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Bengals Bytes (1/15): Fresh start?

The national media is questioning whether the Steelers are in fact dirty, Hue Jackson thanks the Bengals, Chip Kelly gets a shot with a new team, and what will that mean for Colin Kaepernick?

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Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Tomlin’s Steelers Coaching Staff Affects Game Outcome … Again
Look, it’s not surprising that the Steelers and Bengals played a game that devolved into an embarrassing gridiron version of a Jerry Springer Show fracas. It was, frankly, almost expected. You have one coach in Mike Tomlin that has recently been accused of losing control of his on-field charges, and on the other side you have Marvin Lewis, who has never had a Bengals team he’s coached in his 13-year career in Cincinnati under anything remotely resembling control.

Doc: Bengals should look to deal McCarron
The Bengals should be looking to deal AJ McCarron. They’d be nuts to listen to anyone from Cleveland. Talk about a haunting. I’m told by smart people he’d fetch a 4th-rounder, maybe a 3rd.

My God, Mike Brown Might Be The Worst Owner In Sports
NFL owners ratified relocation of the Rams (and probably, eventually the Chargers) to Los Angeles by a vote of 30-2. One of the no votes likely came from the Raiders’ Mark Davis. The other, according to some informed speculation from Pro Football Talk’s source, may have come from Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown.

Where do Bengals go for OC?
With Hue Jackson off to Cleveland, the Bengals now proceed figuring out who will take his place as offensive coordinator. Nothing new around Paul Brown Stadium, after all, this makes the third time in three years the Bengals have had to hire a coordinator due to a head coach promotion.

Jackson thanks Bengals
This one last time, former Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson didn’t want to talk about the Cleveland Browns. He wanted to talk about his old team, the Cincinnati Bengals, and his old bosses, president Mike Brown and head coach Marvin Lewis.

NFL loves/hates (loves) Steelers-Bengals aftermath
In the aftermath of Saturday night’s Steelers-Bengals debacle, the NFL was publicly wringing its hands by issuing suspensions and threatening fines. Privately, the NFL was rubbing its palms together with glee.

Jeremy Hill Loses Control of Emotions After Late Fumble, Bengals' Collapse
While all of the attention following the Pittsburgh Steelers-Cincinnati Bengals Wild Card Game has been on Cincinnati's Vontaze Burfict and Adam "Pacman" Jones, it was Bengals running back Jeremy Hill who set the stage for the team's epic meltdown.

Bengals notes: Dunlap added to Pro Bowl, injury update
The Cincinnati Bengals continue to populate the Pro Bowl as defensive end Carlos Dunlap was officially added to the list of players with New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson ruled out due to injury.

Bengals' free agents: Who stays, who goes?
Even prior to this past season, much discussion centered around the Bengals’ free-agent class of 2016. A large portion of core players were in the final season of their contracts, and now this team compiled over the last half decade faces the possibility of taking on a different look.

Dunlap adds Pro Bowl to career year
Before he left the locker room one last time this season, Bengals left end Carlos Dunlap mused on the fates.  "I was as still waiting for the Fat Lady to sing before I got too high or too low," Dunlap said. "Anything can happen. Anything did happen." But going to the Pro Bowl also happened. Dunlap, voted a first alternate, got the word Thursday that he’s replacing the Jets’ Muhammad Wilkerson in the annual all-star game taking place this year Jan. 31 in Honolulu. It takes just a little bit of the sting from Saturday night’s now-you-have-it-now-you-don’t Wild Card loss to the Steelers.

Random Bytes

Steelers dirty? Or was Cody Wallace hit an outlier? Broncos weigh in
For 26 days, the Broncos have been stewing. Late in the first quarter of the their last meeting with the Steelers, in Pittsburgh on Dec. 20, Denver safety David Bruton was bulldozed by a late helmet-to-helmet hit, courtesy of offensive lineman Cody Wallace. "That's just what they do," Bruton said afterward. "They're dirty, and he left his feet trying to take me out. So, I just know if we have to play them again, it's not going to go well. We're definitely going to make sure that he's going to feel it."

1st-Graders Write Comforting Letters to Vikings K Blair Walsh After Missed FG
The Minnesota Vikings saw their season come to a sudden end Sunday when kicker Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal against the Seattle Seahawks in the final minute of their NFC Wild Card Game. To his credit, the 26-year-old kicker faced the media and took full responsibility for the kick.

Chip Kelly just the coach to give Colin Kaepernick a fresh start with 49ers
Mark it down: Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016 -- the day Colin Kaepernick's career in San Francisco began anew. There are no guarantees in the NFL, nor in life, but here's what we can say with some confidence: If anyone can resurrect Kaepernick's career, it's his new head coach. I know that's the easy and convenient analysis after Chip Kelly's hiring by the 49ers, but in this case there are too many connected dots to ignore.

Police say New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones 'desperately' sought help
New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones apologized Thursday for making "a pretty stupid mistake" that led him to be hospitalized Sunday after having a bad reaction to a substance he put into his body. Jones was "desperately" seeking police assistance when he showed up at the rear entrance of the Foxborough public safety building on Sunday morning, according to an incident report released by Foxborough town officials earlier Thursday.