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Bengals Bytes (5/23): Get defensive

What to watch on the defensive side of the ball during OTAs. The Browns owner feels like the winning is about to start. What records could fall next season?

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NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Why the Slide?: Carl Lawson

After being a star recruit, there was a lot of hype about Auburn edge rusher Carl Lawson. Lawson's college career was hampered by injuries for a few years before having his best season in 2016. While the redshirt junior racked up only 30 tackles on the season, he recorded nine sacks. Some in the media had projected Lawson as a first-round pick, including ESPN draft expert Todd McShay, who projected Lawson in the first round at the end of the college football season. However in the 2017 NFL Draft, Lawson slipped to the fourth round.

What to watch on defense

The Bengals hold their first of nine voluntary practices Tuesday morning, which amounts to their first appearance on the field for the 2017 season. So we’ll volunteer that if defensive coordinator Paul Guenther has most of his spots locked up, he’ll experiment a bit with whom to play with whom and when with an eye to jacking up the pass rush. While the offensive line faces transition early, the Bengals are putting the hat on an experienced but younged-up defense that didn't allow 20 points in six of the last seven games.

Healthy A.J. Green ready for Cincinnati Bengals' OTAs

The Cincinnati Bengals will begin the third phase of their offseason program Tuesday, holding their first practices since the 2016 season concluded. How does the team look now after months of reshaping the roster?

5 storylines to watch during Cincinnati Bengals OTAs

The Cincinnati Bengals move into the third phase of the voluntary offseason workout program this week with the start of Organized Team Activities. The first of 10 allowed OTA practices will be Tuesday, which will be one of three open to the media, along with May 30 and June 6. The Bengals also will practice May 31, June 1 and June 7-9. All practices, which are closed to the public, are voluntary. The only mandatory session prior to training camp will the June 13-15 minicamp.

Cincinnati Bengals radio analyst on Joe Mixon: Team 'did extensive research on him' before NFL Draft

SB Nation's Rebecca Toback reports that Cincinnati Bengals radio analyst Dave Lapham said "the team did their due diligence and beyond on the second round pick in deciding whether to draft him." “They did extensive research on him," Lapham said, according to Toback. "That means coaches, teammates, students in the student body, trainers, equipment guys, professors, and found out about him and also brought him to Cincinnati to vet him even further.

Bengals to find out what they have in QB Jeff Driskel

The Cincinnati Bengals’ first organized team activity begins Tuesday on the practice fields adjacent to Paul Brown Stadium, and while the bulk of what will eventually be the 53-man roster in September is largely known there are always opportunities for new faces to earn their way onto the team or the practice squad.

Bengals' Andy Dalton gets respect where it counts

As the 2017 season slowly starts to ramp up, the Bengals are still in a holding pattern. When it comes to no love given, this could be the worst year in a long time. Due to the poor showing of a losing season, analysts are afraid to go all in and say the Bengals will have a long year. But, the negativity is never-ending. Andy Dalton is no stranger to the hard backhand of the media. Once again, his signal calling pedigree has been put on the front burner.

AFC North Bytes

Matt Elam Arrested on Grand Theft, Battery Charges

Authorities in Florida arrested free-agent NFL safety Matt Elam on charges of grand theft and battery, TMZ Sports reported Monday. It's Elam's second arrest in the space of three months after police in Miami pulled him over and searched his vehicle in February. According to's Jamison Hensley, officers found 126.2 grams of marijuana and six oxycodone pills in that incident.

Pittsburgh Steelers Veterans in Danger of Losing Roster Spot This Offseason

The Pittsburgh Steelers' current roster is 90 players deep, though once the first week of the 2017 NFL season rolls around, it will be reduced to 53 players (plus a practice squad). Not everyone currently wearing black and gold will be doing so come September.

Browns owner “highly confident” the turnaround starts now

The Browns have been rebuilding since the moment they were rebuilt in Cleveland, but owner Jimmy Haslam thinks this time, for real, the winning is about to begin.

Random Bytes

NFL Records That Could Fall During the 2017 Season

Every NFL season, dozens of big or small records are pursued by dozens of individuals and teams. And every year, most of those players and squads fall short. That'll certainly be the case again in 2017, but some records appear to be more ripe for picking than others. Here are 10 high-profile records that could fall in the fall, or soon thereafter.

A HOFer in Hiding? Jags WR Allen Robinson Determined to Rise Above the Losses

The shredded 6'3", 218-pounder in a 2XL Mike Bibby throwback cannot catch a break. The harder he tries, the uglier it gets. It was his idea to golf. Why exactly is unknown. At the extravagant Topgolf driving range, Allen Robinson lines up his feet, adjusts his grip, switches up clubs and keeps his eye on the ball, only to whiff and slice and hook and hack away.

Odell Beckham Jr. Reportedly Skips Day 1 of Giants OTAs

The New York Giants held their first organized team activity of the offseason Monday, but star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was reportedly not in attendance. Dan Duggan of reported the news, citing "a person familiar with the situation."

Josh Norman one spot ahead of Dez Bryant in latest Top 100

We're back with more Top 100 ranking releases, and fans of the pewter pirates will be happy with the arrival of two of their stars. A certain Colts quarterback is back from the bottom of the rankings, and new arrivals of young and old dot this group of players, including a defensive end whose inclusion was long overdue. The most intrigue lies at the bottom, though, with a corner and receiver who had a memorable Thanksgiving meeting. One sees a massive drop, while the other is just minor, but are they warranted?