Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert is already showing what the team missed virtually all of last season.
Eifert has been uncoverable since training camp began last week, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. Andy Dalton has been looking to Eifert early and often, both as a safety valve and when he also needs a big play. The duo hooked up during the first-team offense's lone scoring drive of Saturday's practice. Eifert made a leaping 25-yard grab before finishing off the series with a three-yard touchdown reception from Dalton.
"We got good looks for him and he got open," Dalton said. "It's nice having him out there. He's a smart player who has a great feel for the game. We've been able to hook up for some big plays.
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"Go back and look at his college tape and he's splitting out wide, jumping over guys and making catches. We feel like he matches up well with the all the guys he's going to face."
Eifert, the 21st overall pick in 2013, showed glimpses of what he could do last season with three catches for 37 yards in the first quarter of the season opener in Baltimore. Unfortunately he suffered dislocated elbow on his third catch and was lost for the season.
With Jermaine Gresham now out of the picture, Eifert will have a prominent role in the offense. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is getting Eifert as many reps as possible with Dalton to give his quarterback another playmaker.
"I'm trying to re-establish some things with that group," Jackson said. "He's been out and the more those guys play I think we all recognize the benefits of him being out there with the unit, the more it's going to help A.J. (Green), Mo Sanu and the rest of the guys. That's what happens when you feel comfortable spreading the ball all around the place. So then Andy's confidence goes through the roof. The more playmakers you have the better for your team."