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Bengals Bytes (1/25): Bob Bicknell excited about John Ross’ speed

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Bob Bicknell think John Ross’ speed will be a huge factor for the Bengals offense next season.

Houston Texans v'u2020Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Bengals ‘locked into’ UTEP guard Will Hernandez at Senior Bowl
The Cincinnati Bengals entered the 2018 Senior Bowl with the offensive line a major need and wasted little time focusing on Will Hernandez out of UTEP. Hernandez, a two-time second-team All-American with an impressive resume, comes in at 6-foot-2 and 340 pounds.

Frank Pollack isn’t ready to give a verdict on Cedric Ogbuehi or Jake Fisher
New Cincinnati Bengals offensive line coach Frank Pollack is at the Senior Bowl this week alongside various other new faces beginning tenures under head coach Marvin Lewis. Naturally, one of the first questions Pollack faces is the fate of current Bengals linemen such as Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher.

Chris Simms' Picks for NFL Offseason QB Carousel
We don't know if AJ McCarron is going to be an unrestricted free agent or a restricted free agent this offseason. He filed a grievance to obtain unrestricted status—he started his rookie year on the non-football injury list and was only on the active roster for three games—but I believe he'll be back in Cincinnati next season. I also believe McCarron will have an opportunity to start in 2018.

Bengals need to make fans 'believe' they want to win
The aspect of facing another offseason without the playoffs is daunting. After witnessing a run of five-straight years in the dance, Bengals fans are stewing in the aftermath of two campaigns that ended under .500. The biggest disappointment of each season has been the anticipation and buildup before the year starts. It’s been the same old song and dance. Now, after 15 years of the same stale promises, Cincinnati is supposed to immediately embrace the 2018 plan put forth by Mike Brown. It’s not that easy. Fans need something to believe in.

Senior notes: Vance take on new Bengals DB coach; Wyoming QB talks old teammate Hill; Another ND TE
If you don’t think the NFL moves fast, then you didn’t see Vance Joseph run Tuesday’s North practice down here at the Reese’s Senior Bowl. It will be recalled it was three years ago at this game the Bengals, knowing full well they had one of the game’s best young coaches, didn’t give him permission to leave his contract as a secondary coach and become defensive coordinator of the Broncos. Now he’s the head coach of the Broncos and the Bengals are working on their second cornerbacks coach since Joseph left the next season.

New coach says Ross' speed can pay off
New Bengals wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell is in the land of purgatory these days. He not only is trying to get to know the players in front of him during Wednesday’s practice at the Senior Bowl, he’s trying get a handle on his own players in just the second week on the job. But one thing he knows is that John Ross is fast. Ross, the most enigmatic player on the Bengals and maybe the NFL, is now Bicknell’s mystery. But not for Bicknell. There is no enigma. Not a man who ran the fastest 40-yard dash in the history of the NFL Scouting Combine last year.

AFC North Bytes

Baker Mayfield Says Browns Would Be Getting 'Winner' If They Draft Him No. 1
Mayfield certainly boasts an impressive resume. The Oklahoma quarterback won the Heisman Trophy in 2017 and led Oklahoma to the College Football Playoff, throwing for 4,627 sides, 43 touchdowns and six interceptions while completing 70.5 percent of his passes.

Ben Roethlisberger excited for continuity with Randy Fichtner
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger acknowledged Wednesday the window is closing on the Steelers to win another Super Bowl. So when he learned last week the Steelers promoted quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner to offensive coordinator he was excited about the news.

Random Bytes

Rob Gronkowski Concussion Confirmed by Patriots; TE Not Cleared for Practice Yet
With 11 days to go before Super Bowl LII, the New England Patriots have confirmed tight end Rob Gronkowski suffered a concussion against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Sunday's AFC Championship Game. Gronkowski was officially listed with a concussion on the Patriots' injury report and did not participate in practice Wednesday.

Super Bowl 2018: Bob Costas will skip the game. Here’s why
More and more research has come out over the years on the effects that football has on the brain. In July, CTE — which is caused by an abnormal buildup of tau proteins in the brain — was found in 99 percent of former NFL players’ brains that were donated in a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study took 202 brains from men who played football at the high school, college, or professional level. CTE was found in 177 of them.

Jacksonville Jaguars' Yannick Ngakoue, Buffalo Bills' Richie Incognito clear air at Pro Bowl
Buffalo Bills guard Richie Incognito jogged off the practice field Wednesday, started signing autographs for kids and then declined all interview requests. Incognito’s version of what happened during a wild-card game at Jacksonville earlier this month remains unclear.