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Bengals Bytes (7/27): Ready for stardom

Jordan Willis could be poised to show his talent early and often this season. Joe Flacco will miss the start of training camp with a back injury. Dhani Jones’ show will be returning to CNBC in October.

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NFL Combine - Day 5 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Jordan Willis Ready to be Defensive Star for Bengals
The 73rd-overall pick in the 2017 Draft and third pick for the Cincinnati Bengals pick is defensive end Jordan Willis out of Kansas State. Currently the Bengals have two serviceable starters at defensive end in Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson. While Dunlap has his spot locked down on the left side (where Willis spent most of his time at Kansas State), Johnson seems to have lost a step since returning from Tampa Bay during that one-year stint away from the Bengals.

Where was this Mohamed Sanu when he was with the Bengals?
With A.J. Green entrenched as one of the NFL’s best at his position and promising newcomers John Ross and Josh Malone on board, the Bengals feel pretty good about themselves at the wide receiver position, but that doesn’t erase the temptation to look at one who got away.

Doc: Costas clarifies Bengals 'halfway house' comments
Bob Costas wasn’t unduly criticizing the Bengals last weekend when he said to CNN’s Michael Smerconish that the Bengals “at various times seem to have been running a halfway house for miscreants." Did he really say that? Sure did. And if you really believe it came without context or was yet another national media darling taking yet another gratuitous shot at The Men, then go ahead and hang him from the highest window at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

Doc: Bengals' Marvin Lewis on hot seat?
The mock turtle soup didn’t disappoint. I took one spoonful, got vaccinated an hour later and feel fine today. It’s just one of many endearing things about the Bengals annual media mash right before the start of training camp. You don’t often get a full notebook from the day, unless platitudes and sunshine are your thing. (Frequent perusers of This Space might know that as much as I like sun and warmth, my personality might or might not always reflect that sentiment.)

Who Dey notes: Bengals' Cedric Ogbuehi, backfield of dreams
Bengals training camp is just a few heartbeats away. The seething issue–that keeps boiling out of the pot–is the status of the O-line. But, for a few moments, let’s pretend that issue doesn’t exist. In fact, let’s just meditate and concentrate on the positivity that comes from OC Ken Zampese. His thoughts on Cedric Ogbuehi are encouraging. Actually, his wisdom comes at a time when most Bengals fans need to hear something good about the offensive line.

Bengals rookie John Ross still weeks away from debut
John Ross broke the NFL Scouting Combine 40-yard dash record this spring, laying down a blazing 4.22-second time. But he hasn’t done anything since, and won’t when the Bengals open training camp.

AFC North Bytes

2017 Offseason Questions: Will Le'Veon Bell Report Today With His Teammates?
The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss. And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.

Browns' Myles Garrett reportedly 'ready to go' after injury
The Browns got a scare when Myles Garrett suffered a foot injury in June, but the No. 1 overall pick is reportedly ready to go, according to head coach Hue Jackson. Garrett suffered the injury during Browns mini-camp on June 20 and has since been rehabbing to bounce back and get ready to participate in the preseason, which starts Aug. 10 at 8 p.m. ET when the Browns take on the Saints.

Joe Flacco Reportedly to Miss 3-6 Weeks with Back Injury
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco will reportedly miss the start of training camp because of a disc issue in his back. On Wednesday, Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported he is out "at least a week or two" and is preparing to miss as many as three to six weeks.

Random Bytes

Season two of CNBC's 'Adventure Capitalists' premieres October 10 at 10p ET/PT
CNBC has renewed its original series, "Adventure Capitalists," for a sophomore season. Premiering on Tuesday, October 10 at 10PM ET/PT, the six-episode season welcomes new investor, American gymnast and Olympic gold medalist, Shawn Johnson East, who will join returning investors Dhani Jones, former NFL linebacker, and Jeremy Bloom, former world-champion freestyle skier and the first athlete to ski in the Olympics and also to be drafted in the NFL. "Adventure Capitalists" is produced by 3 Ball Entertainment.

Why old-school 'super-scout' GMs are an endangered species in the NFL
It's a tough time to be a general manager in the NFL. Doesn't matter what time of year it is or how close you might be to vacation, or even the start of training camp. GMs are suddenly imperiled around the league, with owners willing to fire them no matter how unusual or unconventional the timing and no matter how much recent success they might have enjoyed. It has long been said that the NFL is a bottom line business, but even more than that, most recently, I would posit that another football cliche is even more applicable.

Rookie ratings for 'Madden NFL 18' released; Myles Garrett, O.J. Howard lead the way
Ratings reveals for the upcoming "Madden NFL 18" release are highly anticipated, and on Wednesday, EA Sports began the rollout by providing the ratings for those who were selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.