Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Training Camp Preview

  1. #1

    Training Camp Preview

    Cincinnati Bengals

    Training camp report dates: rookies (July 25) and veterans (July 27).

    Location: Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.

    Most important position battle: Jeremy Hill vs. Joe Mixon.
    Mixon has drawn rave reviews so far -- one staffer called the rookie "a beast" on offense -- so it's fair to ask how long this battle will last. With Giovani Bernard still recovering from a November ACL tear, it's likely the Bengals will use a combination of Mixon and Hill to open the campaign, but Cincinnati went into the offseason determined to find an upgrade over Hill, who is coming off an inconsistent 2016. Don't be surprised if the rookie flat-out steals the job by Labor Day.

    Newcomer to watch: WR John Ross:Like the Panthers in the NFC South, the Bengals used the draft to massively upgrade their speed on offense. Mixon gives the team a devastating runner who can double as a legitimate pass-catching asset, while Ross blew people away by breaking Chris Johnson's 40-yard dash record with a 4.22 at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine. Shoulder surgery could delay his participation for camp, but Ross promises to be a tantalizing element across from Pro Bowler A.J. Green.

    Looming camp question: Will the O-line mesh?
    Quarterback Andy Dalton was unmercifully banged around last season to the tune of 41 sacks. Only Buffalo's Tyrod Taylor took more (42), an ominous stat for a Bengals line that proceeded to lose reliable guard Kevin Zeitler and Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth in free agency. With disappointing 2015 first-rounder Cedric Ogbuehi slotted to take over the blind-side role and up-and-down Jake Fisher manning the right bookend, the Bengals have more questions than answers up front.

  2. #2


    Cincinnati Enquirer sports writers Paul Dehner Jr. and Jim Owczarski ask a series of questions leading up to Bengals training camp.

    Bengals' 5 camp questions: Who will fall out of favor on the DL

    Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman Andrew Billings (75), center, breaks off his stance during Cincinnati Bengals rookie mini camp, Friday, May 6, 2016, on the practice fields adjacent to Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.
    Kareem Elgazzar

    Paul Dehner Jr. |
    Updated 03:33 pm EDT Jul. 21, 2017 Originally published 03:33 pm EDT Jul. 21, 2017
    This is the second of a five-part series discussing the five most pressing questions the team must answer during training camp this season. Camp kicks off at the practice fields adjacent Paul Brown Stadium on July 28.

    • Thursday: Cedric Ogbuehi?
    • Today: Who falls out of favor on the defensive line?
    • Saturday: Will John Ross and Joe Mixon supplant a starter?
    • Sunday: When will Tyler Eifert and Giovani Bernard play?
    • Monday: Who wins the kicking competition?

    Over the course of the last 10 years, the Bengals made a habit of hitting home runs in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft on their defensive line. In fact, the Bengals have yet to select a defensive lineman in the first round.
    Yet, Carlos Dunlap (second), Geno Atkins (fourth), Domata Peko (fourth) and Michael Johnson (third) kept breaking on the scene to establish the group as one of the best in football. In recent years, however, the next wave of defensive linemen have failed to make the same type of impact.
    Some come for lack of snaps, others minimal production and a few saw injuries keep them on the shelf.
    Eventually, the bill comes due on every pick and more checks than ever are sitting on the table this year as the Bengals desperately seek depth, particularly in the pass rush.
    The most defensive linemen the Bengals ever kept was 10 in 2015 and we could potentially see that number again – which doesn’t count fourth-round pick Carl Lawson, who lists at linebacker but will play some on the line. Even at 10, that leaves a group of players who were previously in the Bengals plans, without a roster spot or consistently inactive on Sundays.
    Really, beyond Dunlap, Atkins and Johnson, little do we know for sure about how this rotation and cut line will break down, other than it will be crowded.
    Veteran Pat Sims and 2015 fourth-round pick Andrew Billings expect to compete for the snaps vacated by Peko, now with the Denver Broncos. The team waits to see if Billings can regain the power that made them intrigued by him prior to his knee injury last preseason. If he can, the door opens for him to potentially land as the starter next to Atkins.
    Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Marcus Hardison looks to be a disruptive force against Detroit.
    Kareem Elgazzar

    An oft-forgotten player in the mix for snaps in the middle is 2014 fourth-round pick Marcus Hardison. The Arizona State product put together back-to-back quality preseasons only to see both derailed by injury. He went on IR last year after a shoulder injury in the final preseason game. He’s yet to be active for an NFL game. A third productive preseason and finally staying healthy could place him into the mix of contributors, but another injury would leave the Bengals wondering if they could ever count on him.
    Elsewhere on the inside, Brandon Thompson continues to hang around after missing all of last year recovering from the ACL he tore near the end of the 2015 season. It’s now or never for him to show he can still make an impact or he could be left out.
    The same can be said for DeShawn Williams, who's shown potential in two seasons and even spent four games on the active roster last year. But potential in undrafted free agents only goes so far and rarely goes into a third season. He needs to produce now or else the end of his run here is near.
    Continue reading below

    All of these players and that doesn’t mention the roster spot that will be taken by rookie fourth-rounder Ryan Glasgow (Michigan).
    Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Will Clarke (93) lines up during the Week 17 NFL game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.
    Kareem Elgazzar

    A competition heats up on the edges, particularly for the spot sharing snaps with Johnson on the edge. Rookie Jordan Willis could be in the mix, along with Lawson in some situations. But Will Clarke now enters the fourth and final year of his rookie contract. He’s in jeopardy of following the path of Margus Hunt out of town. Clarke showed promise early last season with three sacks in the first four games, but he wouldn’t reach the quarterback again until Week 16.
    The Bengals brought in Chris Smith, an underused but productive defensive end from Jacksonville. He’ll compete to prove a change of scenery can turn him into a regular in this league.
    Plus, Wallace Gilberry is still hanging around looking to show he still has something in the tank at age 32.
    Of all these mentioned, we’ll likely see at least two cut and at least two more regularly inactive on gameday. The time is ticking on almost all of them. Who sees time run out depends on what transpires over the next six weeks.

    Paul Dehner Jr.
    Bengals Columnist
    Cincinnati Enquirer

    "From the field to front office and well outside the walls of Paul Brown Stadium, I bring to life the news and personalities defining the Bengals."


    View Story Comments


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts