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Bengals Bytes (7/30): Energy

A.J. Green talks about keeping his energy levels up. Deshone Kizer bounces back after an inconsistent start to Browns camp. Plus, a look at some of the top training camp storylines that could shape the NFL season.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Training Camp Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Dre Kirkpatrick's pick-six highlights Cincinnati Bengals practice
His recovery from a fractured hand limits what Dre Kirkpatrick can do at Bengals training camp. But it didn't prevent him from making a play. He couldn't help himself on Saturday.

Camp report: On guard at right
Offensive line coach Paul Alexander wouldn’t say it was in play after Saturday’s second day practice in training camp before 2,100 on the riverfront. But he did say a lot of people are going to get play in different spots this first week.

Early hits: Gio latest in a trend
Giovani Bernard is the buzz early in Bengals training camp. But head trainer Paul Sparling, who has hijacked the killer “Animal House,” line of “Remain calm,” and made it his own, didn’t blink. All the elements were here for a supersonic comeback from an ACL tear, which Bernard pulled off in about eight months with Friday’s dazzling show on the first day of camp.

'We just have to put it all together'
A.J. Green had just started his patented go route Saturday and had kicked into one of those invisible gears that give him a few steps on cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, quite a feat Saturday since Kirkpatrick was an orange-and-black quilt of a blanket. But on this snap Green had so much space he was shrieking back at quarterback Andy Dalton. Yet Dalton had already seen the other wideout running a go, rising sophomore Cody Core, and put it on his No. 16 for a touchdown.

Lewis News Conference Transcript 7/29
“It didn’t surprise me. From the start when he was injured last season, the medical people felt like his return and his surgery and everything should be without complication, and that he would have a good and early result, which is what the doctors felt right away when he was injured. He’s obviously met those expectations. It was important to him to be back and ready to go from the start, and he’s worked his tail off to do that. He’s been very diligent in his rehab all through the process, from the time he was injured and getting the swelling down to before he had the surgery. He’s stayed on schedule and been ahead of the curve.”

Green Energy
Hours before the first practice of his seventh NFL season, A.J. Green was asked, “How do you keep it fun?” “Every time I step on this field it’s an honor,” Green replied. “God blessed me with the talent to play this game so it’s always fun to get back here with the guys. It’s a grind, but it’s fun.” That might be the most perfect A.J. Green quote of all time.

3 observations from Day 2 of Cincinnati Bengals camp
The offensive had its way with the defense for much of Saturday’s practice, with quarterback Andy Dalton repeatedly connecting with Brandon LaFell and A.J. Green all over the field in addition to hitting Cody Core on a deep ball after the second-year receiver got behind Adam Jones. Among the few highlights for the defense were a couple of pass breakups by Dre Kirkpatrick. Then came the final session of 11s, when on the third play Kirkpatrick stepped in front of LaFell for a pick-6 against Dalton.

Bengals add former Florida State standout Kermit Whitfield
Undrafted former Florida State receiver and returner Kermit Whitfield has found an NFL home. Whitfield, who is best remembered for a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown that turned the tide of the 2014 National Championship Game, has signed with the Bengals. The team’s announcement indicates that he will go by his given name, Levonte Whitfield.

Is Cincinnati Bengals' Jeremy Hill lost in the shuffle?
With the start of Bengals training camp, the anticipation of another year has fans hyped. The planning and orchestration of getting back to the playoffs has begun. This season, Bengals fans may even get to see the team move deeper into the postseason. The talent that’s been amassed is incredible. On paper, Cincinnati looks like the bully of the AFC North. But, as praises go out to players, there seems to be one name seldom mentioned. If you think hard enough, it’s easy to figure out the missing link. LSU product Jeremy Hill hasn’t been in the conversation of coaches.

AFC North Bytes

Ravens' Crockett Gillmore, Maurice Canady dealing with potentially significant knee injuries
The Ravens’ nightmare start to training camp continued Saturday when the team learned that two players expected to play key roles in 2017 will be sidelined for an extended period.

Artie Burns Says Driving with Suspended License Was 'Misunderstanding'
Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Artie Burns told ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler Saturday his June arrest for driving with a suspended license was a "misunderstanding." According to Fowler, Burns said "he was still in the process of switching his paperwork and insurance to Pennsylvania, where he's a full-time resident" and cited frequent traffic checks in his native Miami as the reason for the license suspension.

DeShone Kizer rebounds from pick with some nice passes on 1st day in pads: Browns quarterback competition recap
When fourth-team quarterback Kevin Hogan makes the play of the day, you know it's a nondescript practice for the three quarterbacks involved in the open competition. It was the Browns' first day in pads, and Hogan had the pass of the afternoon, completing a 35-yarder to Corey Coleman down the left sideline, with Jason McCourty in tight coverage. If Hogan were actually vying for the job, that would be a good thing. But it's essentially a three-way battle among Cody Kessler, DeShone Kizer and Brock Osweiler.

Random Bytes

Who Gets to Call the Game?
It was another early summer baseball game last year at Chicago’s “friendly confines,” and in my expert opinion, the Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler was playing too shallow. The newfangled analytics backed up my conclusion, and I could also draw on my playing days: having stood in the outfield in Wrigley Field, knowing the numbers can lie to you, especially given Wrigley’s unpredictable ricochets, ivy-covered entanglements and temperamental weather extremes.

Andrew Luck not ready to commit to playing Week One
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has opened training camp on the physically unable to perform list, and he’s unsure how long it will be before he’s 100 percent healthy. Luck addressed reporters this morning in Indianapolis, and although his overall message was optimistic that he’ll be back and better than ever after shoulder surgery, the short-term prognosis is wait and see.

Chris Simms' Top Training Camp Storylines That Could Shape 2017 Season
While the casual NFL fan might not pay a ton of attention to training camp season, it is one of the most important times of the football year. I can tell you as a former player that the foundations laid during training camp and in the preseason have a monumental impact on the rest of the season.

Matthew Stafford Says 'No Timetable' on Completing New Contract with Lions
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said Saturday there is "no timetable" for getting a new contract done with the team. According to Kyle Meinke of MLive Media Group, Stafford acknowledged that talks are ongoing, however. Per Spotrac, Stafford is entering the final year of his contract in 2017 and will make $22 million.

Kaepernick won’t demonstrate at all during 2017 season
In March, as free agency approached, a report emerged that Colin Kaepernick would stand for the national anthem in 2017. More than four months later, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that Kaepernick’s position hasn’t changed. Speaking more broadly, the source said Kaepernick will engage in no demonstrations during the 2017 season.