+ From @MattHanke:
Any mention of bringing back Nate Clements? Would be nice to backup cornerback and safety with one move. Thoughts?
Clements played well in 2011, allowing an opposing quarterback rating of 78.7, on a cornerback roster that lacked any significant depth. His playing time took a steep decline during the second half last season, taking part in less than ten snaps from week 13-16. He filled in against Baltimore when starters rested and Chris Crocker suffered a quan strain, which gave Clements a chance to start during the wild card game against Houston.
If Clements returns to fights for a position, and if Clements makes the 53-man roster, it'll be as a safety. Beyond that the Bengals would figure to sign Crocker before Clements, who I don't see coming back.
+ From @34inXXIII in a tweet to Joe Reedy:
Injuries notwithstanding, how do you see the center position playing out this year?
It's hard to ignore how the offense played when Trevor Robinson was granted an opportunity, but there might be an unfair and indirect relation to Kyle Cook's return in regards to the team's offensive struggles. By this time Mohamed Sanu was lost for the season, and the overall passing game was declining, having surpassed the 200-yard passing mark only twice during the final six games.
Was Cook's return a contribution for the offensive decline? Sure. I believe that football is the ultimate team game. As a cause? No.
If you care about such things, Cook's overall Pro Football Focus score would have been much higher than Robinson's if not for his significant struggle against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 16 -- a game they had won to clinch their second postseason berth in as many seasons.
I believe Cook and Robinson will open training camp in a position battle. And though it's an unpopular belief, Cook's experience (and his $2.5 million base salary in 2013) will win out.
+ Around The Web:
Gregg Rosenthal writes that while the Bengals are a trendy team, Andy Dalton might be enough of a concern to "hold this team back". While ranking starting NFL lineups after the 2013 NFL draft, Evan Silva with Rotoworld.com writes:
Through two seasons, Dalton has largely been utilized as a game manager, and his performance has regressed in back-to-back years as the seasons have progressed. He's not getting better.
On one hand, Dalton set career-highs last year in completions (329), completion percentage (62.3 percent), yards (3,669 yards passing), and quarterback rating (87.4). Along with a career-high 27 touchdown passes, Dalton also scored four rushing touchdowns, giving him 31 for the season. That's the most touchdowns credited to a Bengals quarterback since Carson Palmer in 2005 (33).
However during the months of December and January, Dalton's completion percentage dipped below 58 percent, having also thrown more interceptions (6) than touchdowns (4). And worthy of note, Dalton was sacked 22 times during that stretch, including three games of being sacked five times or more. Some blame the offensive line, others say Dalton holds onto the football too long.
Yet Cincinnati still won four of six, suggesting that while Dalton may have his struggles, he's hardly the most important component of this team. That description would fall on the defense.
+ From @kulinauk
Who plays quarterback at the rookie minicamp if we don't have a rookie or CFA quarterback?
Traditionally the Bengals will invite players for a workout at positions that are lacking personnel. And even though it's called a rookie minicamp, players that tryout don't necessarily have to be rookies. That being said the Bengals have invited Ashland quarterback Taylor Housewright for a tryout this weekend.