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Paul Alexander Pulls A Mangini

We recently pointed out that Bengals rookie tackle Andre Smith got his Bloomingtons confused, and consequently he showed up very late for a youth football camp in Illinois.

But in our effort to apply a verbal purple nurple to the man who’ll never outlive his shirtless 40-yard-dash, we overlooked another salient point.

As a media source has pointed out to us, Smith was attending the camp because Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander is one of the co-directors.

As Randy Kindred of the Bloomington (Ill.) Pantagraph explains, “Alexander has made it a tradition for Bengals rookies to work the camp.”

It’s no different than Browns coach Eric Mangini’s magic bus to Hartford.

Sure, the rookies are “volunteering” to work the camp. But what choice do they really have? As Florio Jr. is learning in his first foray into football, pleasing the coach is half the battle.

And so it’s a tradition for Bengals rookies to “volunteer” to work the camp. If they don’t, they’re breaking that tradition, and thus not pleasing the coach.

It remains to be seen whether Smith’s very late arrival will create problems for him at training camp. Our guess is that Alexander already plans to put Smith through the paces aggressively, due to Smith’s misadventures with the firing and hiring (and firing and hiring) of agents. As we’ve heard it, Alexander was pushing Smith to stay with agent Rick Smith of Priority Sports.

So Andre Smith hasn’t gotten off to an ideal start with his position coach, and that might be reason enough for Smith to hold out for all of training camp.

The added benefit is that he won’t be required to find it.