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Bengals Bytes (1/29): The 2018 Bengals don’t show signs of change that we were promised

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The huge selling point to bringing back Marvin Lewis was that somehow this season would have a different offseason approach. Slowly but surely the Bengals have done a complete 180 on those ideas of change.

Cincinnati Bengals OTA’s

Best case scenario for Bengals’ offense in 2018
The Cincinnati Bengals’ offense had a disastrous 2017 season, finishing last in the league in yardage and 26th in points. So how much of an improvement can they make next year? If a few things go right, the Bengals could actually make a big leap, and -totally serious here – be one of the highest powered offenses in the league. So what needs to happen?

Early returns suggest Bengals aren’t changing much in 2018
It was supposed to be different. At least some fans of the Cincinnati Bengals thought it might be — others weren’t fooled. Ever after the team brought back head coach Marvin Lewis, some thought change was still in the air. After all, the Bengals “revamped” the coaching staff under Lewis, bringing on a guy like defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. Alex Van Pelt’s backstory with Green Bay as quarterbacks coach sounded good. Frank Pollack replacing Paul Alexander as offensive line coach, likewise.

Cincinnati Bengals long snapper sets Guinness World Record
Cincinnati Bengals long snapper Clark Harris will make his first Pro Bowl appearance Sunday afternoon, but he wasn’t waiting for the game to make his mark.

TDBH:Bengals tap young Shula to coach WRs
No one can possibly know the significance of today’s back-of-the-broadcast tidbit that the Bengals have filled out their coaching staff for the upcoming season by appointing David Shula wide receivers coach. It raises an eyebrow or two because Shula, 31, is the eldest son of Dolphins head coach Don Shula, pro football’s all-time winningest coach after he plays for Bengals president and general manager Paul Brown in Cleveland before Dave was born. As head coach Sam Wyche gives him a tour of the Spinney Field offices, what would the two say if they knew in 11 months Shula is to succeed Wyche as head coach?

AFC North Bytes

Steelers' top 5 internal priorities in free agency
NFL free agency is more than six weeks away, so the only players the Steelers can (legally) discuss contract extensions with are those who are still under contract with them. Among players who finished the season with the Steelers, 11 are free agents who will have an opportunity to sign elsewhere (six are unrestricted, five restricted) – that is, unless the Steelers take them off the market by signing them to extensions prior to March 12.

Browns' QB Plans Include Veteran, Rookie Upgrades?
The Sashi Brown regime will likely be most associated with the decisions to trade out of draft spots that ended up producing Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson. Well, that and an unprecedented losses in a two-year span.

Random Bytes

Tom Brady cuts off interview over comments about daughter
Tom Brady‘s hand might not be 100 percent, but he’s still able to use it to hang up a phone. According to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, Brady cut short his normal weekly interview with WEEI in Boston because of some remarks made about his daughter by one of the station’s host, and said he was evaluating whether to do the show again.

Doug Pederson on Super Bowl, Brett Favre, NFL journey
This was Friday, 5:14 a.m. It’d been only six-and-a-half hours since Eagles coach Doug Pederson left the office Thursday night, but you couldn’t tell, except for the 5 o’clock shadow (which might be perpetual with him) and the slightly droopy eyes. This was a happy man, driving to work while most of greater Philadelphia was sound asleep. As Pederson steered his Range Rover onto I-295 for the 20-mile commute to his office in south Philly, he savored the pitch-blackness. “I love this time of day,” he said. “Quiet, peaceful, not a lot of traffic on 295. My time to process the moment, process the morning. Football-wise, it’s a short-yardage, goal-line, third-down day. The plays [offensive coordinator] Frank Reich and I went over and over last night, I’m cycling through those.”

Can This Eagles Defense Contain Tom Brady and Patriots to Pull off Upset?
Thus far, most of the national focus for Super Bowl LII has been on Tom Brady and Nick Foles. That's understandable; this game's quarterback matchup is compelling. Brady is the most decorated player in NFL history, while Foles is an intriguing, streaky backup playing his best football with little to lose.