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Bengals Bytes (8/9): Bombs away

Can Andy Dalton get the most out of all these weapons the Bengals have surrounded him? Dre Kirkpatrick makes a prediction for next season. One Hall of Fame voter talks about his experience and issues with the voting process.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Kirkpatrick predicts playoffs for Bengals
Dre Kirkpatrick has never been one to lack confidence, and the Bengals cornerback came through again when he went on the Rich Eisen Show and said, “I see us winning 11 games. That puts us in the playoffs.”

Bengals burning question: Can Andy Dalton take advantage of his best arsenal ever?
For nearly three decades now, Bengals fans have been trying to convince themselves that this year is finally going to be the year that the team's playoff drought comes to an end, and for the past 26 seasons, they've been wrong.

Driskel used to numbers game
He’s used to doing that. Even though he stopped playing baseball after his junior year at Oviedo, Fla., on the outskirts of Orlando the Red Sox still took him in the 2013 MLB draft after he fired up a 132.2 passer rating from under center at the University of Florida in 12 games instead of from his positon on the diamond in centerfield. And then there’s what he can do with a basketball when the Bengals take a break in their weight room.

Depth chart at a glance (and grain of salt)
The Bengals Media Relations Department released that thing head coach Marvin Lewis doesn’t like to call a depth chart Tuesday in front of Friday’s pre-season opener (7:30 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) against Tampa Bay at Paul Brown Stadium. Among the highlights, with the qualifiers it doesn’t mean anything and that nothing has been decided and that if there’s a question the top space is going to go to the veteran

Specialist Simmons fills in for ailing Lewis while franchise greats tackle practice
With Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis attending to a minor health issue that could take him out of a day or two of practice, special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons did what core special teamers do on Tuesday and filled in where needed when Lewis missed his first practice in what is believed to be ten years. “Darrin is qualified,” said safety Shawn Williams, one of those core guys. “Taking charge. He’s smart. He knows everything. I don’t expect anything less out of Darrin. Everybody knows Darrin. He has been there, done that. He was the right person for it.”

Camp report: history and hits
For the first time in what we think is forever, we give it to not only three players, but three former players. It’s not every day three-fifths of the Bengals All-50th offensive line shows up at the same practice. But there was Hall-of-Fame left tackle Anthony Munoz along with his Super Bowl guard Dave Lapham and four-time Pro Bowl right tackle Willie Anderson. Lapham and Munoz live in Cincinnati and both analyze Bengals on the air, so it’s not a rarity to see them together. But we got a solar eclipse when Anderson arrived from Atlanta, where he runs his burgeoning offensive line academy.

Biggest issue for Bengals' O-line? Rookie LB Carl Lawson breaking out
There's a question that always presents itself during the dog days of training camp. If a player is standing out, is he standing out because of his talent, or because he's playing against inferior talent? In the case of Cincinnati Bengals rookie defender Carl Lawson, it might be a little bit of both.

Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis on leave for minor health issue
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was absent from Tuesday's practice due to a "minor health issue," the team said. Lewis is dealing with a leg issue that caused him to ride a cart to and from practice on Monday. He briefly attended Tuesday's practice but left at the beginning.

Joe Mixon fourth running back on Cincinnati Bengals' first depth chart
The Bengals released an unofficial depth chart on Tuesday ahead of their first preseason game. As is often the case, there weren't many surprises. The Bengals, like most teams, keep their real depth chart hidden and usually give veterans the nod over rookies at this time of the year. Here's what's notable about the depth chart

Marvin Lewis will miss time with Bengals due to cyst
Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis missed practice Tuesday to deal with a cyst in his knee, a team source told NFL Network's Stacey Dales. The team released a statement noting the issue is "minor" and that Lewis' absence is expected to be brief. The Bengals did not state the specific nature of Lewis' injury in the statement. Lewis is taking medicine to break up what has been diagnosed as a Baker's Cyst. He was taken to the hospital Tuesday by team medical staff after his ankle swelled to twice its normal size due to blood thinners he was taking, Dales reported.

Why Your Team Sucks 2017: Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals had the distinction of subjecting British fans to their first-ever tie game. Thanks, Mike Nugent! And the Ravens outsmarted them by committing double holding penalties to run out the clock on them. When you want to test out a new, innovative, possibly extralegal way to humiliate an opponent, you do it against the Bengals.

AFC North Bytes

Staying committed to running game a priority for Ravens
In his senior year at Towson University in 2013, Terrance West carried the football 413 times, averaging more than 25 per game. In three years in the NFL, the Northwestern High graduate has yet to reach the 200-attempt threshold in a single season and had at least 25 carries in a game just once.

Mike Freeman's 10-Point Stance: Myles Garrett Has the Look of a Star
NFL training camp is a dangerous time. Teams and the media hype guys who'll be cut in a few weeks. Wild pronouncements are made. Declarations get all declarative. Rookies are fit for their Hall of Fame busts. But in rare cases, the hype is legit. It looks like that might be the case with Browns rookie pass-rusher Myles Garrett.

Steelers burning question: Is a Super Bowl within reach? It depends on the defense
We've spent considerable time this offseason discussing the Steelers' high-powered offense. But if this team is to get past the Patriots, something it has yet to do in the postseason during the Ben Roethlisberger era, it will be because the unit no one is talking about -- the defense -- exceeds expectations. It wasn't that long ago that the Steelers' defense was the league's most formidable unit. In 2010, the year Pittsburgh lost to Green Bay in the Super Bowl, its defense finished the regular season ranked No. 1, according to Football Outsiders' metrics.

Random Bytes

Disney Unveils Plans for Netflix-Style Streaming Service
LOS ANGELES — Disney unveiled plans on Tuesday for Netflix-style streaming services for sports programming from ESPN and Disney movies. It is a striking, multibillion-dollar bid to reposition Disney, the world’s largest entertainment company, for growth and address worries of cord-cutting in the traditional television business.

Predicting 2017 NFL breakthrough stars for all 32 teams
Marcus Mariota, Brandin Cooks and Stefon Diggs led the list of NFL Nation reporters' picks to make a leap forward in 2016. Who makes this year's list? From highly drafted rookies to players getting another shot with a new team to others who have risen quickly up the depth chart in training camp, here are the players ready to break out in 2017:

Jayson DiManche: Linebacker signs with San Francisco 49ers
Linebacker Jayson DiManche has signed a one-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers. DiManche, 26, originally entered the NFL in 2013 as an undrafted free agent, signing by the Cincinnati Bengals. He registered 13 tackles, a pass defended and 15 special teams tackles in 28 games for the Bengals. He started once in his two seasons with the franchise.

Pro Football Hall of Fame mailbag on players, voting
So, for all of you looking for a training camp column here, I’ll be doing more of those in the coming days—including on on Tyreek Hill and the Chiefs, which I thought I’d be writing today. But then the Hall of Fame avalanche came. You had scores of questions about it, and so I decided to do a Hall column, because of your intense interest after the Saturday night enshrinement. Before I begin, let me explain a couple of things, as one of 48 voters for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I’ve done it for 25 years.