Emboldened by his encouraging rehab, the addition of his college defensive line coach and the potential return of something near NFL normalcy for a team that had so many close calls, Bengals nose tackle D.J. Reader has the same snap-crackle-and-pop optimism he brought with him last season in free agency.
“I’m in good spirits. I’m excited to come back and have a good year,” said Reader Tuesday afternoon as he left his daily rehab in Houston. “We’ve got talent (on defense). Young talent at that. Those guys are in a great age group on that side of the ball. I’m one of the older guys on the defense going into year six. You don’t really see that around the NFL.”
First things first. Reader, rehabbing a torn quad that ended his superb season in the fifth week, says he has no doubts he’ll be on the field at the beginning of training camp.