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Hits Around The Web: The Brotherhood

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+ According to Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga, defensive leaders were joined with defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, deciding that the defense's nickname this year will be "Brotherhood". Zimmer handed out new orange shorts to promote that.

On the bottom of the right leg are the words "The Brotherhood," and underneath that is the defender’s number and under that is "Finish."

"Coach Zimmer got about eight of us together and it’s something we decided on," Maualuga said of the meeting of defensive leaders. "It’s about being a part of a family and relying on each other and believing in each other."

+ Bobbie Williams is serving a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance enhancement substances. Possible replacements like Otis Hudson (still recovering from a knee injury) and recently acquired Mike McGlynn (arrived in Cincinnati earlier this week), leaves the most obvious choice Clint Boling, who played center, left guard and right guard, often with the first team unit in preparation for Williams' eventually suspension.

The man Boling faces this weekend will be Cleveland's first round pick, Phil Taylor, drafted 21st overall by the Browns during the 2011 NFL draft.

"Obviously he's their first-round pick and he's a huge presence in the middle," said Boling. "He plays hard, is active and is a big guy."

+ Fans are expecting big things out of Bengals rookie receiver A.J. Green. He was Chad Ochocinco's ticket to leave town, which many fans are grateful for, the former Georgia Bulldog is now Cincinnati's long-term solution as the primary wide receiver. His first test will be against an old foe from his college days, Florida's Joe Haden.

"He has great technique. I just have to continue being aggressive and physical," Green said. "He is real physical and loves to get his hands on you."

+ According to PFT, 58 undrafted rookies made NFL rosters this year, "most since 2003". As of this posting, the Bengals only had one stick around, South Dakota State tight end Colin Cochart.

+ According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Bengals haven't started three offensive rookies "on Opening Day since Sept. 14, 1969." They were quarterback Greg Cook, running back Clem Turner and Utah wide receiver Speedy Thomas. Nearly 42 years later, the Bengals will start quarterback Andy Dalton, wide receiver A.J. Green and right guard Clint Boling.

+ Also according to the Elias Sports Bureau, since the NFL merger in 1970, only four rookie quarterbacks won their respective team's opening day game on the road. From Geoff Hobson:

Hall of Famer John Elway won in Pittsburgh in 1983, 10 years after Buffalo’s Joe Ferguson did it for the first time in New England. It didn’t happen for 18 more years, when Carolina’s Chris Weinke won the first of his two NFL wins in a 2-18 career when the Panthers won in Minnesota to open the 2001 season. And the Jets’ Mark Sanchez won in Houston to ignite the Rex Ryan era in 2009.