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Bengals Bytes (9/21): Finding an identity

Bill Lazor is hoping to fix the Bengals’ identity crisis on offense. The Packers are hopeful that Jordy Nelson will be ready for Sunday’s game. Richard Sherman reveals what injury reports are actually for.

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NFL: Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Rapoport: Expect Andy Dalton to throw quicker, shorter passes under new OC Bill Lazor
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport tells us what to expect from Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton under new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.

Quick hits: Lewis turns to players, defends Green; Geno rolling; Eifert DNP; Jordy works; Cobb DNP
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis Wednesday met the media for the first time since he replaced offensive coordinator Ken Zampese with quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor and revealed he didn’t pull any punches with his players in the Monday morning meeting. “This is not magic,” Lewis recalled what he told his players in the first meeting since the move. “You have to do it. Doesn’t matter. Offense. Defense. Special teams. We got Kenny out of here. Not Kenny. We did. They have to understand that. They’re a part of that. The next time look around and there’ll be a different guy sitting there.”

Lewis, Dalton News Conference Transcripts 9/20
We know what this (game) represents and the football team that (Green Bay) has there. The offensive football team is led by Aaron Rodgers and the skills guys. It’s a game that we have our work cut out for, no doubt. We have to be productive on offense and score points, and we’ve got to limit their offense as much as we can throughout the day. It’s a big football game for us, obviously

Lombardi's role in rise of Bengaldom as his Pack looms
Forrest Gregg, who brought Vince Lombardi to Cincinnati and damn near his trophy, too, so wants to be there at Lambeau Field Sunday. It is the Packers’ annual alumni weekend and they are playing the Bengals (4:25 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) in a game that has the craggy face of Gregg written all over it.

TDBH: Cook racks up 300-yard game as 2-0 Bengals keep shocking shock AFL
Bengals linebacker Al Beauchamp walks off the field at Nippert Stadium after today’s 34-20 rout of the Chargers holding two fingers in the air exclaiming, “Two and oh, baby. We’re going to the Super Bowl. We’re going to the Super Bowl.” Paul Brown’s Bengals are only in their second season but they’re growing up fast because of rookie homegrown quarterback Greg Cook. The Bengals stay in their backyard to pluck the University of Cincinnati’s Cook with the fifth pick of their second draft and he returns to Nippert Stadium in the first two games of the season to become football’s hottest new star while engineering wins over Miami and San Diego on back-to-back Sundays and today he records the first 300-yard passing game in franchise history when 327 yards on 14 of 23 passing includes three TD passes as Cincinnati beaks open a 17-13 half-time lead.

Marvin Lewis of Cincinnati Bengals discusses Ken Zampese firing
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis called it a "very difficult" decision to fire offensive coordinator Ken Zampese last Friday after the team's 0-2 start. Speaking publicly about the decision for the first time Wednesday, Lewis also cautioned his players that the change of direction wasn't a magic fix after they failed to score a touchdown in either game.

What will the Bengals look like on offense against Green Bay?
Sunday will be a defining game, quite literally, for the Cincinnati Bengals. Because right now no one has any idea of who they are. On paper, zero touchdowns and nine points are why Ken Zampese was relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator two games into the regular season. The overall numbers aren’t great. But the players weren’t sure what they could hang their hat on as a group.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Green Bay Packers Odds, Analysis, NFL Betting Pick
The Green Bay Packers (1-1) will attempt to bounce back from a tough loss when they host the struggling Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) on Sunday as big home favorites. The Packers are coming off their third consecutive defeat to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night and hope to avoid losing a fourth straight meeting against the Bengals when they battle at Lambeau Field.

Packers preparing for Bengals' unscouted looks
The Packers aren’t concerned so much about what happened with the Cincinnati Bengals during the first two weeks of the regular season as what awaits them Sunday at Lambeau Field. It'll be the first time Green Bay has played the Bengals since a 34-30 loss in Cincinnati on Sept. 22, 2013.

Jordy Nelson 'headed in the right direction' for return vs. Bengals
Maybe the Green Bay Packers' injury situation isn’t as bad as their injury report looks. Yes, the Packers had 13 players listed -- including both starting offensive tackles and their two veteran receivers -- but with right tackle Bryan Bulaga and receiver Jordy Nelson back on the practice field, Sunday’s game against Cincinnati might not be littered with as many backups as the Packers originally feared.

Bengals, Marvin Lewis are in perfect position to end Andy Dalton marriage
As I've always said, don't overreact to what happens in Week 1 of a given NFL season. Take the Patriots’ rebound performance against the Saints on Sunday, for example. But what if a team's lousy opening game is followed by another ugly outing in Week 2? That's when team executives really get concerned that it could be a long season with a crescendo of fan and media criticism.

AFC North Bytes

Steelers' Vance McDonald, Jesse James set goal to be NFL's best TE tandem
New Steeler Vance McDonald didn't need long before launching big-picture goals for Pittsburgh's tight end position. Apparently starter Jesse James is on board. "We’ve talked about being the best two-tight-end tandem in the NFL," McDonald said. "Not many teams use the tight ends like we do here."

Joe Thomas hopes he’s still a Brown when the Browns become competitive
Browns left tackle Joe Thomas has made it through 10 years of futility in Cleveland. Thomas hopes he’s still there when the payoff comes.

Why Buck Allen did Deion Sanders' TD dance
It’s kind of funny to think that some celebration dances are old enough to have retro appeal. Ravens running back Javorius “Buck” Allen was born Aug. 27, 1991, shortly before Deion Sanders was to begin his third NFL season. Sanders played long enough for Allen to grow up watching him, and he has paid Sanders homage in a couple ways.

Random Bytes

Richard Sherman says NFL injury report just for gamblers
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Richard Sherman again took shots at the NFL, saying the injury reports that teams are required to produce each week are simply to help gamblers. Sherman has been listed on the injury report each week this season, first with a thigh injury and then with a hamstring injury. He was not listed at all last year even though Seahawks coach Pete Carroll revealed after the season that Sherman had played through a significant knee injury, which led to concerns that Seattle was not being accurate in its reporting.

Roger Goodell Contract Extension with NFL Reportedly 'Getting Done'
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's new contract is reportedly "getting done" and is expected to be finalized in the coming "days or maybe weeks," according to's Adam Schefter. Wednesday's report comes after Schefter and Chris Mortensen relayed word Sept. 17 that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones attempted to halt negotiations.

Group of players asks NFL to support activism awareness month
The NFL will wrap itself in pink for breast cancer, and put on faux-camo to celebrate the military. Now, a group of players have asked commissioner Roger Goodell to spend a month talking about black and white.