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Bengals Bytes (6/12): Potential snags

What could hold the Bengals back in 2017? Colin Cowherd gives terrible advice to next year’s quarterback prospects. A look at ESPN’s courting of Paul Pierce.

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

3 Potential snags in Cincinnati Bengals' playoff run
With training camp on the horizon, thoughts are turning to the inevitable. It’s all about how the Bengals will get back to the postseason and do some damage in the playoffs. The wonderful thing about this time of year is the potential for every team to advance to the Big Dance. But, there are always a few snags that make the road a bit harder than expected. The Bengals have the weapons they need to make it to Super Bowl LII. But, there has to a concentrated effort by all hands involved.

Former Georgia star A.J. Green making an impact with his community football camp
A.J. Green is one of the many professional athletes who view their public status as an opportunity to impact their community. The former Georgia receiver is now one of the NFL’s biggest stars, and he is putting that reputation to good use. Green held his fifth annual “A.J. Green Camp” over the weekend for 300 kids from the Cincinnati area. His camp provides kids with the ability to participate in something that is often unaffordable for many of those invited.

Bengals draft pick John Ross talks about writing
What does Bengals first-round draft pick John Ross do during his free time?

Projecting Joe Mixon as a Pro Bowler
Coach Marvin Lewis often slow-cooks his rookies, but Mixon is ticketed for major snaps right away. A three-down back with fascinating run and pass-catching ability, the second-round pick is already drawing praise from quarterback Andy Dalton for his versatility and fluid fit in the offense. Mixon's off-the-field history is concerning, but the Bengals felt comfortable enough to take him on. With phenomenal size, speed and footwork, the former Sooner led one scout to say, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "He's Adrian Peterson who returns kicks. Great receiver, not a good receiver. He can line up wide or as a slot. He's a bigger, better Ezekiel Elliott. He can do more." If so, securing a Pro Bowl berth won't be an issue.

Cincinnati Bengals Early Game-by-Game Win Loss Predictions: 2017
The Cincinnati Bengals are primed for a big 2017 season. Between their talented starters, rookies who will be exciting to watch, and wanting to make amends for last year, there are lots of reasons for every Bengals fan to get excited. Especially us.

Are the Jets tanking the 2017 season? Definitely, and it’s the right thing to do; Bengals don't protect themselves like Chiefs did
When the Chiefs drafted Tyreek Hill last year, a controversial player due to a domestic violence incident in college, they found a way to protect their interests and make Hill earn his contract. Instead of giving him his full $218,720 guarantee in the form of a signing bonus, they only gave him $70,000 up front, and are making him earn the rest in per-game roster bonuses. Hill doesn’t earn that money unless he’s on the 46-man roster each week, meaning he has to stay healthy and out of trouble.

AFC North Bytes

Colin Cowherd gives worst possible advice to next year’s QB prospects
Last week, FS1’s Colin Cowherd sounded off on the New York Jets’ tanking strategy and how it could relate to the top two quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft. He also decided to dump the Cleveland Browns into the mix, saying that if both clubs own the top two picks next year, then both Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold should stay in school another year:

Unique Steelers statistics which could be telling in the 2017 season
The off-season is interminable. Thank God for Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and the Penguins’ run for a second-consecutive Stanley Cup, or I’d be in a coma due to QPSW — Quality Pittsburgh Sports Withdrawal. Let’s not speak of this year’s Pirates, okay?

Nick Boyle sleeper pick to fill Dennis Pitta void for Baltimore Ravens
There's no question that tight end Nick Boyle is replacing Dennis Pitta for the Baltimore Ravens at the upcoming mandatory minicamp. That's by default. Boyle is the only healthy, experienced tight end on the Ravens' roster right now.

Random Bytes

Going gray: Sports TV viewers skew older - SportsBusiness Daily
According to a striking study of Nielsen television viewership data of 25 sports, all but one have seen the median age of their TV viewers increase during the past decade. The study, conducted exclusively for SportsBusiness Journal by Magna Global, looked at live, regular-season game coverage of major sports across both broadcast and cable television in 2000, 2006 and 2016. It showed that while the median age of viewers of most sports, except the WTA, NBA and MLS, is aging faster than the overall U.S. population, it is doing so at a slower pace than prime-time TV.

Mitch Albom shares Chika's story: A fight to cure the incurable
They didn’t look alike, talk alike, or come from the same world. Then they were together, fighting the fight of their lives. "Chika," someone asks, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" “Big,” she says.

Media Circus: Inside ESPN's long pursuit of Paul Pierce
This week's Media Circus provides the inside story of Paul Pierce joining ESPN's NBA Countdown and explores the rest of the week in sports media.

Melvin Ingram, Chargers Agree on 4-Year Contract Extension
The Los Angeles Chargers announced Sunday they reached a deal with Melvin Ingram on a four-year contract extension. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the contract is worth $66 million over four years with $42 million guaranteed. Fox Sports' Cameron DaSilva and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport put the financial details in perspective