The subject is edge pass rushers. The Bengals need one and if there aren’t any high first-round possibilities here at the Senior Bowl this week then there is a raft of possibilities in the later rounds.
As expected the Bengals on Thursday re-signed veteran Randy Bullock for two years but all indications are they’re going to keep looking for enough help to stage a training camp kicking derby. They’ll probably go for a shot of youth after satisfying the veteran requirement in Bullock, a sixth-year veteran they signed for the last three games following his one-game stints with the Giants and Steelers in a move that ended the seven-year Bengals career of Mike Nugent.
Check out Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson as he competes in the "Best Hands" drill during the 2007 Pro Bowl Skills Competition.
See photos of the Bengals in Orlando, FL for the 2017 Pro Bowl.
The Bengals’ star receiver might get some competition next season in the form of a 302-pound defensive tackle Geno Atkins. Atkins ran a route and caught a pass during the AFC’s Pro Bowl practice on Thursday, with teammate Carlos Dunlap giving chase. Dunlap threw up his hands and made the touchdown signal as Atkins ran into the end zone.
The Cincinnati Bengals favor continuity probably more than any team in the league, as many members of their coaching staff have been together since Marvin Lewis was hired or before. The question is, has that continuity stagnated, or did the Bengals simply have a down season?
As the league converged on Ladd-Peebles Stadium and the surrounding hotels in Mobile for the Senior Bowl, the Cincinnati Bengals went on with business as usual in preparing for the NFL Draft. But on the periphery, the specter of cornerback Adam Jones’ Jan. 3 arrest remains as the team moves forward in shaping its 2017 roster.
Sipping a black hazelnut morning coffee, Ken Zampese allowed himself a smile. The Cincinnati Bengals’ second-year offensive coordinator loves this. Yes, he’s at the Senior Bowl getting a look at players who might be part his 2017 offensive unit, but it’s the evaluation, the deep dive and hard look at his own offense, the players who operated within it – and the successful plays run around the league and the blooming spreadsheet of notes that creates – that make the early part of the offseason enjoyable.
AFC North Bytes
Antonio Brown's still making Facebook Live videos, and at least this one isn't likely to get him in any trouble. Maybe he has a quota. The Steelers wide receiver posted a video yesterday from a private plane in which he said it was time to "quiet the noise," after the noise he created last week.
Quarterback or quarterback sacker? Joe Thomas has spoken on the No. 1 question facing the Browns in the 2017 draft. Thomas answered “pass rusher,” and you can’t help but think he was echoing the sentiment of the organization for whom he has worked for 10 years.
The good news for the Ravens is that this is essentially the same management foundation that built a Super Bowl team four years ago. General manager Ozzie Newsome is in charge of the personnel side with assistant GM Eric DeCosta. John Harbaugh and six other coaches remain from the championship staff. But the Ravens have been the definition of mediocrity with a 31-33 record since last hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. The key is finding playmakers.
Leaders of the NFL Players Association are preparing a proposal that would amend the sport’s drug policies to take a "less punitive" approach to dealing with recreational marijuana use by players, Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports. This according to the union’s executive director, DeMaurice Smith.
The Pro Bowl is here, and this is what we know about it. It's terrible. It needs to be fixed, even beyond the cosmetic changes the NFL has made to it. But before we get into how to fix it, we should know what the players think about it. And few are more honest than Geoff Schwartz, an eight-year veteran offensive lineman and free agent who can readily be found offering his opinion on the NFL and other topics on Twitter.
Is Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson ready to veer from his long-standing aversion to building his roster with a significant investment in free agency? After reaching the Divisional Round without a Super Bowl appearance for the fifth time in six years, quarterback Aaron Rodgers pressured the team's front office to go all-in, emphasizing the "need to reload" for 2017.
It's easier for Titans running back DeMarco Murray to share the spotlight with Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott these days now that Murray's own career is back on track. Murray called Elliott shortly after he was drafted and offered up some encouragement. He spoke glowingly about all of his old Cowboys teammates following NFC Pro Bowl practice on Thursday and blamed himself for the debacle of a season in Philadelphia, which led many to believe that Murray's best seasons were behind him.