team’s first training camp practice.
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RB Joe Mixon takes a photo with two young fans on the field at the first training camp practice of 2019.
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WR Alex Erickson runs upfield during a 7-on-7 drill at the team’s first training camp practice.
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A close up look at OT Bobby Hart as he participates in drills at the team’s first training camp practice.
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CB Dre Kirkpatrick gives a shout out to the Dayton fans at Welcome Stadium who attended the team’s first training camp practice.
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RB Rodney Anderson looks on at the team’s first training camp practice.
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QB Jake Dolegala throws to an open receiver at the team’s first training camp practice.
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TE Drew Sample makes a catch and turns up field at the team’s first training camp practice.
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WR Hunter Sharp makes a catch during the team’s training camp practice from Dayton, Ohio.
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RB Joe Mixon and QB Andy Dalton share a laugh before working in a drill at the team’s first training camp practice.
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Head coach Zac Taylor looks on as the Bengals work on individual skill development at the team’s first training camp practice.
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DT Geno Atkins signs autographs for Bengals fans in Welcome Stadium after the team’s first training camp practice.
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DE Sam Hubbard signs autographs for fans who attended the training camp practice at Welcome Stadium.
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Head coach Zac Taylor gives an interview on NFL Network before the start of practice.
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DT Renell Wren walks onto the field at Welcome Stadium for practice.
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TE C.J. Uzomah runs up field after making a catch during practice.
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Head coach Zac Taylor addresses the team prior to the start of the team’s first training camp practice.
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RB Traveyon Williams makes a catch during practice.