Bengals Banter: We Can Finally Say "It's Football Season"

Jun 12, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham (84) wide receiver Armon Binns (85) and cornerback Jason Allen (25) have fun during work outs at mini camp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

You smell that, don't you? No. Not that. "Sorry middle-aged church-going mother of seven. But it was Taco Salad day." No. It's the thick anticipation of another highly-charged Bengals season. An encore from the Andy Dalton-A.J. Green combination, with supporting character nominations from Jermaine Gresham, Mohamed Sanu, and the other wide receivers. New offensive guards, another season of vast improvement from Andre Smith and the rebound from Andrew Whitworth. Oh, and a new rushing offense.

But then it's the same ol' fist-down-your-throat defense, with new faces at the defensive line and the secondary. What will happen in Cincinnati this year. Who knows. The experts don't. Most comfortably placed the Bengals at No. 32 during last year's preseason power rankings. Not that it's the experts fault -- no one expected what the Bengals did last season.

The Bengals? They're thinking Super Bowl. Domata Peko told the fans at the Bengals pep rally to join us on our journey to New Orleans (where the Super Bowl is being held). Andrew Whitworth and Thomas Howard both mentioned championship seasons. Alright. So it's a pep rally. People will say whatever it takes to spark a charge into the millions and millions of the Rock fans of the Bengals fans spanning the globe.

Either way. We can finally say it. It's football season.

+ Wide receiver Jordan Shipley says he feels good but he's unsure when he'll be medically cleared. Cornerback Nate Clements is expected to miss a couple of early practices with a minor abdominal strain.

+ We're closing in on our top-20 Bengals players heading into 2012. At No. 5 we have linebacker Thomas Howard and at No. 4 quarterback Andy Dalton.

+ To avoid confusion as the NFL world heads into training camp, we broke down the differences between the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list and the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list.

+ Head coach Marvin Lewis joined Sports Talk on 700 WLW Wednesday night.

+ Football Outsiders ranked the Cincinnati Bengals No. 18 last year in pass rushing efficiency.

+ NFL.com released their first preseason ranking of the season.

+ The Cincinnati Bengals signed cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris on Thursday.

+ Mike Wallace isn't showing up to training camp because he wants a new contract, rather than the pennies he's playing for as a restricted free agent.

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