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Bengals Bytes (7/11): Quick starts and HOF’ers

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Remembering the greatness of Dan Ross, why the Bengals need a quick start, who’s the best offseason addition to the AFC North and 2017 NFL playoff opinions.

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Cincinnati Bengals tight end Dan Ross (89) catches one of his then-record 11 receptions during Super Bowl XVI, a 26-21 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on January 24, 1982, at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. January 24, 1982
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Bengals Bytes:

Bengals 50: Dan Ross, setting a new tone for tight ends
Dan Ross was one of the greatest to ever don Bengal stripes. He and Ken Anderson would go on to become a prolific duo that helped the Bengals reach their first Super Bowl. To this day, many consider Ross to be the greatest tight end to ever play for the Bengals.

Cincinnati Bengals can't afford another slow start to season
This is the year that it has to happen. The Cincinnati Bengals have teased fans with draft choices and free agent acquisitions. Now, it’s time to put the pieces together and make some magic happen. If you’re thinking you’ve heard this fairy tale before, you have. Being a believer of the Orange & Black is a constant trip down the rabbit hole. But, this is truly a pivotal year for the Bengals. Another slow start could mean disaster.

Bengals 50: Anthony Muñoz, an all-time great and the lone HOFer
Only one player who spent the majority of his career in Cincinnati can claim the title Hall of Famer. His name is Anthony Muñoz. Not only did he play left tackle on two Super Bowl teams, he's arguably the greatest left tackle ever.

Bengals’ Shawn Williams on the rise
The 6-foot, 210-pounder from the University of Georgia is quite a presence in the middle of the Cincinnati defense, a hard-hitting ball hawk whom Pro Football Focus considered one of the game’s up-and-comers.

Bengals 50: Dave Lapham, from Super Bowls to the booth
Outside of the Brown family, nobody can claim a closer connection to the Bengals for a longer period of time than Dave Lapham. Lapham was drafted by the club in 1974 and played all 10 years of his NFL career as an offensive guard in Cincinnati, before a brief stint with the New Jersey Generals in the USFL.

Bengals 50: Boomer Esiason, the gunslinger who changed Bengals football
Norman "Boomer" Esiason's career in Cincinnati began in anger when he slid to No. 38 overall in the 1984 NFL Draft. "I called Boomer right before we were ready and our turn was coming up and I said 'you didn't get arrested for stealing hubcaps last night or were you in a car wreck or something? Why are you still on the board?' Boy he was not happy about it," Bengals head coach Sam Wyche said. "He said 'I don't know but whoever gets me is going to get the steal of the draft because I'm going to be the best quarterback.' He was determined. He was going to prove everybody was making a mistake. Which he did."

AFC North Bytes:

AFC North Q&A: Who is the best newcomer to this division? - ESPN
Jeremy Maclin is poised to make a big impact in Baltimore, but most of ESPN's reporters expect the No. 1 pick to be the top newcomer in 2017. However, don't sleep on John Ross.

Baltimore Ravens excited for Breshad Perriman
With veteran receiver’s Steve Smith Sr. and Mike Wallace guiding him, Breshad Perriman has worked day in and day out, fighting to break through.

'State of the Union' theme headlines NFL business retreat in Miami
The three-day event provides NFL players with tips on how to handle life after football, and face time with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith. About 30 NFL players -- Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell -- took part in the three-day retreat, which was held in Miami Beach for the third consecutive year.

Jabrill Peppers' guaranteed money is holding up Browns rookie contract
The holdup with Jabrill Peppers signing his rookie contract with the Browns is guaranteed money, a league source confirmed for cleveland.com.

Random Bytes:

5 most memorable and distracting NFL holdouts of last decade
From Joey Bosa to everyone's favorite QB bust, here's the list of infamous summer boycotts. Thankfully, the Bengals have been able to avoid this with star players like A.J. Green, Vontaze Burfict and Geno Atkins when they got their big extensions.

Players invest in 12-year-old girl's lemonade company
Former Texans running back Arian Foster and Lions safety Glover Quin are among a group of current and ex-NFL players who have invested in a 12-year-old girl's lemonade company.

Tajae Sharpe, Sebastian Tretola of Titans claim self defense in countersuit
Two Titans players, accused of assaulting a man outside a bar on the first night of the NFL draft, filed a countersuit Friday and say they acted in self-defense.

5 teams who will make NFL playoffs after missing out last year
Chargers, Panthers headline teams capable of making the jump to playoffs in 2017, but the Bengals don't get any love.

J.J. Watt, Von Miller among top pass rushers I've scouted
Watt. Ware. Peppers. Bucky Brooks has seen some of the NFL's greatest pass rushers during his nearly two decades in scouting. See how he ranks the top 10 he's evaluated.

More Than 30 Hours of SEC Football Media Days Coverage
SEC Network airs more than 30 hours from SEC Football Media Days from now until Thursday, July 13, as we inch closer towards the 2017 college football season. As Steve Spurrier once called it, talking season is in full swing.

Sammy Watkins hopes for bigger paydays in wake of mammoth NBA contracts
Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins is promoting for him and fellow NFL players to get paid like NBA stars. There’s no question NFL players should be getting more pay than NBA players, at least in terms of guaranteed money.

Star or system guy? Judging Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott, more
Dak Prescott earned Offensive Rookie of the Year honors last season, while Ezekiel Elliott led the NFL in rushing -- but Bucky Brooks says only one of these Cowboys is a true star.