Marvin Lewis signed a contract extension Tuesday, locking him up with Cincinnati through 2014. He's the third-most tenured coach in the NFL, and a team littered with players who've committed themselves to an organization Lewis changed the face of only expressed joy at the continuity.

“First thing I was thinking was thank God, man,” DT Domata Peko said. “Cause he is a hell of a coach and I couldn't see myself playing for another one. He's been bringing winning back to Cincinnati.”

Many didn't know as afternoon practice broke five hours after the Bengals issued a release. It represented the philosophy that made Lewis popular with his players. Contracts are the issues of the individual and never play a role in what happens in the business of daily improvement.

“He is not one of those that veers off of what he plans to do much at all,” said OL Andrew Whitworth, who has spent all seven seasons under Lewis in Cincinnati. “As long as you adapt a little and are consistent with your core values you will have success. His is he wants guys to be grown men on the football field and grown men off of it.”

Since receiving his last extension following the 2010 season, the culture and much of the personnel changed as the group was essentially gutted in the bounceback 2011 season. The changes worked and that's why Lewis is still around, but they've also created an environment the holdovers can appreciate.

“I think it's been a change for the good,” said CB Leon Hall, a 2007 Lewis first-round draft pick. “I never had a locker room issue since I've been here. I don't know if its just because I have been here longer, but I am more comfortable in this locker room the last couple of years than I have ever been.”

For Whitworth the attitude strictly comes down to setting the focus of what's important.

“There's a new energy,” he said. “We don't have quarrels of things that don't matter anymore.”

Dalton shines: Andy Dalton struggled through inconsistent days during the opening weekend of camp. All of the rust disappeared Tuesday. The QB rarely missed a pass all day and even hit on three of four deep throws – an area he stressed improvement this offseason.

He hit WR Armon Binns in stride on a deep post as the receiver beat Leon Hall in coverage by almost five yards. Of course, no great day for Dalton would be complete without a deep connection with A.J. Green, which came down the far sideline.

Marvin Jones makes his mark: WR Marvin Jones enjoyed his best day of camp. The fifth-round pick out of Cal had been quiet much of camp, but made maybe the catch of the training camp thus far with a leaping extension over the top of Hall for a 35-yard gain.

Jones also hauled in a one-handed grab on a deep ball from Dalton in an earlier 11-on-11 session. The battle for the No. 2 wide receiver position will include Jones, who the Bengals don't want to get rid of considering his youth and upside. With plays like that he could sneak the final spot on the roster. Even then he'd likely be destined to be inactive most game days, but with a wide open battle could sneak his way into the rotation.

Follow Paul Dehner Jr. on Twitter for real-time updates from training camp at @CBSSportsNFLCIN.