The list of NFL analysts and sports writers that like what the Bengals have done in free agency and in the draft continues to grow as the Bengals take the field for the team's first set of Organized Team Activities. Former Bengals defensive back and current NFL analyst Solomon Wilcots and Charley Casserly, a former NFL general manager, were both impressed.
"I love the offseason they had," says former Bengals safety Solomon Wilcots, one of the heavy hitters in NFL punditry as a CBS-TV and NFL Network staple. "We can see the Bengals as an organization doing as good a job developing their roster as any team in the league.
"I think the money was used wisely. They brought back significant players they could have lost. Michael Johnson. Andre Smith was very critical in getting him back at the right price and right value. In the draft, I thought they went really deep in getting some really good players. They got some players that can play now and some players they can develop for the future that can be really great players in this league."
Casserly echoed Wilcots' feelings, focusing more on the draft and the fact the Bengals brought in guys that will both impact the team on offense and defense in positive ways.
"That's a big thing for any offensive line," says Charley Casserly, the former NFL general manager now in the studio. "Sometimes the best offseasons you have don't come down to additions, but who do you keep? Who don't you lose? They stayed at home and from what I can see, they did a great job keeping guys that were integral for a young team that has been to the playoffs the last couple of years.
"I thought they had a nice solid effort in the draft. (Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert and North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard) add a lot of possibilities to their offense. Bernard gives them exactly what they needed because he can make big plays from the position and Eifert can do the same thing. Now the question is if Dalton can throw a more accurate deep ball, they can take the next step."
As OTAs have begun, coaches have gotten their first look at all their players, not just rookies, on the same field. For the most part the roster is set, but there are a few positions that there will be competition for a starting job, including strong safety and center as well as others. There are also several backup positions up for grabs.
The current stretch of OTAs began on Monday and go through May 23.