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Bengals Bites (1/27): News, notes and links

Taking a look at the stories around the NFL and the Cincinnati Bengals.

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Scott Cunningham

Richard Sherman experiences first bright lights of Super Bowl 48 | The MMQB with Peter King
Well now, a Jersey City dateline, six days before the Super Bowl. There’s something I never thought I’d see. Or type. A Super Bowl in New Jersey.

30 Seconds With Boomer Esiason
Former quarterback and current commentator Boomer Esiason weighs in on the Super Bowl, Rex Ryan’s contract extension and the N.F.L.’s concussion settlement.

Knee injuries worry NFL players more than concussions
NFL players worry about head injuries and their potential long-term consequences but not nearly as much as they worry about injuries to their legs, particularly their knees, that can end careers. USA TODAY Sports surveyed 293 players on 20 NFL teams and asked what body part they were most concerned about injuring in a game: 46% said knees or other parts of their legs, 24% said head and neck and 26% said none.

NFP Sunday Blitz
From Yahoo Sports: The copycat nature of the NFL has the league looking at Seattle’s take on the cornerback position.

Why the Texans — and others — won't take Johnny Football
It’s the line agents sell to get clients on board. It’s the line players sell themselves to remain confident throughout the draft process. It’s the line the mock draft-building media sells fans. When it comes to Johnny Manziel's draft future, it only takes one team to make him the face of its franchise.

The Super Bowl should be elevated to a national holiday
Super Bowl hype is like the heavy metal we listened to as teenagers: Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Jethro Tull. (I am a former Grammy voter.) It is meant to be experienced at the threshold of pain. Turn the volume down and you lose all the lack of nuance. Crank it until the flight-or-flight reflex kicks in, and you experience the kind of primal ecstasy Viking berserkers felt before sacking a monastery.

ReFo: North vs. South, 2014 Senior Bowl
With the BCS National Championship game already under our belts here at PFF, we’ve decided to make the move to grade this year’s Senior Bowl as well. The one-game caveats apply more than ever given the unique circumstances for this postseason all-star game, so be sure to read the note below.

Jerry Rice, Deion Sanders: Injuries never worried us
Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders, who were captains for Sunday's Pro Bowl, said they never worried about injuring any particular body part when they were playing. "We weren't concerned," Sanders said. "We just played."

Coaches concerned about snow on practice fields
From Yahoo Sports: Super Bowl coaches John Fox and Pete Carroll expressed concern Sunday that snow on the practice fields could hinder their preparation this week. But the NFL said both teams will have the ability to practice outside The New York metropolitan area has been hit with snow and icy temperatures for several weeks. Fox's Denver Broncos will train at the Jets' facility in Florham Park. Carroll's Seattle Seahawks will work at the Giants' complex at the Meadowlands.

Super Bowl XLVIII -- Pete Carroll says Seattle Seahawks striving for 'normal week'
Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll walked into the team's hotel Sunday night and said, "We're going to have a normal week as best we can." Meanwhile, only a few feet away, more than 100 reporters gathered around the table where cornerback Richard Sherman was about to take a seat. About 40 others were waiting to hear what quarterback Russell Wilson had to say. And a large group of Seahawks fans had braved the cold and screamed wildly as the players exited the team bus and walked in the hotel.

NFLPA President: Roger Goodell came close to canceling Pro Bowl
In case you didn't notice, the NFL has added a few new wrinkles to the Pro Bowl this year. There's new uniforms, there's no kickoffs and instead of the AFC against the NFC, Sunday night's game will feature two teams that were selected in a scintillating Pro Bowl Draft that was held on Jan. 22. However, those new wrinkles almost didn't happen because there almost wasn't a game, according to NFLPA president Domonique Foxworth. Foxworth said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell almost canceled the Pro Bowl.

Super Bowl Already Putting Big Pressure on a Weatherman
A meteorologist hired by the National Football League will meet every day this week with its executives, who will expect ever more precision.

For a Cowboys Star With Dementia, Time Is Running Out
Rayfield Wright, who sustained countless blows to the head during 13 seasons with the Cowboys, said N.F.L. players do not know what awaits in retirement.

Harris Poll shows NFL continues to expand its popularity
When the Harris Poll first asked American fans to identify their favorite sports, the NFL beat baseball by one point, 24 to 23. Nearly 30 years later, the final score looks like a 70s-era Super Bowl. Via Darren Rovell of ESPN.

Mike Adams vows to walk to crime-ridden hometown in New Jersey if Denver Broncos win Super Bowl
Mike Adams won't be going to Disneyland if the Denver Broncos win the Super Bowl. Instead, he'll take a walk -- literally -- to his hometown of Paterson, N.J.

Buccaneers executive Hickey hired as Dolphins' GM
In their fitful, laborious search for a general manager, the Miami Dolphins finally found someone to say yes: Dennis Hickey. Related Stories Dolphins hire Hickey as GM The SportsXchange Dolphins exec Gaine front-runner for team's GM job The Associated Press Dolphins hire Dennis Hickey as GM National Football Post Dolphins: Hickey, Philbin report directly to owner Ross National Football Post Dolphins talk with seventh GM candidate The SportsXchange The longtime Tampa Bay Buccaneers executive accepted the job Sunday, ending a search that lasted nearly three weeks.

Steelers' linebackers heading in opposite directions
LaMarr Woodley set his alarm clock for 6 a.m. so he could be the first to announce his newly signed $61.5 million contract via social media. "That was the whole thing — breaking the story first," Woodley said on Aug. 3, 2011. Three weeks later, Lawrence Timmons signed a $50 million deal and told absolutely nobody because "they said they wanted to keep it on the down low."

Two linebackers diverged in a snowy wood, Timmons is taking the path less heralded
Woodley was considered a project - a college defensive end who needed to transition to the outside linebacker position. Timmons wasn't even that; he only played one full year at Florida State and was 20 years old when the Steelers made him the 15th overall pick of the 2013 Draft. But if nothing else, the pair are excellent examples of the value of health on a team as well as the notion a player sometimes just needs some time to develop.

Dawson: 'Jerome has put in the work'
Dermontti Dawson knows what Jerome Bettis is going through right now as he went through the same thing a few years back, waiting to see if this will be the year the Hall of Fame will become a reality.

Cleveland Browns make plays, figure prominently in Pro Bowl outcome
Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron each catch a TD pass, while Joe Haden contributes an interception.

Rick Dennison all of a sudden added to Ravens offensive coordinator search
Just when the Ravens' offensive coordinator search seemed like it was coming to a close, a wild card has suddenly been thrown into the mix. According to the Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson, the Ravens have spoken with former Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, who can now be considered for the job with the organization.

Cam Cameron is not leaving LSU for the Browns | Q
The Cleveland Browns were interested in Cam Cameron to become their new offensive coordinator, but Cameron isn't leaving LSU.

Pete Carroll can extend University of the Pacific's Super Bowl legacy among coaches
But the list of coaching greats is too long to be lucky, especially when you add the other Pacific whistles who went on to NFL careers: Hue Jackson, Ron Turner and Jim Colletto (who has his own Super Bowl ring, as a staffer with the 2000 Ravens).