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OBI: Are Bengals’ bye week roster moves going to help turn the tide?

On this week’s Orange and Black Insider, we talked about the slew of news the Bengals have made this week with free agents. Will any signing help change things in 2016?

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals aren’t resting on their disappointing laurels that began the 2016 season, as they are using their bye week to potentially re-shape the roster for a second-half surge. Aside from bringing back defensive end Wallace Gilberry, the Bengals worked out a number of veteran kickers and even took a look at fullback Marcel Reece.

On this week’s Orange and Black Insider, Scott Schultze, Connor Howe and I discussed both the strategies and effectiveness of these moves. In the segment, I noted that though the Bengals likely won’t be signing most of who they worked out, it does send a message to the locker room. Simply put, the effort and results they are giving isn’t good enough for the coaches and the fan base.

The Reece move was both the most intriguing and puzzling to all three of us. What would the Pro Bowl fullback coming to Cincinnati mean for Ryan Hewitt, who signed a lucrative extension this offseason?

“I like it because he’s a rich man’s Ryan Hewitt, basically, because he can catch the ball and he’s also a very good blocker. He’s been productive,” Scott said of Reece. “I also like it because it’s a very un-Bengal-like move. They generally like to add guys through the Draft and like to keep their own...Maybe they’re making a statement against what they usually do with guys they’ve extended and not just say ‘yeah, we’re going to live and die with you’”.

Meanwhile, Connor wasn’t as impressed with the idea of working out Reece.

“You can reference the fact that he made four straight Pro Bowls, but he isn’t a Pro Bowl-caliber player, I think the Raiders saw that and that’s why they cut him,” Connor said. “The reason he made four straight Pro Bowls is because of name recognition. I’m not a big Pro Football Focus guy and don’t have the stats to back it up, but from what I’ve digested, most analysts were not very high on Reece last year”.

We also talked about Gilberry’s potential as an effective rotational lineman to boost the inconsistencies in the pass rush, as well as the idea of a possible replacement for Mike Nugent among Zach Hocker, Randy Bullock, Kai Forbath and Travis Coons.

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Thanks for listening!