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Bengals Bytes (6/22): Picking up

C.J. Uzomah looks to turn a strong finish to last season into a great 2017. Do the Browns have the solution to their receiver problem already on their roster? Where does each head coach rank in the NFL?

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Uzomah Looks To Pick Up Where He Left Off
The Bengals’ 2017 season doesn’t begin until September 10th, but don’t tell that to tight end C.J. Uzomah. On New Year’s Day, he got the calendar year off to a flying start when he caught his first career touchdown pass in a season-ending win over Baltimore. “It was something that I was hoping to get out of the way earlier but I was elated to end the season with a touchdown catch and a victory,” said Uzomah. “I felt like that was an unbelievable way to start the year. We come back knowing that we won our first game of 2017.”

Peter King argues for Ken Riley's Hall of Fame consideration
Former Cincinnati Bengals great Ken Riley deserves Pro Football Hall of Fame consideration,'s Peter King explains in his most recent MMQB Mailbag. Asked by Mike S. of Cincinnati why Riley has been overlooked, here is King's response

Is Vontaze Burffict the NFL's Most Overhyped Star?
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is counted among the NFL's most intense individuals. Others will argue he's among the league's dirtiest. Either way, his appearance on this list is dictated by three factors: availability, lack of athleticism and poor coverage skills.

5 Toughest Games for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2017
Just like any Cincinnati Bengals fans, Nate and Chris are growing more excited about the 2017 season each day. It’s a chance to atone for last year’s 6-9-1 faceplant and advance to the postseason for the seventh time in 9 years.

AFC North Bytes

Baltimore Ravens hang piece of football philosophy from goal posts
When the Baltimore Ravens took the field this offseason, they were met with a piece of football philosophy from a close friend of the Harbaugh family.

Improved Ricardo Louis could fill Cleveland Browns' need at receiver
Ricardo Louis is a name to remember as the Cleveland Browns search for offensive impact players, especially at receiver. Entering his second season, Louis looked, talked and acted like a different player during offseason workouts. To say he was more confident is an understatement.

Asked and Answered: June 22
Heading into training camp, I see the depth chart at tight end being fairly clear-cut: Jesse James, Xavier Grimble, David Johnson, and then the undrafted rookies who will be attempting to crack the top three or convince the coaches to keep a fourth. James has improved over each of his seasons in the NFL, and he presents himself as a competent player at his position, certainly a guy deserving of a roster spot and a prime role on the 2017 Steelers. But don’t fall asleep on Grimble.

Random Bytes

Bill Belichick tops 2017 NFL head coach power rankings
One head coach made going for it on fourth down no big deal. Another moved his chess pieces around so much he had a wideout masquerading as an RB1. And one of these guys decided to go for the touchdown in overtime of the biggest game of the year. There can be no underestimating the effect coaches have on NFL games, as Jack Del Rio, Mike McCarthy and Bill Belichick displayed prominently last year. If the latter is the top of the ladder among the front men, who's next?

David Harris Reportedly Signs 2-Year Patriots Contract After 10 Years with Jets
Veteran linebacker David Harris has found a new home after agreeing to a two-year contract Wednesday with the New England Patriots. Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported details of Harris' new deal. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network confirmed the signing. Rapoport later added the deal has a base value of $5 million with $1.25 million guaranteed and can reach a total value of $6.75 million.

Derek Carr, Raiders Reportedly 'Close' to Finalizing New Contract
The Oakland Raiders and quarterback Derek Carr are nearing an agreement on an extension that would pay him about $25 million a year, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Wednesday. According to Schefter, the contract could be completed by the end of the week. The San Francisco Chronicle's Vic Tafur reported both the Raiders and Carr are eager to get the deal completed.

Matt Miller's Scouting Notebook: Survey Says Julio Jones Is NFL's Best Receiver
In this era of "embrace debate," it's hard to find any consensus in sports. Ask analysts or fans who the best quarterback in the league is and you won't get 100 percent of the crowd saying Tom Brady. The same goes for running back, shared in last week's article, where the NFL scouts and executives polled almost all voted for Le'Veon Bell as the league's best back.