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Bengals Bytes (7/5): Ahead of schedule

Carl Lawson has impressed coaches with how quickly he is transitioning to the Bengals’ scheme. Tony Jefferson is showing coaches why he was such a great offseason addition for the Ravens. Predicting the top fantasy sleepers at each position.

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NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals Beat Podcast: Mike Dodd, Alex Marvez, Jack Brennan
As part of our second week of the 50 Influential Bengals project, we focus on organizational figures. To document those we catch up with those that covered them over the years. We chat with Enquirer beat writer from the '80s, Mike Dodd, to talk about impressions of Paul Brown and the characters of two Super Bowl teams.

Carl Lawson 'way ahead' in transition from Auburn defensive end to Bengals linebacker
Carl Lawson spent his first NFL offseason transitioning from defensive end at Auburn to strongside linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals. For a player who likes to talk about "ankle flexion," "hip flexion" and "staying fluid around the corner," the switch in positions seems to have been no big deal. "I think he looks great," said Paul Guenther, Cincinnati's defensive coordinator. "Way better than most guys that are trying to do that that I've coached that tried to make the transition from being an every-snap-going-forward to now dropping back. He's way ahead of a lot of guys I've coached."

Bengals' hidden gems will help make playoffs a reality
The first day of the Bengals Comeback Tour is 68 days away. When the Baltimore Ravens venture into Paul Brown Stadium, things will suddenly get real. The accolades and preseason predictions will fade into the background, as the regular season rears its fangs. After a behemoth letdown that took fans by surprise, the sour taste of defeat has to be exorcised. Cincinnati has more than enough hidden talent to make some serious noise.

Bengals' defense has to deliver Super Bowl-caliber performance
Last season, the Bengals were on the losing end of nine games. It would be easy to assume that they got blown out of the battles they lost. But, there was only one loss that qualified as a knockout. The Week 6 loss at New England was a truly sobering beat down. Tom Brady and Gronk dropped a 35-17 decision on the Bengals and doubters began to slither from the woodwork. If Cincinnati is going to make a Super Bowl run, the defense has to play at that level.

McMullen | Bengals Should Stick With Marvin Lewis Moving Forward
When it comes to continuity in the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers are the gold standard, having employed just three coaches over the past 48 years with each of them contributing to the franchise’s record six Super Bowl wins. The other end of the spectrum resides in the AFC North as well, the Cleveland Browns, who have employed nine different coaches in less than two decades since their reboot in 1999, constant upheaval that has resulted in just one playoff appearance during that span.

80th birthday looming, Dick LeBeau still sees himself as a “Bengal and Brown guy”
He’s a Hall of Famer best known for playing for the Lions and coaching with the Steelers. But Dick LeBeau, the soon-to-be 80-year-old assistant head coach of the Titans, identifies with a team that cut him, and with another that fired him, multiple times.

Three Things To Know: Cincinnati Bengals
A brief overview of the Packers' Week 3 opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals.

Can Adam “Pacman” Jones do it again?
Adam Jones is getting some love, and a bit of shade, after Pro Football Focus put up a graphic suggesting that he played well last season in at least one important way, yet it’s comes with question that Bengals fans can see is not too, well, comforting.

AFC North Bytes

Tony Jefferson has not taken long to impress Ravens players and coaches
The marquee free agent signing of the offseason for the Ravens is safety Tony Jefferson. The 25 year old, along with safety Eric Weddle, have been projected to be among the top safety duos in the NFL. But even though Jefferson has only had a few practices with the Ravens, he has been quick to impress Weddle. Weddle said the following regarding Jefferson, per the Baltimore Sun

Countdown To Steelers Camp: 50 In 25 Series - Ryan Shazier 2017 Preview
The calendar has now flipped over to July and that means the Pittsburgh Steelers annual training camp will be getting underway in Latrobe later this month. As usual, we have several series planned to get you ready for this year’s training camp and mine will center around preview profiles of 50 players over the course of the next 25 days. Most of these profiles will be on players who were under contract with the team in 2016. Up sixth in this series is a 2017 preview profile of inside linebacker Ryan Shazier.

Early 53-Man Roster Projections For The Browns
The Cleveland Browns have reasons to be excited ahead of the 2017 season, but there’s still a lot of work to be done as well. More importantly, there are going to be some serious training camp battles going on for the Browns’ final spots on the 53-man roster. While multiple players already have spots on the roster locked up, Cleveland is loaded with young talent who will all wind up competing for playing time. Let’s get into the early predictions for the 53-man roster.

Random Bytes

Jameis Winston gets a jump start on Hard Knocks
Plenty of players and coaches would prefer to take a pass on Hard Knocks. Not Jameis Winston. Via JoeBucsFan.com, Winston has invited the Hard Knocks cameras to his private, 6:00 a.m. pre-training camp workouts. The move confirms that Winston plans to try to parlay the nationwide platform into superstar status.

Ndamukong Suh: Patriots are definitely beatable
Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier said the league has a “Patriots problem,” a tip of the hat to the New England dynasty. Not surprisingly, Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who has to face New England twice a season, disagrees.

Fantasy Football 2017: Predicting the Top NFL Sleeper at Each Position
Among the definitions for "sleeper" at Merriam-Webster is this: "Someone or something unpromising or unnoticed that suddenly attains prominence or value." That's the type of sleeper fantasy football owners fervently search for every summer. The players available later in drafts who go on to have huge statistical seasons.

Eagles LB Nigel Bradham Accepts Deferred Prosecution Deal in Felony Battery Case
Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham may avoid jail time for his felony battery charge. On Monday, Tim McManus of ESPN.com cited court documents that reveal Bradham accepted a deferred prosecution program, which "could result in no jail time if the conditions of the program are met."