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Bengals bites (1/17) and open thread

A look at the stories Friday morning with your Cincinnati Bengals and around the NFL.

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ken Broo: Bengals will continue to thrive without Mike Zimmer
On paper, it doesn't look good. Zimmer has been overwhelmingly successful as the Bengals defensive coordinator. In six seasons as the team's defensive leader, he has taken potential -- something the Bengals have always been long on -- and converted that into reality.

Guenther: No shortcuts
When Paul Guenther met the media for the first time as the Bengals defensive coordinator Thursday morning, it was not exactly an introduction.

Marvin Lewis, Paul Guenther Press Conference Transcript
"Today I’m here to announce and introduce to you Paul Guenther, our new defensive coordinator."

Guenther stayed in Cincy for family, players
As Jay Gruden and Mike Zimmer began filling out their new staffs in Washington and Minnesota, respectively, the former Cincinnati Bengals coordinators tried their best to sway one of their good friends to join them.

Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther ready to carve own path
Paul Guenther has only been the Cincinnati Bengals' defensive coordinator for a day, but already he has begun making the delineation between him and predecessor Mike Zimmer known.

Lewis shares advice for Guenther, Zimmer
His first piece of advice came for Mike Zimmer in taking over his first head coaching job. In the process of doling out wisdom, Lewis revealed an interesting glimpse into his own focus within the sprawling landscape of leading an organization.

Lewis and Guenther discuss promotion, play-calling and staying home
Paul Guenther met with the media Thursday and his promotion to defensive coordinator was made official. Marvin Lewis sat down at the press conference table and offered a subtle reminder this will not be happening every week. Though, it did the last two weeks and left the Bengals rebuilding their coaching staff.

Common ground
Paul Guenther, the new Bengals defensive coordinator, is his own man. But he's got a lot in common with the coach that helped shape that man.

Diversity of NFL’s coaching searches praised this time around
A year after the NFL’s minority hiring practices came under renewed scrutiny and criticism, the league and its teams are drawing praise for the diversity of the candidates who have been considered and hired in recent weeks for head coaching jobs. Two of the six head coaches hired by NFL teams since the conclusion of the regular season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Lovie Smith and the Detroit Lions’ Jim Caldwell, are African-American. Last year, no minority coaches were among the eight head coaches hired league-wide.

NFL Notes: Rex Ryan gets multi-year extension
The New York Jets have signed coach Rex Ryan to a contract extension, removing the lame duck label and keeping him with the franchise for at least the next two years.

NFLN survey/respected player: Bengals
None of the Bengals listed received double-digit votes, but receiver A.J. Green ended up on more ballots than any others. The third-year receiver also was one of two Bengals picked in a survey that asked players to pick one player across the league who they would want to start an NFL franchise with. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins ended up there, as well. Like he did in this survey, Manning won that one fairly handily, too.

NFL concussion protocol: League could fine players for violating policy
If an airline decided to sue its passengers after they were involved in various plane crashes, or a tobacco company thought that it would be nifty to extract some sort of financial penalty from its consumers after those consumers developed cancer, it would be no less vile than what the NFL appears to now be considering. On the same day that Judge Anita Brody struck down the proposed $765 million settlement with more than 4,000 former players in the matter of the NFL’s alleged refusal to warn those players of the long-term effects of on-field head trauma, league spokesman Greg Aiello put forth the proposition that current players who violate the NFL’s concussion protocol could be subject to fines.

Grading coaching hires: Mike Zimmer to Minnesota Vikings; Jim Caldwell to Detroit Lions | Audibles -
The 2014 coaching carousel is in full swing. Which teams are making the right decisions for their future? Chris Burke and Doug Farrar grade all the offseason coaching hires in the latest Cover-Two. Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings Chris Burke: B+.

2014 NFL draft Big Board 3.0: Jadeveon Clowney sits No. 1
The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the 2014 NFL draft hit on Wednesday, with a record number of players opting to skip their final season or two.

Warrant: Hernandez eyed as gunman in 2012 slayings
Boston police have been investigating whether jailed former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez may have been the gunman in a 2012 double slaying, according to a search warrant request released Thursday.

Raiders’ GM calls Manziel a ‘play-maker’
Can anyone think of a more perfect match than Johnny Manziel playing in front of the "Black Hole" and for the Oakland Raiders? The Raiders own the fifth overall pick in May’s NFL draft, and they like what they see in the Texas A&M’s quarterback. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie was asked about Manziel Wednesday, and he didn’t shy away from answering the question.

DeAngelo Hall: Redskins 'probably should' change nickname
Cornerback DeAngelo Hall is apparently the first current Washington NFL player to say publicly that the club should probably change its team name, meaning he may not be a current player for long. "I think eventually they will change it," the 10-year veteran said on FOXSports' Keepin' it Real with Mike Hill. "They probably should. But they won't for at least a while."

Bell: Joe Montana has some advice for 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick is on the brink of quarterbacking the San Francisco 49ers to a second consecutive Super Bowl appearance. But the greatest winner in the franchise's history is only so impressed. Joe Montana thinks Kaepernick comes up short as a pocket passer.

What's the deal between Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh? Competition, baby
Maybe now that their intense, dramatic and endlessly entertaining coaching rivalry has reached its biggest stage yet — an NFC Championship Game Sunday, with a berth in the Super Bowl at stake — perhaps it's time to listen to Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh when they say they don't hate each other.

NFL draft prospects could boost stock in all-star games
As Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage says, "This is where you take everything you've seen, written down and studied during the fall and summer and put a person to the narrative that has been written." For prospects, the interviews and practice sessions under current and former NFL coaches often are more important than the game itself, although getting noticed in the game can't hurt.