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Bengals Bytes (1/9): Offseason blueprint

Check out what the Bengals should do during the offseason to put this disappointing season behind them. The Steelers are dealing with off the field issues from a familiar face. Two teams looking for head coaches have two interesting names at the top of them.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Whitworth, Kevin Zeitler lead Bengals group of offensive FAs

Here's a look at the offensive players who could become free agents in March. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth: Whitworth, 35, has spent his entire career with the Bengals and most recently signed a two-year extension worth $9.2 million. Whitworth may be the oldest tackle in the league, but he remains one of the NFL's best pass-blockers.

Cincinnati Bengals 2017 offseason blueprint

The Cincinnati Bengals had a rough 2016 season as they finished 6-9-1 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011, but unlike many teams that did not make the postseason, the road back for them is not all that difficult. Below is the checklist for the Bengals this offseason to not only make it back to the playoffs, but to win for the first time since the 1991 season. Marvin Lewis is coming back but has to feel like he is on borrowed time without an extension coming before the end of 2017.

Bengals' Lewis Should Take Page From Sam Wyche's Book

Marvin Lewis will be back for a 15th season as the Bengals’ head coach. Heading into 2017, he should take a page out of Sam Wyche’s book, the last coach to win a playoff game in the Queen City. The year was 1987. The Bengals, searching for a 2-0 start, hosted Bill Walsh and the 49ers on a 62-degree, mid-September afternoon along the Ohio River.

AFC North Bytes

Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter reportedly arrested after win vs. Dolphins -

The Pittsburgh Steelers are riding high following Sunday’s 30-12 win over the Miami Dolphins. Outside linebackers coach and former Steelers player Joey Porter, however, reportedly ended his night with an arrest for an altercation with a police officer.

Hue Jackson: Gregg Williams “has always been able to get the most out of his players”

Reports surfaced last week that the Browns were going to part ways with defensive coordinator Ray Horton and Saturday night brought word that Gregg Williams will be the new man in charge on that side of the ball in Cleveland.

Video: Joe Flacco refers to himself as elite in new Pepsi ad

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco's elite status has long been a topic of debate, but Flacco just set the record straight in a recent dual-ad for Pepsi and Tostitos. In the add, Flacco refers to himself as elite; an elite party guest.

Random Bytes

Shirtless Odell Beckham Jr. leads Giants through warmups on frozen Lambeau Field

What would Odell Beckham Jr.’s mother say about this? Despite temperatures hovering in the low teens — and a wind chill below zero — the New York Giants receiver came out for warmups for Sunday’s Giants-Green Bay Packers game in shorts and without a shirt. There’s a reason it’s called “warming up,”

Monday Morning Digest: Wild-Card Wins No Guarantee of 2nd-Round Success

If you expected the unexpected, then Wild Card Weekend didn't live up to your expectations. The Steelers overwhelmed the Dolphins. The Connor Cook-led Raiders proved no match for the Texans defense. The Legion of Boom and the 12th Man ganged up on the Lions, with the help of Russell Wilson and some of the strangest receptions you'll ever see. And Aaron Rodgers remained in run-the-table mode on the frozen tundra. Four games, four wins by home favorites.

Jordy Nelson Injury: Packers WR Injures Ribs vs. Giants

The Green Bay Packers announced wide receiver Jordy Nelson was taken to the locker room on a cart in the second quarter of Sunday's postseason game against the New York Giants and will not return. The team noted the pass-catcher suffered a rib injury and originally deemed him questionable to return. The Packers ruled him out at the start of the second half.

Rams to interview Mike Vrabel for head-coaching vacancy

A surprising new name has been added to the Rams’ coaching wish list: Mike Vrabel. Vrabel, the Texans’ linebackers coach, will interview with the Rams next week, Albert Breer of reports.

Mike Smith emerging as “top guy” in Jacksonville search

At a time when most coaching searches are skewing toward young offensive minds, the Jaguars may end up hiring a defensive coordinator who previously served as head coach of the Falcons.