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Bengals Bytes (7/20): Paving the way

Willie Anderson is paving the way for the next generation of offensive linemen. Le’Veon Bell talks about his value. Regrading 2016 free agency moves.

Cincinnati Bengals v Miami Dolphins Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

Michael Johnson returns for annual Family Fun Day
For the sixth year in a row, Dallas County alumni and defensive end for the Cincinnati Bengals Michael Johnson will host the MJ 93-90 Family Fun Day in Selma before he begins his ninth season in the NFL.

Bengals First 50 Countdown: 20-11
The Bengals First 50 recognizes the top 50 retired Bengals players as voted on by fans and media. More than 160,000 fan votes were cast, which accounted for 50 percent of the results. The other 50 percent was determined by 24 members of the media who have covered or currently cover the team. The final list features the top 50 retired players who received the most votes, rather than a predetermined number of players at each position.

Bengals Unveil 50th Season Sculptures
As part of the Bengals 50th Season celebration, three-dimensional sculptures featuring the 50th Season logo will be placed throughout the Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton areas. Each sculpture is approximately eight feet wide, five feet tall and weighs more than 1000 pounds. Fans are encouraged to visit all locations and post pictures using the hashtag #Bengals50 for a chance to win prizes and be featured in photo galleries on and Bengals social media.

Willie still paving the way
Willie Anderson kicks off this training session slipping out of those seemingly weightless size 18 triple Es that put him on the doorstep of Canton and shows the kids what the veteran Joe Walter told him all those years ago in his Bengals rookie season of 1996. “So I can show them what my feet are doing,” Anderson says of this NFL version of Shoeless Joe. “Coaches always tell guys to put their feet a certain way. But I found out its easier when kids look at your feet they can see what your feet are actually doing. When I say, ‘Grab the ground,’ they see my toes actually gripping the ground.

With no new contract in sight, is Bengals' Marvin Lewis a 'lame duck'?
It looks like the Cincinnati Bengals and coach Marvin Lewis are content to ride out the final season of Lewis' contract with no new extension. If no last-minute contract materializes, will Lewis land in "lame duck" territory?

See who missed, made the cut for Cincinnati Bengals' First 50
Fans and media who voted for the Bengals’ Top 50 retired players might have some explaining to do. At least one of the franchise’s top names – and a few All-Pros – won’t be on the list after the club announces the Top 10 Thursday morning.

Jeremy Hill on Joe Mixon: 'You don’t take a running back in the second round and put him on the shelf'
Like former Oklahoma Sooners running back Joe Mixon, Jeremy Hill was once a second-round NFL Draft pick. SB Nation's Jason Marcum reports that in an interview with SiriusXM, Hill discussed the Cincinnati Bengals’ backfield and how Mixon figures into it. “You know you don’t take a running back in the second round and put him on the shelf,” said Hill, according to Marcum. “Obviously Joe is gonna get his carries, and they extended Gio (Giovani Bernard), so he’s gonna obviously get his play too."

AFC North Bytes

Pittsburgh Steelers: Over/Under Predictions for 2017 Season
There are many ways to make predictions about an NFL team's upcoming season, but few are more fun than setting a few over/under lines and determining whether the team or a specific will reach those goals. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, there are numerous categories that can be dived into using this approach.

Brandon Williams: Ravens defense is amazing
Defensive tackle Brandon Williams signed a lucrative extension with the Ravens this offseason and he believes that staying in Baltimore gives him the chance to be something special. Williams’ return was one of several moves that Baltimore made on the defensive side of the ball this offseason.

Cleveland Browns’ Garrett popular among jersey sales
Browns No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett hasn’t recorded a sack yet on the field, but he’s proving to be a hit off it already. Dick’s Sporting Goods released a report on sales of NFL player jerseys in its stores nationwide this past week, and Garrett ranks second among rookies and 24th overall. Two longtime Browns also made the list, with cornerback Joe Haden 20th overall and fourth among defensive players and left tackle Joe Thomas 58th overall, a 19-spot improvement from this time last season.

Le'Veon Bell of Pittsburgh Steelers -- Value goes beyond rushing production
Le'Veon Bell wants to reset the running back market, without the running back label. Bell believes his worth comes from receiving and rushing, which helps explain why he's playing under the Pittsburgh Steelers' $12.12 million franchise tag in 2017 instead of a long-term deal.

Random Bytes

Tommy Tuberville joins ESPN as college football game analyst
Tommy Tuberville is headed to television. The former Auburn coach is joining ESPN as a game analyst for the upcoming college football season, the network announced Wednesday.

Conflicting Reports Surround Mike Williams' Need for Season-Ending Back Surgery

There are conflicting reports on whether Los Angeles Chargers rookie wide receiver Mike Williams needs back surgery that would cause him to miss his entire first season in the NFL. On Wednesday, Adam Schefter of noted the Chargers remain hopeful a second epidural on a herniated disk will help rectify the problem and allow Williams to return during training camp. But Schefter reported the team understands there's a "real chance" he could be forced to sit out his rookie campaign.

Regrading Biggest Free-Agent NFL Moves from the 2016 Offseason
Every March the NFL buries the top free agents in sweet, sweet mostly non-guaranteed money. Then one year later, some of them are already on different rosters, others are trending toward being cut, and there's a strong stench of failure in the air. With some exceptions (looking at you, New York Giants), free agency isn't how a well-managed team solves its problems. No, free agency is how problems are created, and how the Houston Texans came to rely on Brock Osweiler.