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Bengals Bytes (2/2): 'Bordering on lunacy'

A former Bengals great chimes in on the Bengals-Steelers rivalry, a look at how Andy Dalton improved when defenses brought pressure and Warren Moon has some interesting comments about Cam Newton.

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7 questions with Duke Tobin
In an exclusive interview, Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin talks about the upcoming draft and his approach to free agency. The sting of AFC wildcard loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers will linger for quite some time within the walls of Paul Brown Stadium, but the work toward reshaping the team for the 2016 season began in earnest the following week.

Esiason: Bengals-Steelers 'bordering on lunacy'
Following the Bengals’ playoff loss to Pittsburgh, Boomer Esiason sat on the CBS desk and said he was embarrassed as a former Bengal at the behavior of Cincinnati’s players in the 18-16 loss in the wildcard round. The Bengals quarterback from Super Bowl XXIII placed blame on Marvin Lewis for inability to control his players as the game unraveled in the now infamous final seconds. Sitting in a media room promoting CBS’ coverage of Sunday’s game, he didn’t back off his feelings about Lewis, but admitted in retrospect blame should be spread all around.

Cincinnati Bengals: Free Agency Look In
Going into 2015, the Cincinnati Bengals knew at the end of the year, free agency was going to be an enormous battle. The Bengals have made the right decisions over the past few years in free agency, and their past several draft classes have been stellar. The best question going into the offseason is who should the Bengals try to re-sign, and who can they afford to lose.

What extra pressure? Andy Dalton was better vs. blitz in 2015
With the offseason here for the Cincinnati Bengals, we're taking a daily look at a few statistics that either defined the past season, or went overlooked during it. Today, we highlight the following number: 82.6 Andy Dalton's good play -- which featured more across-the-board consistency than the Bengals quarterback had shown in his previous four seasons -- was the storyline that dominated his 2015 season. Even in the moments when he experienced his greatest adversity of the year, he responded in ways that might have been completely foreign in similar tough situations earlier in his career.

NFL rumors roundup - Could Vance Joseph bring over Bengal free agents?
The Miami Dolphins' defense drastically underperformed preseason expectations in 2015, and new coordinator Vance Joseph will be tasked with turning the unit around. The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson suggests the team could help Joseph by bringing in two of his former pupils from the Cincinnati Bengals: impending free agent DBs Adam Jones and Reggie Nelson.

Random Bytes

SportsCenter:AM Launches Feb. 8
With a new format designed to serve sports fans as they go about their early morning routine, SportsCenter:AM will launch Monday, Feb. 8, at 7 a.m. ET on ESPN. Starting earlier than a live SportsCenter ever has on a regular basis, SportsCenter:AM will display a new vision for ESPN’s signature news and information program, with a greater emphasis on highlights and video, and a faster pace and more personality, while understanding the demands and time restrictions of morning viewers.

NBC, CBS to split two-year, $450 mil. Thursday Night Football package
NBC is now in on a second night of the NFL’s primetime game, splitting a $450 million bill with CBS to broadcast Thursday night games in 2016 and 2017. Michele Tafoya will not be joining the No. 1 broadcast crew on NBC’s new telecasts.

Super Bowl Opening Night 2016: Best Moments and Twitter Reaction from Media Day
Puppets, dancing leprechauns and hundreds of reporters searching for soundbites. Welcome to Super Bowl opening night. Monday's event in the SAP Center in San Jose was the inaugural Super Bowl opening night, a prime-time version of the traditional Tuesday media day. It was also the first time players and coaches from the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers officially addressed the media since arriving in the San Francisco area.

Kam Chancellor's Fingers Still Frostbitten After Historically Cold Playoff Game
Toughness comes from within—and sometimes that's where it stays. The toughness of notoriously hard-hitting Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor has rarely been called into question, but when confronted with one of the coldest games in NFL history, his skin was significantly less resolute. As the Pro Bowler described in an Instagram take, his fingers were gnawed by frostbite, causing his skin to peel clean off. In his own words: "Eww."

2016 Nfl Mock Draft Version 30 (post Senior Bowl)
In the last two weeks at the Shrine Game and Senior Bowl, I’ve seen over 200 NFL prospects firsthand. I’ve also had a chance to talk to various folks in and around many NFL teams to better get an idea for what their teams might be looking for, or how some players are valued.

Warren Moon can’t understand what Cam Newton’s critics see
Since opening the door to the conversation about race and football last week, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has tried to make the topic less divisive and more about the fact he defies categorization. But one of Newton’s earliest mentors, who knows about the realities of the topic, is willing to burst through the door.