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Bengals Bytes (8/7): Not their first rodeo

How a rodeo accident made Nick Vigil and his brother into linebackers. The Bengals’ special team’s coach remains confident after his rookie kicker’s struggles. Jay Cutler ends his retirement and joins the Dolphins.

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Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Nick and Zach Vigil's NFL careers took off when rodeo dream ended
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Nick Vigil was just 10 years old when his parents handed down a verdict to him and his older brother, Zach: Their days of riding bulls were over. The Vigil brothers, now both in the NFL, grew up on the rodeo circuit in Utah “mutton busting,” or riding sheep, before graduating to bulls.

BX: This could be the year for Kenny Anderson and HOF
Voters think Ken Anderson's time for induction in the Hall of Fame could be coming soon, and potentially this year. By being more than 15 years out from retirement, Anderson’s case has hung with the Hall of Fame veteran’s committee, which weighs all the candidates outside the initial window and inducts two each year. The committee is comprised of nine voters; five rotate through and meet every August to whittle a group of 15 finalists down to the two.

Hitting the Trey
Trey Hopkins, who chose max protect over Mozart, is giving the Bengals enough options on the offensive line to rival his Pandora’s Box of music. Old school R&B. (Think ‘90s Lauryn Hill and the Fugees.) Reggae. Classical. “Anything,” says Hopkins, who has played five line spots and three instruments. Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander is pretty much saying the same thing about Hopkins after he played all three interior positions in consecutive series for the first team, in Saturday’s Family Day semi-scrimmage at Paul Brown Stadium.

Cincinnati Bengals special teams struggle in scrimmage
If there’s one thing Darrin Simmons has learned — perfected, really — during his 20 seasons as an NFL special teams coach, it’s patience. Tasked with re-assembling his units each season with a large influx of rookies, many of whom were stars who didn’t play special teams in college, Simmons knows there will be glitches, misses and lapses in the early going of each season.

Bengals' offensive line still in flux for opener against Ravens
It’s not a newfound bundle of information that will turn heads. But, it is something that has to be addressed before the season gets real in a month’s time. The number one concern going into the offseason was the state of the Bengals’ offensive line. Now, with training camp in full swing and a preseason battle looming, the words fans don’t want to hear are ringing true. The O-line is still taking shape.

AFC North Bytes

Steelers Reportedly Expect Martavis Bryant to Be Cleared This Week by NFL
The Pittsburgh Steelers reportedly expect wide receiver Martavis Bryant to be back on the field in the near future. On Sunday, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Pittsburgh is "thinking" the Clemson product "will be cleared to return this week" from his substance-abuse suspension that forced him to miss the 2016 season.

Browns D happy with progress but itching for more turnovers
Jamie Collins has felt great in his first training camp with the Browns but something’s been missing. Hue Jackson has been on the lookout for it, too. “Getting the ball out,” Collins said. “I can’t get the ball out enough.” Collins, who is one of the best in the league at popping the ball out and doing something with it when he gets his hands on it, was speaking for himself, but the Browns defense as a whole is echoing the same mantra.

Five roster battles to follow during the Ravens preseason games
Baltimore Ravens training camp is heating up with the first preseason contest scheduled for Thursday against Washington. Even after an offseason and start of training camp that has seen the team lose as many as five players to season ending injuries and a couple more to unexpected retirements, regular season roster spots remain at a premium. The front office has spent years stacking extra late round draft picks and developing impressive undrafted free agents. This wise philosophy has created a tight roster crunch, with up to 60 NFL caliber players fighting for 53 final roster spots.

Random Bytes

Josh Norman Says He's Being Targeted with NFL Banning Bow-and-Arrow Celebration
Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman is not pleased the NFL will prohibit his bow-and-arrow celebration during the 2017 season. According to John Keim of, league official Carl Johnson visited Washington's camp Sunday and explained any type of celebrations involving imaginary weaponry use will be flagged—whether performed on the field or sideline.

Jay Cutler, Dolphins Reportedly Agree on Contract After Ryan Tannehill Injury
The Miami Dolphins reportedly agreed to terms on a deal with veteran quarterback Jay Cutler in the wake of Ryan Tannehill's knee injury, Ian Rapoport of and Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Sunday. Schefter reported the two sides are finalizing a one-year contract worth $10 million before incentives.

Aaron Rodgers on Packers pressure; Jay Cutler a Dolphin
Look around this classic old football town. It’s changing—in a big way. There’s a new luxury hotel, Lodge Kohler, across the street from Lambeau Field, a cornerstone to a new year-round fun-and-games Titletown District. (Bocce. Sled hill. Big park. Apartment complex. Medical complex.) Amazing hotel. You order room-service on the in-room bedside tablet; there are ground-floor suites with terraces and grills and fire pits, less than 100 yards from admission gates to Lambeau Field.