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Bengals Bytes (6/3): Leveling up

George Iloka wants to cause more turnovers this season. Dennis Pitta’s career could be in jeopardy after re-injuring his hip. Ray Rice takes an assistant coaching job at his high school.

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NFL: Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Which Team has the Best WR Duo Heading into the 2017 Season?
The Good Morning Football crew debates which wide receiver tandem is the best heading into the 2017 Season. Could it be the Bengals' duo of A.J. Green and John Ross?

Bengals Sign Second-Round Pick Joe Mixon
Mixon (6-1, 228) played in 25 games with nine starts in two seasons for Oklahoma and posted career rushing totals of 300 carries, 2027 yards and 17 TDs. He ranks third in Sooners history in career receiving yards by a running back (894) and fourth in career receptions by a running back (65). In 12 games in 2016 alone, Mixon rushed for 1274 yards and 10 TDs on 187 carries and had 37 catches for 538 yards and another five TDs. He ranked second nationally in all-purpose yards last season, setting single-season school records for all-purpose yards (2331) and all-purpose yards per game (194.3) along the way, and he was named First-Team All-Big 12 by conference coaches.

The General in stripes
He may get that calm letter-of-the-law knowledge of the playbook from his father, a corrections officer for the state of Texas. And he may have got the strength to play 16 games despite an AC joint injury that required shoulder surgery this offseason from his mother, a Houston pediatric nurse that can still carry him on her back if asked. But one thing is for sure. George Iloka believes, “Everything I am comes from my parents. Both of them.”

Bengals can't hide from Joe Mixon pick now — and they shouldn't
The Bengals drafted Joe Mixon. They just signed him to his rookie NFL contract. Although the backlash over the controversial rookie running back has just begun, there's only way for the Bengals to tone it down: Don't shy away from it. So far, thanks to TMZ, Mixon's most public appearance of his first offseason in Cincinnati has been at a Future concert with current teammate Adam Jones.

Bengals notes: Iloka wants to level up; Billings' time is coming
Over the first four years of his career in the Cincinnati Bengals’ secondary, George Iloka was the safety considered the “thumper,” the “strong” to Reggie Nelson’s role as the “free" roamer who seemingly made a living intercepting Ben Roethlisberger and collecting errant passes dozens of yards downfield.

Cincinnati Bengals looking for more than a playoff win
It can get really easy to fall into that mediocre rut. Actually, it’s not even about the playing. The Bengals have proven they can ball with the best of the NFL, on a good day. Unfortunately, the 2016 season was not only bad, it was a nightmare. After teasing fans with an almost W in the Wild Card round, it was more heartache and wishful thinking. But, this new edition of the Bengals is looking for something more.

AFC North Bytes

Landing Calvin Pryor won't lead Browns to immediate shift to 4-2-5
The Cleveland Browns made a trade on Thursday that could give defensive coordinator Gregg Williams some options -- but don't expect it to lead to an immediate focus on a 4-2-5 alignment. On the surface, the Demario Davis-for-Calvin Pryor trade adds depth to a position of need at safety but leaves the Browns one player short of a starting unit at linebacker.

Senquez Golson: 'I'm Ready To Make Some Tackles'
We haven’t heard a whole lot from Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Senquez Golson since last season. He did speak to reporters a bit earlier in OTAs, during which he talked about the fact that he wasn’t ready to return last season, and he only started feeling better when he had screws taken out of his foot after the Super Bowl.

Ravens TE Pitta injures hip again; status for 2017 uncertain
Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta has reinjured the same troublesome right hip that already has been surgically repaired twice. The injury occurred during an offseason practice session Friday. Each time Pitta hurt the hip previously, the injury was serious enough to be considered career-ending.

Random Bytes

Ray Rice takes assistant coaching job at his high school
Former Ravens running back Ray Rice has spoken to younger players about the domestic violence incident that ended his playing career and now he'll be working with them on the field as well.

NFLPA wants to include players' families in weed policy proposal to league
The NFL Players Association is looking beyond its immediate membership in shaping a proposal to revamp the league’s marijuana ban. As part of its upcoming effort to sway the NFL to make more changes to its substances-of-abuse policy, union executive George Atallah said the NFLPA wants to work with spouses and other family members of players to insure marijuana would be used properly for pain management.

2018 College Football Hall of Fame Ballot Released
The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today the names on the 2018 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, including 75 players and six coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 98 players and 31 coaches from the divisional ranks.

Best NFL draft picks of the century: Top selections from LSU
Not surprisingly, a pair of defensive backs are represented among the top five draft picks of the century from LSU. College Football 24/7 looks at the Tigers' top picks since 2000.