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Bengals Bytes (2/25): Patience is a virtue

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The Bengals have been patient in free agency for years, but this offseason will really test that mantra. Michael Johnson talks about his march in Selma, Alabama with Barack Obama. Jason Pierre Paul is taking ESPN to court.

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Jay Gruden talks Bengals
Former Bengals offensive coordinator and current Redskins head coach Jay Gruden on Ken Zampese taking over as Cincinnati's OC and the line of assistants landing head coaching positions.

Marching Forward
Michael Johnson sensed the weight of the moment building, as if a shot clock was ticking deep inside his mind. The crowd around him was swelling -- tens of thousands of people were in Selma, Alabama, on March 7, 2015 -- and they all wanted the same opportunity he was receiving: a chance to shake the hand of President Barack Obama. Johnson knew how blessed he was to be part of the VIP entourage that would accompany Obama as his hometown celebrated the 50th anniversary of the historic "Bloody Sunday" march from Selma.

Free agency update: Bengals practice patience
The NFL Scouting Combine is all about finding the newest crop of rookies for the 2016 season, but for the Cincinnati Bengals, it also serves as the backdrop for talks with players they are already very familiar with. The Bengals are planning to meet with the representatives for some of their 14 unrestricted free agents this week in Indianapolis, but since the 2016 salary cap has not been officially set by the league, they will remain just discussions that lay the groundwork for more intense talks next week.

Bengals RB Jeremy Hill using costly fumble as motivation, says OC
It was, and maybe will be, the lowest point of Jeremy Hill's career. But to Ken Zampese, the Cincinnati Bengals' new offensive coordinator, the disappointment the running back felt after one late-game fumble in last month's playoff loss to the Steelers will propel him throughout this coming season.

Best Landing Spots for WR Marques Colston After Expected Release from Saints
A lynchpin of the New Orleans Saints offense for years, Marques Colston is expected to be released during the coming NFL free-agency period, according to ESPN.com's Mike Triplett, leaving us to speculate ideal landing spots for the wide receiver. How much does Colston have left in the tank at age 32? Which teams would provide great fits for Colston?

Notes: Ozzie says Hue ready; Pumping up Hill; Shazier hit under scrutiny?
Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens general manager who brought Hue Jackson back into the AFC North eight years ago, had no time to worry about Jackson’s impact on the toughest division in football when he was named the Browns head coach last month. But after Jackson’s two stints with the Bengals that included forays into defense and special teams and one as the Ravens quarterback coach who pushed for the drafting of quarterback Joe Flacco, Newsome knows it is a formidable hire.

Corey Coleman popular Cincinnati Bengals pick in mock draft roundup
As combine week gets going, let's see who draft analysts and NFL insiders are predicting the Cincinnati Bengals will pick with the 24th overall pick. Receiver Corey Coleman (Baylor) is one popular pick. If you aren't familiar with him, check out this story from ESPN's Chris Low from October. When you see how Coleman's family and coaches describe the framing of his tough character, you can see why Bengals coaches could be interested.

Random Bytes

San Francisco 49ers send care package to homeless prank victim
The San Francisco 49ers have done something cool for a New Jersey homeless man who was the victim of a stupid prank.Ronald Leggatt was living in a baseball dugout when he was approached by a boy who offered him $5 to pour hot coffee on his head. Leggatt, who claims to have been completely broke at the time, complied and poured the coffee on his head and suffered burns on his face.

The Twitter feed that exposes bad sports media takes
Fred Segal says he’s always been fascinated by sports predictions. Growing up in North Miami Beach, Segal would sort through his attorney father Mike’s collection of thousands of sports books and magazines, some dating back to the beginning of the 20th century.

Fred Biletnikoff Carries on his Daughter’s Legacy
Seventeen years ago, Tracey Biletnikoff was murdered. Her life’s work is now carried on by her father, the Hall of Fame receiver and Oakland Raiders legend

Is Peter King about to leave Sports Illustrated?
For four days of Super Bowl Week earlier this month, Shane Newell, a graduate student in Stanford’s Journalism Program, chauffeured Peter King, editor and lead columnist of Sports Illustrated’s spinoff football web site, the Monday Morning Quarterback (TheMMQB.com), as he served as pool reporter for the Denver Broncos practices at Stanford Stadium in advance of Super Bowl 50. In exchange for driving King between his San Francisco hotel and Palo Alto and San José, Newell was granted access to him, observing King at work, and interviewing him about his 35 years as a sportswriter and about whether he might leave the MMQB when his contract expires in March.

NCAA bans coaches from subtweeting recruits
Subtweeting is the most passive-aggressive, 2016 method of either getting back at someone or trying to dig at them without anyone noticing. Everyone subtweets in one form or another, and some are better at it than others. Turns out, subtweeting has had quite a use for college football coaches trying to get the attention of potential recruits.

Biggest offseason question for each NFL team
How should the Cowboys address their dearth of backups for Tony Romo? How will the Deflategate saga end for Tom Brady? Mike Sando tackles the most pressing questions for all 32 teams.

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Travis Benjamin to hit market
Travis Benjamin looked poised to have a breakout season, scoring four touchdowns in the first three weeks last season for the Cleveland Browns. He also looked ready to re-sign with the team to start this week. But on Tuesday, talks between Benjamin and the Browns broke down, according to Rand Getlin, of the NFL Network. Getlin also said that Benjamin "will hit the market."

The 8 most important storylines to follow at the 2016 NFL Combine
The draft's top prospects will be under a microscope in Indianapolis this week. Here are the most important things that will factor into the 2016 NFL Draft.

Kevin Colbert: Lawrence Timmons is a "valuable contributor"
When Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert spoke to Pittsburgh media last week, he said that the team’s cap situation is "pretty good" relative to recent years and the retirement of tight end Heath Miller added some more money to the coffers. Colbert also said that the team will look for remedies for players whose contracts are out of line with their production, including restructuring or terminating those deals. Some would put linebacker Lawrence Timmons in that group thanks to a $15.1 million cap hit and an $8.75 million salary.

Jason Pierre-Paul Sues ESPN, Adam Schefter Over Released Medical Records
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul made headlines when he injured his hand and lost a finger in a July 4 fireworks accident before the 2015 season. Now he's reportedly suing ESPN and reporter Adam Schefter for revealing his medical records in the aftermath.

Kevin Colbert: Lawrence Timmons is a "valuable contributor"
When Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert spoke to Pittsburgh media last week, he said that the team’s cap situation is "pretty good" relative to recent years and the retirement of tight end Heath Miller added some more money to the coffers. Colbert also said that the team will look for remedies for players whose contracts are out of line with their production, including restructuring or terminating those deals. Some would put linebacker Lawrence Timmons in that group thanks to a $15.1 million cap hit and an $8.75 million salary.