Isaac Curtis and Kenny Anderson are together again this weekend, the way it was and the way it will always be, and since it’s a party they aren’t taking themselves or anybody else all that seriously. It is Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis’ annual fundraiser for his foundation and with Lewis barking auction items as back-ground music, the two do what they do every year here and renew and reminisce.
While opinion is basically the same around the football universe, things could get interesting in Cincinnati. With the Bengals coming off a losing season in 2016, it was clear what had to happen. The running game was stagnant and the defense seemed to lose a step. But, the new year should bring some well-timed changes. In fact, the Bengals could benefit from their tandem of villainous attention getters.
We’re in the depths of the NFL offseason, with little new or impactful happenings set to appear in our newsfeeds regarding any of the league’s teams, including the Cincinnati Bengals. With that in mind, it is a great time to look through the rosters of teams and see what teams have at their disposal for the upcoming season.
Top Golf in West Chester hosted the annual charity golf outing to raise money for area scholarships. Current and former Bengals took a swing at making a difference in the lives of young people.
Most of the negative assumptions about Joe Mixon will never die. When the Cincinnati Bengals selected the talented running back from Oklahoma, the dam burst. It was suddenly open season on the franchise and the character of certain players. Cincinnati was immediately thought of as the halfway house for wayward young men. Though Mixon has paid his debt (some will say he’ll never be able to), his past is always brought up.
AFC North Bytes
Former USC Trojans wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster has transformed into current Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster. Upon being selected by the heralded franchise in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Smith-Schuster also became a teammate of one of his idols, Antonio Brown.
We'll know more about that this week when we watch Kessler practice for the first time in organized team activities. Coach Hue Jackson has named Kessler his starter for the three weeks of OTAs, which lead into the mandatory minicamp in Junes. He earned that right through hard work in the offseason, including on his deep ball. Kessler worked with biomechanics expert Tom House to drive the ball downfield better, and that's the main thing Jackson needs to see from him.
The Baltimore Ravens signed a number of undrafted free agents, and while, more often than not, UDFAs don’t make much of an impact on any NFL team, there have been a share of them who have made major impacts. Hall of Famers Kurt Warner and Warren Moon, as well as Antonio Gates, James Harrison, Wes Welker, Arian Foster, these were all UDFAs who had major impacts in the NFL.
For all intents and purposes, free agency is over. And now a lot of NFL players are a heck of a lot richer than they were in February. More than 300 veterans have signed contracts with a combined value in excess of $2.3 billion this offseason. But another wave is coming which contains a batch of talented young players with expiring entry-level contracts.
Former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson admitted to concealing potential concussions he suffered during his playing career. "Guys get concussions, they don't tell the coaches," Johnson said, per the Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett. "It happens. I don't tell the coach sometimes cause I know I got a job to do. The team needs me out there on the field. And sometimes you allow that to jeopardize yourself, but that's just the nature of the world."
Beth Mowins knows there will be viewers who think her Monday Night Football game-calling assignment next September is a stunt or political correctness run amok from ESPN. But she has no interest in exerting any energy over those who do not believe she should be calling an NFL game.
With free agency and the draft in the rearview, here’s an early look at how the teams stack up heading into the 2017 season, beginning with Nos. 17-32. Plus notes on OT changes, Tom Brady concussion talk and more