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Bengals Bytes (5/28): Hybrid model

Andrew Whitworth opens up about contracts, position changes, and how he doesn't care about lists. Patriots fans are upset with the Ravens punishment, and the defensive scheme that is changing the NFL.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals CB William Jackson breaking college mindset
There were times during his first full-squad practice Tuesday that Cincinnati Bengals cornerback William Jackson looked and acted like a rookie.

Top Videos: Eric Winston on football safety
Bengals offensive tackle and NFLPA President Eric Winston joins Doug Gottlieb to discuss Bills GM Doug Whaley's comments that humans shouldn't play football and trying to make football as safe as possible.

Whitworth opens up on future and a lesson learned
Bengals captain Andrew Whitworth opens up about a lesson learned from 2015, how he feels about his contract situation, changing positions and still performing at a high level.

Answering Bengals FAQs
With an eventful first week of OTAs now in the books and one practice open to the media observed time to open up floor to you. Whether talking rookie outlook, Tyler Eifert surgery fallout, the always popular Marvin Lewis queries or whatever else is on the mind, I'm here to give the best answer possible to what seems to be confounding Bengals fans.

Cincinnati Bengals would miss more than just Tyler Eifert's receiving
Yes, Tyler Eifert can catch a football. That is an incontrovertible fact, evidenced by his team-high 13 touchdown receptions last season. Still, it must be pointed out that the Cincinnati Bengals tight end is much more than just a pass-catcher. What is one other area of his game that often gets overlooked? What Eifert does as a blocker.

Notes: Whit's priorities don't list; Williams gets seal of approval
You can almost hear the NFL Network’s own amazement at itself. Yes, the man says, Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth made his first top 100 players list as voted by the players themselves for the first time. No. 67, revealed this week. Never mind that in 2014 profootballfocus.com rated him the best overall tackle in the game and best pass blocker, allowing no sacks and one hit on quarterback Andy Dalton.

Hobson's Choice: more issues and answers
From what I can gather, it sounds to me like one of those medical events out of their control where the medical people made a decision based on what they saw, but months later it didn’t work out the way they thought. Many of us have been down that road, I suspect. I think it’s hard to say they dropped the ball when on the day Eifert got back from Hawaii, Feb. 2, he began to undergo a battery of diagnostic tests and one of the men in on the consult was Dr. Robert Anderson, the NFL’s nationally-known–go-to-guy on foot and ankle problems.

Random Bytes

Buffalo Bills' Rex and Rob Ryan on NFL past, future | The MMQB with Peter King
Grand plans, tied hands and lap bands. The chatter is fast, furious and full of bad words as the Ryan twins discuss their 2015 failures, their sideline reunion and how the Bills will beat the big, bad Belichick once and for all.

Roger Goodell encourages New Orleans to keep bidding for Super Bowls
NFL owners did not bestow upon New Orleans another Super Bowl, but commissioner Roger Goodell wants to make sure they keep trying to get one. According to Katherine Terrell of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Goodell sent Saints owner Tom Benson a letter this week congratulating him on an impressive bid, one which fell to "strong and unique" competition.

Patriots fans wanted to see Ravens lose a draft pick
For committing a blatant violation of the offseason workout rules, the NFL imposed more than $480,000 in fines against the Ravens and coach John Harbaugh and stripped the team of a week of Organized Team Activities. For some fans (i.e., Patriots fans), that wasn’t enough.

Top 15 NFL free agents still available - Greg Hardy, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Donte Whitner
Since the calendar turned to May, the NFL free-agent market has shifted and slowed. Only eight unrestricted free agents have been signed since May 10 and veteran cap casualties will become more part of the mix over the next few weeks. Some players on my list below are recovering from injuries, so they might not be signed until just before the start of training camp.

Rob Ryan rips New Orleans Saints, blames new scheme for recent firing
Rob Ryan said his last two years as the New Orleans Saints' defensive coordinator were "a waste of time" because he was "sitting on my hands" when New Orleans decided to try to copy the Seattle Seahawks' scheme.

How Hybrid Defenders Are Changing Modern NFL Defenses
The NFL is an ever-changing entity comprised of intelligent people who have dedicated their lives to discovering the slightest tactical advantage on game days. Games are often decided on a small handful of plays that turn the tide for one side. Any type of misstep or personnel edge can become a great strength or devastating weakness. As passing-game efficiency has risen over the course of the last decade, defenses have had to adjust to become more versatile and less predictable.

3 players who might already regret free-agency decisions
Things can change in a hurry in the NFL. Some players know that more than others. Most of the time it takes at least a full training camp for players to start regretting their free-agency decisions, but every now and then it happens faster. Below are three players who might already be second-guessing the contracts they signed.

Dion Jordan: When football becomes secondary to discovering yourself
Drafted third overall by the Miami Dolphns, then suspended for a year for violating the NFL substance abuse polcy, Dion Jordan has been on a journey of self discovery which he shares with USA TODAY. Martin E. Klimek, USA TODAY

Keenan Reynolds Cleared to Play in NFL by US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter
Baltimore Ravens rookie Keenan Reynolds will be able to suit up for the team this season after having his military service deferred by United States Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.    Per Darrin Gantt of Pro Football Talk, the Ravens announced Reynolds would be eligible to play football in 2016 despite still having a military commitment as a graduate from the United States Naval Academy.