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Bengals Bytes (8/14): Ready for takeoff

John Ross is eager to be cleared for a full workload. Paul Alexander isn’t your typical NFL coach. Tampa Bay’s GM owns up to the awful Roberto Aguayo pick after waiving him.

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

Paul Daugherty: Paul Alexander not your average NFL coach
Paul Alexander isn’t averse to self-praise, but he’d never go around the NFL broadcasting his skills as a classical pianist. He is, after all, an offensive line coach. “On most teams,’’ he explains, “the last thing you do is tell people you play the piano. It just gives them ammunition to criticize you.’’

Deep roster in offing?
The Bengals have to like what happened in the second half of last weekend’s 23-12 victory over Tampa Bay. They won the half, 17-3, with dominance on both sides of the ball, indicating they just may be as deep and as talented as they hope they are. And that depth looks like it may cause some headaches when it comes to cutting down the roster to the final 53 players.

Bengals vs Buccaneers: What we learned from preseason Week 1
The sky didn’t fall and there wasn’t an earthquake of mammoth proportions. But, football was back at Paul Brown Stadium and the Bengals were victorious. After a long wait, fans were treated to a 23-12 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There were things to be happy about and a few concerns that need to be addressed. But, overall, the Bengals were able to escape with the W. It wasn’t an explosive type of night for the Bengals’ offense. But, they got the job done and move on to the next challenge.

Bengals earn 3 top moments in 'Hard Knocks' history
Regardless of how you feel about the Cincinnati Bengals, the world has gotten an in-depth look at the team multiple times thanks to the cameras from HBO. The Bengals have been featured twice on HBO’s Hard Knocks series focused on following the training camp of a different team since 2001. In the 11 seasons so far, the Bengals were featured in 2009 and 2013.

Bengals WR John Ross Trying Not To Let Injury Ground Him Too Long
The Cincinnati Bengals took the fastest player in the 2017 NFL Draft in John Ross, but that speed has yet to be unleashed during what has been a frustrating start to training camp for the first-round rookie wide receiver. Ross, Mr. 4.22-second 40, has been cleared to return to practice. But he has been limited to individual drills as he’s coming back from a shoulder injury, which he told us was “maybe 90 percent” healthy.

AFC North Bytes

Ravens move James Hurst inside to left guard after Alex Lewis is lost for season
James Hurst learned in his first three seasons with the Ravens that he needs to be prepared for everything. As a reserve offensive tackle, he understood that at any moment, he could be summoned from the sideline and asked to block one of the league’s top pass rushers.

Brock Osweiler, DeShone Kizer Split 1st-Team Practice Reps, Cody Kessler Demoted
DeShone Kizer didn't waste time making a positive impression in the 2017 NFL preseason, and Cleveland Browns coaches took notice of the rookie quarterback. According to's Mary Kay Cabot, Kizer and Brock Osweiler split first-team reps Saturday at practice, while Cody Kessler was demoted to the second team.

Are the Steelers attempting to build a team with the sole focus of beating the Patriots in mind?
The other day I was searching the internet for interesting sound bytes on the Pittsburgh Steelers when I stumbled upon a Sal Paolantonio interview with’s reporter Missi Matthews regarding the upcoming 2017 season for the black and gold. Being a sucker for the NFL Matchup show on ESPN, I watched the clip, check it out HERE, and when asked about the 2017 Steelers, I couldn’t help but be surprised by his answer.

Random Bytes

Vikings sign former Jaguars RB Bronson Hill -
With Bishop Sankey out for the season after tearing his ACL on Thursday night, the Minnesota Vikings have filled his roster spot before their Saturday afternoon practice. The Vikings announced they have signed former Jaguars and Bengals running back Bronson Hill to replace Sankey, who was placed on the waived-injured list. Hill, who beat out former Gophers running back David Cobb in a workout, played three games with the Jaguars last year, carrying twice for 11 yards.

NFL - Rating preseason job security of all 32 NFL head coaches 2017 - Who's on hot seat
Jets coach Todd Bowles has one of the worst rosters in the league. Can he hold onto his job? Bowles isn't alone on the hot seat. NFL Nation reporters evaluate all 32 spots.

Tampa Bay GM Jason Licht owns Roberto Aguayo mistake
So many stories on the NFL training camp trip. One actually happened on the phone in my hotel room, late Saturday afternoon. Tampa Bay GM Jason Licht, internet punching bag du jour, sounded defeated. “How do you feel?” I said to Licht, half a day after he cut Roberto Aguayo, the kicker he traded up to draft in the second round just 16 months ago.

Michael Bennett Sits on Bench During National Anthem, Plans to for Entire Season
Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett kicked off the preseason by sitting on the bench during the national anthem. As Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times noted, he remained behind the rest of the team with a towel around his shoulders while the rest of the Seahawks locked arms. Gregg Bell of the News Tribune captured the veteran sitting on the bench