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Bengals Bytes (6/17): Good ol' days

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The Bengals and Vikings made their joint practice official on Saturday. Maurkice Pouncey reveals how busy his offseason surgery schedule was. And, who is in line to take Skip Bayless' job?

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals WR James Wright tests knee in practice
Wide receivers coach James Urban said the Bengals just wanted to test out James Wright’s progress before the team broke minicamp and players head their separate ways for the next six weeks.

5 observations/notes from June 16 Bengals mini-camp session
CINCINNATI (Richard Skinner) - Here are five observations and notes from the Bengals' June 16 mini-camp session (the second of three such sessions), which was held inside Paul Brown Stadium:- Kickers help put an end to practice a half hour early.The Skinny

Bengals' Dunlap makes global impact during busy offseason
CINCINNATI (Perry Schaible) - Just hearing everything that Carlos Dunlap has done in the last few months will make you tired.He doesn't just sit on the sidelines, he's an impact player making a global difference.You may know him as #96.

ZimFest comes to PBS to open preseason
Thanks to his daughters, Mike Zimmer is one of the baby boomers’ great texters. So Thursday’s announcement that ZimFest is coming to Paul Brown Stadium for two training camp practices before Zimmer’s Vikings play the Bengals in the 7:30 p.m. Aug. 12 pre-season opener is going to be nothing but one long thread.

Notes: Dennard looks to come back No. 1; Pads still the thing for WRs
The Bengals ended their spring workouts successfully Thursday No one got hurt. But when we see them again for the first day of training camp, which is the last week in July, they hope to have back several players who missed the dozen practices in May and June.

Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard's summer mission simple: Stay healthy
Darqueze Dennard has started two training camps with the Cincinnati Bengals since they drafted him in the first round in 2014. He hasn't finished either of them. First, it was a hip injury, suffered in a preseason game against the New York Jets, that forced him to miss the latter half of his rookie-year camp. Twelve months later, a preseason groin injury forced him to enter the 2015 regular season similarly hobbled.

Brent Burns, Tina Charles, Carlos Dunlap and Chris Paul named finalists for Sports Humanitarian of the Year
For their efforts using sport to make a positive impact on society, San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, New York Liberty center Tina Charles, Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap and Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul are the finalists for the Sports Humanitarian of the Year Award, ESPN announced Thursday. The winner of the award will be announced July 12 in Los Angeles, during a ceremony hosted by Laila Ali and featuring musical guest Andra Day. All proceeds benefit the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund at The V Foundation.

Rey Maualuga, Vontaze Burfict spend minicamp doing conditioning drills
Although they have been present for the Cincinnati Bengals' first two mandatory minicamp practices this week, a pair of key defensive players were noticeably absent from practice drills Wednesday. Starting linebackers Rey Maualuga and Vontaze Burfict, reportedly overweight at the end of the Bengals' springtime workouts, spent the practice running wind sprints and doing other conditioning drills off to the side. For Maualuga, it was the second straight day of such activity as he also didn't practice during Tuesday's start to the minicamp. Burfict did practice Tuesday, but by Wednesday ended up on the conditioning island with his fellow linebacker.

Who's next on Bengals' extension list?
The Cincinnati Bengals aren’t shy about laying out their roster-building formula because it’s pretty simple, really: Draft, develop, retain. Head coach Marvin Lewis speaks about it annually in the offseason when the inevitable questions about free agents potentially hitting the open market are asked. More often than not, the team is able to follow up on that third tenet for a couple of reasons, beginning with the culture Lewis has created in the locker room and the fact that the team typically offers fair open market value for players early.

Bengals notes: Wright returns, linebacker cut
Wide receiver James Wright missed all of last season with a knee injury and opted for microfracture surgery in an attempt to return to full health. Coaches expressed hope he would return for the start of training camp, but his No. 86 jersey made a surprise first appearance during minicamp on Wednesday and Thursday.

Bengals to hold joint practices with Zimmer's Vikings
The moment the preseason schedule came out, the announcement probably could have come. The connection between Mike Zimmer’s Vikings and the Cincinnati Bengals joining together for extra days of work was a no-brainer. The Bengals will host the Vikings for two days of joint practices prior to the first preseason game at Paul Brown Stadium.

AFC North Bytes

Ravens Minicamp Day 3 Wrap-Up - The Secondary Shines
In their last practice until training starts on July 27, the secondary ruled the day. Under cloudy skies on Thursday, they gave quarterbacks Ryan Mallett, Josh Johnson and Jerrod Johnson fits. During 7-on-7 and teams drills, the Ravens secondary was responsible for numerous pass breaks up and multiple interceptions. Lardarius Webb was responsible for one while playing safety, jumping a route on a pass intended for Kamar Aiken.

Cleveland Browns: Robert Griffin III's work in OTAs lacked big moment
The focus on Robert Griffin III come training camp will be intense. The Cleveland Browns have been through quarterback scrutiny the past couple years with Johnny Manziel, but Manziel drew attention mainly for the things he did off the field. Griffin will be under the microscope for his on-field actions.

Maurkice Pouncey Reveals He Had 7 Procedures on Injured Leg Last Year
After a season filled with complications in his left leg, Maurkice Pouncey is glad to be back on the field. After undergoing surgery to repair his broken left fibula last August, the Pittsburgh Steelers' four-time Pro Bowl center revealed Thursday he went under the knife seven different times.

Random Bytes

These Are ESPN’s Three Possibilities to Replace Skip Bayless on First Take
As the hourglass in Skip Bayless's tenure at First Take dwindles to its final specs of sand, The Big Lead has learned that ESPN has whittled its succession plan down to three names: Max Kellerman, Jorge Sedano, and Will Cain. An ESPN spokesperson declined to comment.

ESPN’s "Dream Job" 12 years later: where are they now?
It may be hard to remember now, but there was once a time when ESPN’s original programming did not consist entirely of sports writers yelling at each other. "Stump the Schwab," "2 Minute Drill" and the legendary "Playmakers" are just some of the shows from this prehistoric era before The Worldwide Leader decided to "Embrace Debate" with countless "Pardon the Interruption" clones. And then there was "Dream Job," a show that capitalized on the TV talent show explosion set off by the cultural phenomenon known as "American Idol."

Frustrated Wilkerson: 'I don't feel like (Jets) want me'
The New York Jets have balked at paying Muhammad Wilkerson huge money for two seasons, despite the team's consistent public statements claiming a desire to get a deal done. The second-team All-Pro defensive lineman is getting fed up with the all-talk, little-action routine.

Ron Rivera, Panthers Reportedly Agree on New Contract
Three consecutive division titles, as well as an appearance in Super Bowl 50, were enough to earn Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera a contract extension.  Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reported Thursday the Panthers added one more year to Rivera's deal, which will keep him with the team through 2018 and pay him more than $6 million per season.

Von Miller -- I will not play 2016 season for Denver Broncos under franchise tag
Denver Broncos outside linebacker and Super Bowl MVP Von Miller hardened his stance on contract negotiations Thursday with an Instagram post saying there was "no chance" he would play the season under his franchise tag.

Tim Tebow hasn’t given up the dream of playing quarterback
The closest Tim Tebow’s been to an NFL quarterback lately was when he played in Cam Newton’s celebrity kickball game last week. But the former Broncos/Jets/Patriots/Eagles sort-of quarterback said during an interview on "Larry King Now" that he hasn’t completely given up the dream.