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Bengals Bytes (5/30): Breaking the monotony

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How the Bengals can avoid an average season? A way for Cleveland to measure success this season. Kirk Cousins is a huge fan of Terrelle Pryor.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals: Why they aren't an elite franchise

Every franchise desired to be among the NFL’s elite. That’s not a bold statement by any means, but a true one nonetheless. Competing for championships is the undisputed prime objective of every organization in the NFL. So being a team that’s constantly in that mix is obviously in better shape than the ones who flounder opportunities and grasp for a more sporadic level of accomplishment in the hopes of staying relevant.

How the Bengals can avoid another mediocre season

It’s been discussed before. Any self-respecting Bengals fan has engaged in the conversation and felt some kind of way. There was either a lingering feeling of guilt–for entertaining the dialogue–or a feeling of pride. But, the end result was a heart-to-heart about the state of affairs in Bengals Nation. Things aren’t bad. But, things aren’t great either. Hopefully, the draft class of 2017 will be able to turn things around for Cincinnati. It’s not too late. The mediocre rut can be halted.

Cincinnati Bengals: Analyzing the offensive line positions

The offensive line was once the strength of the Cincinnati Bengals. It took a major step back last season however, and could be an even bigger problem in 2017. With the departures of Kevin Zeitler and Andrew Whitworth, the Bengals could be in trouble.

Sports Vault: Cincinnati Bengals' Shula era started strong, but then it was all downhill

It was time for something new. Coming off a 3-13 season in 1991, the Bengals ended their run with Coach Sam Wyche in spectacular fashion, parting ways and going with someone entirely different.

AFC North Bytes

Steelers entering summer with 3 unresolved contract questions

The Pittsburgh Steelers have begun preparations for the season, but a few of their most important players will likely enter the season with intriguing contract situations.

John Harbaugh believes Memorial Day may be most important holiday of year

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh ended his only media session of the week with a speech about Memorial Day. "I told the guys go home and enjoy your families," Harbaugh said. "It may be the most important holiday of the year. Do we all enjoy getting in a car and driving where we want, doing what we want? Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

What's the best way to measure Cleveland Browns' success in 2017?

The Cleveland Browns return for the second week of offseason on-field work with this question yet unanswered: What constitutes a good 2017 season for this team? Expectations for the Browns are again low, with even the most optimistic of forecasters wondering if the Browns will push .500. 
A team that wins one game and follows said 1-15 season with uncertainty at quarterback and receiver and by installing its third defensive system in four seasons has questions to answer. Many of them.

Random Bytes

27 of 32 NFL teams have at least 1 Alabama player on the roster

The 52 former Alabama players on current NFL rosters range in experience from Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Wallace Gilberry to 15 players who have never played in an NFL game.

Colin Kaepernick Interest from Seahawks Reportedly 'Is Real,' No Deal Imminent

The Seattle Seahawks reportedly have "real" interest in signing free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick with OTAs starting Tuesday. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the news Monday but noted there is nothing imminent. Kaepernick and the Seahawks have been connected a number of times this offseason.

Sports World Honors Veterans on 2017 Memorial Day

Memorial Day was observed on Monday in the United States, and athletes across all sports took to social media to honor military veterans. NFL players, including stars like Russell Wilson, DeMarcus Ware and reigning MVP Matt Ryan, plus teams, chimed in

Top 100 Players of 2017, Nos. 41-50: Cam Newton in freefall

What can a Super Bowl hangover do to the ranking of the NFL's top player from the previous year? How about a 40-plus freefall in the Top 100 Players of 2017? Cam Newton fell from No. 1 to No. 44 in this year's rankings. A year after his Panthers flirted with regular-season perfection, steamrolled conference competition and the quarterback took home MVP honors, Carolina fell back to earth rather quickly, and the quarterback's ranking took a hit in the process.

Kirk Cousins on Terrelle Pryor: He's a joy to work with

The early reviews on Terrelle Pryor in Washington D.C.: Overwhelmingly positive. The electric wideout was arguably the biggest prize of the Redskins' offseason. While he was signed to be one of Kirk Cousins' top weapons, it's Pryor's past experience as a quarterback that has allowed him to quickly build rapport with his new signal caller.