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Bengals Bytes (7/22): Bigger than football

Hue Jackson starts his foundation to battle human trafficking. Chad Johnson says he wants to help mentor his impersonator who was jailed. The Uber driver who was attacked by Michael Oher claims to have been bitten in 911 call.

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Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Healthy again, Bengals' William Jackson gives back at camp
Healthy again, Bengals' William Jackson gives back at camp. Jackson was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round last year and is signed to a four-year, $9.705 million contract that included a $5.258 million signing bonus. Jackson demonstrated the fundamentals of football, encouraging the budding young players as they sweated through drills. Unlike some camps run by NFL players, this one was free. Jackson spent his rookie season on injured reserve after suffering a torn pectoral injury during training camp. During his final season for the Cougars, Jackson led the nation with a school-record 23 pass breakups and intercepted five passes. Jackson was drafted 24th overall in the first round after running the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds at the NFL scouting combine. After dealing with the chest injury, Jackson is hoping to be a productive part of the Bengals' defense after training this summer in the Houston heat.

Chad Johnson impersonator jailed; Ocho Cinco may help "mentor”
Maybe we’d all like to be Chad Johnson for a day, but if you were actually going to pretend to be the former Bengals wide receiver, then maybe you should look a little more like him than the guy who got busted for trying to buy more than $18,000 worth of stuff while posing as Johnson.

How the Bengals and a local photographer got involved in O.J. Simpson's trial
Bill Renken's sideline snaps at a 1991 Bengals-Oilers game captured one detail that would become the subject of keen interest in 1995: O.J. Simpson's gloves.

For openers, Jackson, Dennard get a shot
History may repeat itself in the wake of cornerback Adam Jones’ one-game suspension handed down by the NFL Friday. The last Bengals cornerback to make his first start in his first NFL game came nine years ago in the 2007 opener at Paul Brown Stadium against the Ravens when first-rounder Leon Hall got the nod. With Baltimore back here to open the season Sept. 10, William Jackson is going to duel with Darqueze Dennard among others in his bid to repeat Hall’s feat.

Adam Jones of Cincinnati Bengals suspended one game for personal conduct violation
Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones has been suspended for the 2017 season opener for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, the league announced Friday. Jones' suspension stems from his January arrest at a hotel in downtown Cincinnati, where he allegedly pushed a security guard, poked him in the eye and refused to comply with law enforcement officers.

Suspension rare among recent Bengals
As the one-game suspension of cornerback Adam Jones was announced by the NFL on Friday, stemming from his January arrest, the same old narratives about the Bengals came flowing out. The Bengals have too many off-field problems. The Bengals take in too many character issues.

Bengals' 5 camp questions: Who will fall out of favor on the DL
Over the course of the last 10 years, the Bengals made a habit of hitting home runs in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft on their defensive line. In fact, the Bengals have yet to select a defensive lineman in the first round. Yet, Carlos Dunlap (second), Geno Atkins (fourth), Domata Peko (fourth) and Michael Johnson (third) kept breaking on the scene to establish the group as one of the best in football. In recent years, however, the next wave of defensive linemen have failed to make the same type of impact.

Bengals take it in the chops in preseason rankings, but nevermind that
The Bengals have positioned themselves to dismiss what pessimists might think, believing they can make the playoffs after a one-year drought, so Friday’s prediction in the Last Word On Pro Football that they’re just the 19th-best team in the NFL entering the preseason may strike them as bunk. By treasuring the additions of rookies John Ross, Joe Mixon, Jordan Willis and Josh Malone via the draft and figuring that All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Green will stay healthy all season they’ve positioned themselves to feel good.

Bengal bites: Ross the burner coming to training camp near you in one
Plenty has already been said and written about the speed of wide receiver John Ross, and there are suggestions that the Bengals’ first-round draft choice could help the team out in a fashion similar to Andrew Hawkins a few years back. That wouldn’t hurt, but the bet here says that the former University of Washington star will be better by a lot.

AFC North Bytes

Hue Jackson launches foundation to battle human trafficking
Browns coach Hue Jackson and his wife, Michelle, wanted to find their niche in Cleveland and, specifically, a way to serve Northeast Ohio off the football field. So on Thursday night, the Jacksons launched the Hue Jackson Foundation, which will combat human trafficking and give a voice to its victims. “It’s something that me and Michelle talked about at length of what direction to go in,” Hue Jackson said at the team’s Berea headquarters, “and this is where it led our hearts.”

Charlie Batch: Steelers in camp won't show ill will for no-shows
Six years ago, former Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch was a member of the NFL Players Association executive committee when team owners locked out the players and caused a 132-day work stoppage. A new collective bargaining agreement was agreed upon in late July, but Steelers players declined to sign it because they thought it gave too much power to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Can Griff Whalen or Reggie Porter make the Baltimore Ravens 53-man active roster?
In a flurry of transactions on Friday, July 21st, the Baltimore Ravens signed WR Griff Whalen and CB Reggie Porter. The question is, do either of these players have a chance to make the final 53-man roster? Starting with Whalen; he is a scrappy, athletic, fast, play-making WR/ST. If Whalen were to make the roster, it would be as the team’s return man. His impact on the offensive side of the ball would be extremely limited and maybe a touch or two a game if that.

Random Bytes

Smith’s NFL camp explodes in football excitement
Derron Smith’s inaugural Youth Football Camp was taking shape nicely. “Everything went smooth,” said Smith, who played quarterback, safety, returned kicks, punts and maybe even caught a pass, or two, during his Broncos’ playing days.

Le'Veon Bell changing NFL economics? Plus, essential GM traits
In theory, the coaches are suggesting to their players that they can enhance their value to the team by displaying a level of versatility that allows them to fill multiple roles on the roster. While this Swiss Army Knife quality has typically been associated with bubble players in years past, the league's increasing fascination with hybrids has thrust a handful of stars into awkward spots when it comes time to renegotiate their contracts -- particularly when the franchise tag is a viable option for the team.

Uber Driver Says Michael Oher Bit Him, Was Drunk Prior to Arrest in 911 Call
The Uber driver who accused Michael Oher of assault alleged that the former Carolina Panthers left tackle bit him when he was drunk. According to the Tennessean's Natalie Neysa Alund, Uber driver Girma Berkess told 911 dispatchers Oher was "drunk" and "trying to attack him" when he gave him a ride on April 14.