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Bengals Bytes (7/7): A return?

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ESPN reporters talk about the possibility of Hue Jackson returning to Cincinnati if Marvin Lewis doesn’t return. Can the Steelers’ defense carry them next season? An oral history of the basketball video game, NBA Jam.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Touchdown Celebration Rules
A hilarious corporate training video spoof to help referees prepare for the new rule change. Taking a page from the classically bad employee training videos of the 90s, watch as “Chad Flags” (Baumgartner) provides NFL referees with the new ‘do's’ and ‘don'ts’ of touchdown celebrations.

Tracking milestones for Green, Dalton
P.J. Combs, the Master of Minutia, has produced the first Bengals Media Guide in the post-Al Heim-Jack Brennan era and the club’s director of media relations has outdone himself. Combs, who first brought you the year-by-year defensive stats, has compiled the first complete list of every trade the Bengals have ever made. Starting with the Dec. 26, 1967 deal the Dolphins gifted them the first Bengal in quarterback John Stofa for two draft picks. Right up until this year’s trade up in the sixth round for Houston safety Brandon Wilson.

AFC North Q&A: Will Hue Jackson be coaching the Bengals in 2018?
The Cleveland Browns seem committed to head coach Hue Jackson -- but if Marvin Lewis resigns in Cincinnati, speculation about his successor will turn to Jackson, the Bengals' former offensive coordinator. Will Jackson be coaching the Browns or Bengals in 2018? Our AFC North reporters weigh in.

Will this be Marvin Lewis' final season with Cincinnati Bengals?
With his contract up at the end of the year, Marvin Lewis is entering the season as the lame-duck coach of the Bengals, an organization that's considered one of the most loyal in the NFL. Will that loyalty come to an end for Lewis after the 2017 season? Our AFC North reporters weigh in.

Bengals' A.J. Green is punching his way into elite shape
Float like a butterfly, sting like A.J. Green. Coming back from an injury-shortened 2016 has lit a fire in the belly of Bengals receiver A.J. Green. And his desire to come back bigger, faster and stronger is burning hotter than ever.

Cincinnati Bengals to finish above .500?
The Bengals are still more than three weeks away from the beginning of training camp, but some of the fine folks in Las Vegas aren’t waiting to make predictions about NFL teams and they kind of like Cincinnati. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook is putting the over-under on the Bengals’ regular season win total at 8.5, leaving bettors to either take the over -- which means that they’ll win nine or more games -- or under, which would mean Cincinnati will finish .500 or worse.

AFC North Bytes

Paul Zeise: Defense will lead the Steelers to glory
The Steelers offense should be explosive again this season — but that’s not why they could win their seventh Lombardi Trophy. The defense will lead the way. Ben Roethlisberger gets credit for leading the Steelers to three Super Bowl appearances and two wins. He has had a huge hand in the success, but the defense has led them in their best seasons.

Training Camp Preview: QB's
The second-year player from USC came into the off-season OTA's as the starting quarterback. Kessler took the first snaps with the first team through the June minicamp and will likely start training camp in that role. Kessler started eight games after being drafted in the sixth-round. However, at the end of the season, Hue Jackson chose to play Griffin over Kessler to see if Griffin was worthy of returning in 2017. Kessler completed 65.6 percent of his passes and had a rating of 92.3. However, Jackson was critical of Kessler not throwing the ball down the field more and Kessler dedicated himself to getting stronger and he appeared to throw the ball much better in the off-season programs and threw the ball down field more frequently. If Kessler can have a solid preseason, he has a chance to be the opening day starting quarterback.

At Beyond the Basics camp, former Raven Brandon Copeland puts focus on life outside football
Here was the most consequential kickoff of his Gilman career. A Greyhounds teammate had gone down in a late-season 2008 game against visiting Loyola Blakefield. Coach Biff Poggi told Copeland he would be lining up in the wedge. As they went out to block, a teammate fell on Copeland’s ankle. He heard a pop, felt the rush of pain. He finished the game, and the season. But “to me,” Copeland said last month at Gilman, where he was promoting his second annual youth football camp, “it wasn’t the same.”

Random Bytes

NBA Jam Oral History | Where Are They Now
When Midway released NBA Jam, in April 1993, the game shattered arcade revenue records. Nearly a quarter century later, SI assembled the game’s makers and stars to recount how the phenomenon came to be.

Football's Silent Killer Forces Players and Teams to Make Tough Choices
At first, the condition feels like fatigue. "It's like a regular tired feeling," according to Jerraud Powers, who played defensive back for eight NFL seasons with it. If the player tries to power through, as football players so often do, the symptoms rapidly get worse.

NFL1000: Ranking the Best Defensive Schemes
When it comes to schematic innovation and effectiveness, you’ll generally hear more about the things done on the offensive side of the ball. There will be occasional odes written to the greatness of Buddy Ryan’s old 46 defense, for example. But you’ll hear far more about the West Coast offense and the development of the three-digit passing game from Sid Gillman to Don Coryell to Mike Martz than you will about the zone blitz or the advent of the nickel defense as a base concept.