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Bengals Bytes (6/13): Need for speed

The Bengals worked to improve the team’s athleticism all offseason, and it will be on display during mandatory minicamp. The Ravens signed wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. Will Carson Palmer make it into the Hall of Fame?

SiriusXM At The 2017 NFL Draft Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for SiriusXM

NFL's fastest team? Speed mandatory at this camp
The Bengals open their three-day mandatory minicamp on the Paul Brown Stadium field Tuesday and with apologies to the Greatest Show on Turf Rams of the early 21st century, Cincinnati just may be home of the NFL’s Fleetest Fleet on Foot. Don’t blink or you’ll miss their last work on the field until the start of training camp late next month.

Hobson's Choice: roster jousts
’m not sure there are going to be out-and-out challenges for starting jobs in camp because when you look at it the 24 guys are pretty entrenched. Except, of course, at kicker, where rookie Jake Elliott figures to have the edge simply because they spent a fifth-round pick on him. And at nose tackle, where last year’s rookie who was hurt, Andrew Billings, figures to get the Opening Day start. I think, too, that sophomore Nick Vigil gets an Opening Day start at SAM linebacker.

How far do the Bengals have to go for Lewis to keep his job?
It’s been 14 years since Marvin Lewis became the head coach of the Bengals. Since then, Lewis has had numerous winning seasons but no playoff wins to show for it. If 2017 doesn’t go better for the Bengals than the sub-par 2016 campaign, Lewis could be out as head coach in Cincinnati. Maintaining a job in the NFL can be dependent on just one win or loss. So how far do the Bengals have to get this year for Lewis to continue as head coach?

Giovani Bernard may not be ready for Week One
The Bengals drafted running back Joe Mixon in the second round of this year’s draft in a move that’s sure to impact Giovani Bernard’s role on the team moving forward. Bernard is going to have to get healthy enough to start playing in games before we’ll find out how much that role will change, however. Bernard tore his ACL last season and has not yet been cleared for a full return to football activities.

Can Bengals' Tyler Eifert prove his worth in 2017?
When the Bengals were in the red zone, during the 2016 season, it was always a gamble as to whether they would score a touchdown. Part of that may have been due to the schemes of new OC Ken Zampese. But, the overwhelming culprit was the tight end position. With Tyler Eifert sidelined for half the year, it was interesting to see the Bengals’ offense struggle. If there are going to be significant strides made for 2017, Eifert has to be in the lineup.

AFC North Bytes

Jeremy Maclin, Ravens Agree on 2-Year Contract After Chiefs Release
The Baltimore Ravens and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin reached an agreement Monday on a two-year contract following his release by the Kansas City Chiefs. The team announced the deal after Ian Rapoport of NFL Network first reported details of the free-agent signing. Josina Anderson of ESPN reported Maclin's choice came down to the Ravens or his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Browns are winning the offseason, whatever that's worth
From the draft through free agency through even a what-the-heck trade, the Cleveland Browns continue to refresh and rebuild their 1-15 roster. On our Takes By The Lake podcast, that has Doug Lesmerises encouraged about the future of football in Cleveland and Zack Meisel wondering why we have to talk NFL in June at all. Take a listen to episode 39 of our all-sports cleveland.com podcast, as we focus on football for the first time in a while, and things like the recent deal with the New York Jets that landed safety Calvin Pryor.

Steelers WR Sammie Coates: Injury took mental toll in 2016
Coates was already up to 19 receptions for 421 yards and 2 touchdowns just six weeks into his second NFL season, giving the Steelers offense a legitimate deep threat in the process. Then disaster struck in the form of a fractured index finger on his left hand, and despite missing only two games as a result, Coates managed just 4 more receptions for 48 yards the rest of the way, including playoffs.

Random Bytes

Arizona Cardinals: Carson Palmer a Hall of Fame quarterback?
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians stated he thinks quarterback Carson Palmer is a Super Bowl ring away from Hall of Fame consideration. Palmer has had a career of peaks and valleys during his 14 seasons in the NFL. He was thought of as a top five quarterback early in his career with the Cincinnati Bengals and made the Pro Bowl twice in his first four seasons.

Eric Decker Released by Jets After Trade Rumors
The New York Jets released wide receiver Eric Decker on Tuesday amid a continued overhaul of the franchise's roster. After confirming the move, the Jets shared a statement from team owner Woody Johnson

Eddie Lacy Reportedly Passes Seahawks Weigh-In, Earns Contract Bonus
Seattle Seahawks running back Eddie Lacy came in below a 250-pound weight limit set by the team Monday, which should allow him to collect a $55,000 bonus check. Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reported the news. Lacy, 27, is 2-for-2 in passing contractually obligated weigh-ins that were put into his one-year contract with the Seahawks. He weighed in at 253 pounds on May 15 against a 255-pound weight limit, and the team has five more weigh-ins scheduled.

NFL Nostaligia: Ranking the Best Coaches in NFL History
There are other factors, like winning with multiple teams or across eras with different supporting casts. As we climb the list, we will go from coaches who were the right man for the right team in the right era to individuals who changed the way we think and talk about football, sports and management, if not life itself.