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Bengals Bytes (3/25): Slimmed down

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Bengals coaches explain how the rule changes will affect how they will coach. The top 25 most heartbreaking moments in Cincinnati sports. Eddie Lacy has been working on losing weight, and it shows.

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Ranking The 25 Most Heartbreaking Cincinnati Sports Moments Of The Last 25 Years
There's been a lot of talk about what it's like to be a Cincinnati sports fan recently. Are we cursed? Are we merely unlucky? Are we going to be forever haunted by the decisions we made when we were kids to root for the teams we support? And will the heartbreak ever stop?

Notes: Rules changes force coaches to adjust
The headlines coming out of the NFL owners’ annual meeting this week in Boca Raton, Fla., bannered sportsmanship and the yellow card rule. But for two Bengals assistant coaches and their peers around the league, the footnotes have tilted their worlds. After hearing about the elimination of the chop block, Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander predicted "a real change in the game."

Bengals Beat Podcast: Owners' Meetings Roundup
Bengals beat writers Paul Dehner Jr. and Jim Owczarski talk about the news created during the annual owner's meetings this past week in Boca Raton, Fla., where Jim enjoyed extended interviews with Marvin Lewis, Mike Brown and others. We discuss the latest updates on AJ McCarron trade prospects, Marvin Lewis' contractual future, the league continuing to apologize for what happened in the playoffs, the rise of Katie Blackburn and who the Bengals could still sign in free agency.

Doc: Football doesn't have monopoly on manhood
The NFL is under a bit of stress. This annoying concussion thing just won’t go away. Former players dying and all. Such a nuisance to building the brand. How will it ever play in Beijing? At the NFL owners meetings this week, some within the game felt compelled to defend its greatness. Such as Bruce Arians, the coach of the Arizona Cardinals. He said parents who don’t let their sons and daughters play football "are fools."

Hue Jackson needs to boost confidence of RG III the way he did with Andy Dalton
Much of the credit for Andy Dalton's surprisingly strong 2015 season falls in Hue Jackson's lap. And not just from a scheme or play-calling standpoint. Jackson, who was the Cincinnati Bengals' offensive coordinator at the time, boosted Dalton's confidence, and that will be one of the challenges Jackson faces now as the Cleveland Browns' head coach with newly acquired Robert Griffin III.

Run-stopper Brandon Thompson re-ups with Bengals
The 2016 Cincinnati Bengals are beginning to look a lot like the 2015 team. Another one of the Bengals' many unrestricted free agents re-signed Thursday, as defensive tackle Brandon Thompson agreed to a new deal, according to the agency that represents him. Thompson is the sixth of 14 unrestricted Bengals free agents to re-sign.

Random Bytes

NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Game Times, Spreads and Announcers for Thursday and Friday
If the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament is half as good as the first, it will be must-see television. Here are the game times and announcers for the Sweet 16.

ESPN pleased with women's NCAA Tournament remote broadcasts
NEW YORK (AP) — ESPN's experiment of broadcasting six women's NCAA Tournament games remotely went off without a hitch. It's too soon to say if the network will do more tourney games that way in the future. "Would we do it again next year? We don't know yet. We will do a full evaluation after the tournament," said Mark Gross, ESPN's senior vice president for production and remote events. "Should we continue? Can we do it better?"

In N.F.L., Deeply Flawed Concussion Research and Ties to Big Tobacco
An investigation by The New York Times raises questions about the league’s concussion research and its relationship with the tobacco industry.

Fan photo: Presenting the slimmed-down Eddie Lacy
Mike McCarthy has received promising reports on Eddie Lacy’s off-season plan to shed weight. Now comes this photo of the Packers running back posing with a fan in California.

Ron Rivera and Lessons from Super Bowl 50
The Carolina Panthers coach on what he would have done differently in Santa Clara. Plus, notes on Sean Payton’s potential contract extension and Bruce Arians holding court at the NFC coaches breakfast at the league meetings

John Harbaugh speaks out against the chop block ban
Defensive linemen around the NFL are pleased with the league’s new ban on chop blocks, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh says it’s a bad idea. Harbaugh said after the NFL outlawed all chop blocks that it will affect some teams’ running games, and won’t necessarily make the game any safer.

Leftover QBs Learning a Hard Lesson: The NFL Is Just Not That into Them
Poor Robert Griffin III. He was anointed a franchise savior, his face plastered on billboards and Metro buses. He was declared "superhuman" by medical experts and placed at the center of the NFL's marketing campaign. Even his socks were national news. But he crashed back to earth because—get this—he wasn't "humble" enough. Now, the NFL is just not that into him.

Did Carson Wentz Solidify Himself as 1st QB off Board with Pro Day?
North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz has had his name in the top 10 of mock drafts for the past few months, but Cal's Jared Goff is a highly regarded prospect as well. How did Wentz perform at his pro day? Will this solidify him as the top quarterback in the draft? Watch as Adam Lefkoe and Bleacher Report NFL Analyst Chris Simms break down Wentz's performance in the video above.

Why Cleveland Browns signed Robert Griffin III and what it means for their future
The new marriage between Robert Griffin III and the Cleveland Browns is an arrangement that suits both parties. If people are only as faithful as their options, both RG III and Cleveland should be in love with each other. Griffin faced an uncertain future; I wrote on Monday that his market appeared to be the Browns or bust, and with little interest elsewhere around the league, Cleveland was the most inviting seat available in terms of Griffin rebuilding his career. And for the perennially rebuilding Browns, Griffin was the highest-upside option available on the market.