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Bengals Bytes (8/15): Fearless

John Ross isn’t afraid for his first NFL hit. The Bengals’ defense rolled during Monday’s practice. A look into changing the NFL’s outdated position names.

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-John Ross Press Conference Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports

Monday slants: Ross debuts; Lewis scolds; Defense rolls
Admitting he was “too excited,” for his first NFL practice, it looked the adrenaline was still pumping through first-round pick John Ross after Monday’s workout. “Everybody was happy to see me out there running around, all the guys cracking jokes, ‘you finally clocked into work,’” Ross said. “A couple of guys said I was on paid leave.”

Ben-Gal Cheerleaders - Buccaneers at Bengals
Cincinnati Ben-Gal Cheerleaders perform during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cincinnati Bengals game 8/11/2017

Bengals' John Ross on getting hit: 'I'm kind of fearless'
Cincinnati Bengals first-round pick John Ross had two defenders advancing quickly toward him on Monday, right in the direction of a shoulder that had taken months to finally heal. Ross, with the ball in his hand, sidestepped quickly, eluded the rush, and went out of bounds. He'd passed the first test. Any hesitation a hit to his 5-foot-11, 190-pound frame was nonexistent.

Andy Dalton throws two picks, is sacked repeatedly in sloppy practice
Vontaze Burfict picked off Andy Dalton and gleefully ran it back toward the end zone, whooping and hollering all the way. Earlier, Dre Kirkpatrick had done the same, returning Dalton's pass for a touchdown and celebrating by pretending to throw the football into a basketball hoop. It was no wonder they were so gleeful. The Cincinnati Bengals defense won the day, and it wasn't even close.

Observations from Cincinnati Bengals training camp
On the heels of Friday night’s win against Tampa Bay , the Bengals had meetings but no practice Saturday, and Sunday was an off day. And the rust showed for Ken Zampese’s offense.

Bengals elevate first-round pick John Ross
John Ross and slow don’t normally go together, but the fastest man in the history of the Combine has had to come to terms with taking it slow in returning from offseason shoulder surgery. On Monday, the Bengals took a big step with the first-round pick. Ross was cleared to participate in contact drills and was running with the rest of the team through 11-on-11. Ross won’t be found digging a safety out in a run game drill just yet, but he’s closer to making his Bengals’ debut.

AFC North Bytes

Marty Mornhinweg doesn't put Ravens' offensive struggles all on Ryan Mallett
Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg wants quarterback Ryan Mallett to play at a high level consistently and feels the backup quarterback will benefit from more starters suiting up in Thursday's preseason game in Miami. In the preseason opener, Mallett completed half of his passes (9 of 18) and averaged a woeful 3.2 yards per attempt. His supporting cast didn't include all three starting wide receivers (Jeremy Maclin, Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman), his most experienced tight end (Ben Watson) and his best pass-catcher out of the backfield (Danny Woodhead).

Browns coach Hue Jackson hopes his players won’t protest during National Anthem
The Browns play their next preseason game on Monday night in front of a national television audience. Coach Hue Jackson hopes his team only makes news for what transpires during the ESPN-televised game against the New York Giants and not before it.

Film Room: Javon Hargrave Taking Big Step Into Big Season
You can tell that football is really back when your daily reading once again consists of articles that are full of gifs, because it means that we finally have some hard evidence to analyze. Today is my first such stab at breaking down some film since the Pittsburgh Steelers’ last game in the 2016 playoffs. In other words, just as it is the preseason for them, it is the preseason for me as well, so bear with me. I’m sure I’ve got some evaluating rust to knock off. But I wanted to start with a player who is going to be playing a critical role this season, yet has almost been taken for granted, at least in my perception.

Random Bytes

Rewriting the NFL’s Positional Lexicon
Positional distinctions are disappearing. Rushing yards are losing meaning. And offensive and defensive schemes are shifting from game to game — if not drive to drive. The most popular sport in America is changing faster than it ever has before — yet the way we talk about the game has largely stayed the same. It’s time for the conversation to catch up to the shifting concepts redefining front offices and gameplay nationwide. So welcome to The Ringer’s You Don’t Know Football Week, where we’ll explore and attempt to better understand the evolutions already occurring on the gridiron — and the reboots we’d like to see make their way to the game next.

Devonta Freeman Diagnosed with Concussion, Will Not Play vs. Steelers
Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn confirmed Monday that running back Devonta Freeman will be held out of action this week after being placed in the concussion protocol, per Vaughn McClure of Freeman proved last year that his breakout 2015 campaign was no fluke. He ran for 1,079 yards, with his yards per carry climbing from 4.0 yards to 4.8 yards between his second and third seasons. He also caught 54 passes for 462 yards and two touchdowns.

After the Ezekiel Elliott Suspension, Can You Trust the NFL's Process?
Domestic violence investigators kept Roger Goodell at bay, sources tell B/R Mag. Now, insiders and experts say, comes the real test: Either the Cowboys scandal is a precedent—or part of the problem.