SAINTS IN TOWN: With Hurricane Isaac bearing down on the Gulf Coast, the beleaguered Saints are scheduled to practice at Paul Brown Stadium on Tuesday but they won't work with the Bengals. Since Lewis doesn't expect his first-teamers to play much Thursday, he looked into having them work in an up-tempo, non-contact session with the Saints fast-break offense but it didn't pan out.
In 2007 Saints head coach Sean Payton brought his team north for some joint practices to prepare for a preseason game the Saints beat the Bengals at PBS, 27-19.
Payton, of course, isn't with the team. A former Miami of Ohio assistant, Payton is serving a one-year suspension because of Bountygate. And it's one of interim head coach Joe Vitt's last acts before he hands over the club to offensive line coach Aaron Kromer for the first portion of the regular season as he serves his own suspension.
The Saints could also have a walkthrough Wednesday before they fly to Nashville for Thursday night's game against the Titans. The Bengals have a walkthrough in the morning Wednesday before busing to Indianapolis for their Thursday night game against the Colts (7 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12).
Some teams have viewed joint practices as a way to put some juice back into training camp in the scaled-back world of the new collective bargaining agreement. Lewis sounds interested in exploring it for the Bengals in the future.
"There are positives to that," Lewis said. "Anytime you get a chance to work against somebody in a different color helmet the intensity level picks up, so it's similar to what you get in the first preseason game where everything gets heightened up. 'Here we go. It's the real deal.' Even if it's practice against another team, whether it's a thud-type practice or a scrimmage-type situation, it's good work for you."
Even though this one didn't work out, Cincinnati was a logical spot for the Saints layover. The Bengals have ties with the Saints dating back to the '07 practices and Lewis said owners Mike Brown of the Bengals and Tom Benson of the Saints "have a great relationship."
"It's workable. I guess the hotel situation in Cincinnati is easy because everything is so close. Logistically it works out," Lewis said.