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Fantastic Friday Links and Notes: Defensive line will make linebackers better

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There's a point to be made that the defensive line does as much for the defense as the offensive line does for the offense. The offensive line is evident. The defensive line, maybe not so much. With a good defensive front, especially in 4-3 alignments, the line holds blockers up so linebackers and bone-crushing safeties can free-flow to the point of attack. Offensive linemen generally are able to handle most linebackers in the NFL. So if 2-3 linemen reach the second level, then it's game over at the second level and the running back picks up at least five yards. If there's no hole, no obstacles for the linebackers, then the defense wins.

That's what Tank Johnson and Keith Rivers are doing now -- studying film talking shop together.

“I just want to know what he wants to see. What’s his ideal and what does he want to see in front of them when they’re running at them,” Johnson said. “That’s the case with all the linebackers. What’s going to keep them the most free and help us make plays too. You watch film together and they can say I want you to press this guy a certain way.”

On the above link, Chase Coffman is healed and back.

“It’s been a tough time since breaking it and it took a lot longer than expected for it to heal,” Coffman said.

Chiefs fans are responding to Chad Johnson's comment that Eric Ghiaciuc's "play was a distraction".

We've talked about Michael Johnson, Antwan Odom, Robert Geathers at defensive end. Chick Ludwig reminds us that Jonathan Fanene isn't going to just lie down.

According to Bengals defensive line coach Jay Hayes, Fanene is making some headway in his development and is vital to what the team is trying to accomplish on defense.

“Jon is having an excellent camp,” coach Hayes said in a phone interview on Thursday. “He’s doing some really good things for us by showing the versatility that he has over the course of time. I really feel like he is getting into the system and knowing where he fits in. He can make plays for us as an end or defensive tackle and is an integral part of what we do.”

Hayes has been instrumental in Fanene’s development and has high expectations for the D-lineman this season.

“I do have high expectations for Jon and see him being in our rotation,” the coach said. “He’s a strong run defender and can do the things that we need done against tight ends and offensive tackles. He plays with really good technique and I never have any issue with putting him in and letting him play. I count on him to do a lot of things for us.

Joe Reedy's blog at the Cincinnati Enquirer is changing addresses.

James Walker doesn't think a single Bengals player is a building block while putting together a championship-caliber team.

John Thornton thinks that contract negotiations with Andre Smith will go down to the wire.

In 2006, three quarterbacks were taken inside the top eleven picks. Vince Young. Jay Cutler. Matt Leinart. Two are backups to aging veterans and another was traded away.

Best available free agents (Offense) | Best available free agents (Defense)

Since 1970, only six quarterbacks have been selected number one in the NFL draft started on Super Bowl winning teams in 13 Super Bowls.

John Czarnecki lists nine signings that General Managers will regret the most.

1. WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Seahawks: Yes, Housh led the Bengals last season with 92 receptions, but only for a paltry 9.8 yards a catch and four touchdowns. Yes, he is a solid receiver, but Seattle paid him like he's a No. 1 receiver, and at 32 years old he'll make $7 million. Next season the price tag rises to $8 million plus.

In a bidding war, he was able to collect $14.5 million over two seasons. The Seahawks have this thing about paying decent receivers, thinking they are as good as Larry Fitzgerald or Steve Smith. They did the same, exact thing with Deion Branch a few years back.

6. RB Cedric Benson, Bengals: This running back was finally run out of Chicago after being a first-round bust, but he's apparently found a home in Cincinnati, getting $7 million over the next two seasons.

The Bengals rewarded him for three 100-yard games last season, including 171 yards against the lowly Cleveland Browns in late December. He finished the year with 25 carries for 111 yards in another win against the Chiefs. But those were two of the league's worst run defenses a year ago. Rewarding Benson doesn't make much sense based on his past indiscretions and hefty bank account. He strikes me as a pay-as-you-go kind of player.

What does Marvin Lewis do if Cedric doesn't truly show up this season?

No Bengals in John Clayton's look at potential breakout players on offense. However former Bengals defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier is ranked fifth in Clayton's list of top defensive coordinators.

C Trent Rosecrans site is back.

Apparently Brandon Johnson is rated a 48 in Madden 2010.

Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander spoke with the New York Times.

Paul Alexander, the Bengals’ offensive line coach, said N.F.L. coaches sometimes watch only film of goal-line plays — which are more likely to be runs — or tapes of drills to determine whether a prospect can run block. He recently watched five-year-old tape of a player as a freshman to see him blocking for the run. This year, the Bengals took Alabama tackle Andre Smith with the sixth overall pick.

“The absolute litmus test is he has to pass block,” said Alexander, who is in his 18th year in the league and has coached tackles Willie Anderson and Levi Jones. “There’s guys in the league who can pass block but can’t run block. There is nobody playing in the league who can run block but can’t pass protect.”

Marvin Lewis was on hand Wednesday, raising thousands for the Tri-State Adoption Coalition at the 13th annual Wendy's Cincinnati Celebrity Chefs Cook-off.