Bengals Banter: Defense Against Insiders, Injury Updates And Erika Eleniak

+ Advice For Attention Grabbers. When we've referred to sources and insider information in the past, we're cautious primarily because of the risk we run betraying our readers' trust. For the amount of times that we've been told things at Cincy Jungle, we've ignored literally hundreds of leads. Why? Trust. Anyone can make a claim that the Bengals are going to do this, or do that. It takes years of trust, hard work and (well, to be perfectly honest) well-connected people that can present information with confidence that what they're told, will happen, much like what Geoff Hobson and Joe Reedy provide locally, and on a national scale, Jay Glazer, Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen among others. Suddenly bursting out of the Captain's cake (ala Under Seige) proclaiming ownership with knowledge doesn't make one trustworhty. I'll wait while you Google Erika Eleniak (I was 14 years old).

From now until boredom claims them, people will spring out of the woods like Elves marching to the Undying Lands with asinine prognostications on what the team will do in regards to free agency or the NFL draft. For instance some will claim that the Bengals will sign defensive end Mario Williams, but it would have been much more impressive if the insider with a connection to the team would have been the first to scoop the Chris Pressley contract extension story. Why? It's not pretty, somewhat unexpected and it's not something someone thinks of when throwing pounds of shit against the wall hoping one of them sticks, referring to that moment as "see, you read it here first" and not the countless other misses. Though we're not saying that the Bengals won't sign Williams, but we're not saying that they will. Alright. The Bengals won't sign Williams. Call it a hunch based on this team's history and some guy we keep forgetting to integrate into the conversation named Mike Brown.

But if your ultimate goal is to generate ratings or traffic, the best way to that is with class, integrity, honesty and generosity. But most importantly developing a trust with your readers. Otherwise you become another in a long list of failed Bengals-related sites. Even Snooki was kind of cute at one point.

+ Personally I view Bengals linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy as a real wild card for this team next year. Based on his rehabilitation of course. According to the Mothership, Muckelroy, who tore his Achilles early during last year's training camp, believes he'll be back on the field for Organized Training Activities this May.

By the time the 53-man roster is settled in early September, Muckelroy could have a significant presence within this team's defense, notably at strong-side linebacker, likely replacing eventual free agent Manny Lawson, who the team signed to replace Muckelroy last season. That's freaking poetry, man.

+ We know how the Bengals operate, masters of seclusion, isolationism, practioner of opportunities. It literally took the Indianapolis Colts releasing legendary quarterback Peyton Manning for Chris Pressley to reportedly sign a two-year extension on Wednesday without anyone noticing. Cheeky bastards. Even self-proclaimed insiders completely missed it.

According to Pro Football Focus Pressley scored a 3.7 overall, positive in every subcategory ranging from run blocks, pass blocks and passing routes, catching three passes for 19 yards receiving in 2011. Compared to every fullback in the NFL, Pressley ranked eighth overall.

Pressley was scheduled to become a restricted free agent on March 13. Rather than risking a one-year tender for another team to sign him to an offer sheet (the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are like dogs at the dinner table waiting for scraps), the Bengals uncharacteristically choose to sign Pressley to a two-year deal, though unlike when the team signed defensive end Jonathan Fanene to a three-year deal after his rookie contract expired in 2007, which would have made him a restricted free agent.

+ Leon Hall, who also suffered a season-ending Achilles injury last season, is starting to do drills on the field such as backpedaling and the cones. "The Achilles feels stronger than it did a month ago," said Hall. "It's not where it needs to be, but I can feel it coming along." The cornerback had originally targeted training camp as his initial return. Sounds like those estimates remain pretty solid.

+ New York Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham would like to be paid like a number one receiver, according to a report by Paul Schwartz with the New York Post. Enjoy the warm weather and annual rebuilding project in Tampa Bay, Mario.

+ The Bengals were one of 30 teams in attendance during Alabama's Pro Day.

+ Mock Drafts: Mel Kiper Jr. | Todd McShay

+ In honor of March Madness around the corner, our own Jason Garrison is firing up the annual movie tournament. Make sure to include your nominations.

+ Anthony published his newest mailbag, talking about free agency priorities among other things.

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