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Bengals Bytes (2/13): What we learned from last season

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What did we learn from the Bengals disappointing 2017 season?

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Detroit Lions v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images

Jeff Driskel’s status and his impact on how the Bengals handle the AJ McCarron situation
Just when it was starting to seem simple. The Cincinnati Bengals and backup quarterback AJ McCarron will find out this week the results of an arbitration hearing over his filed grievance. Now we have to loop Jeff Driskel back into the convesation.

Six things we learned from the Bengals looking back at the 2017 season
Now that the dust has settled and the 2017 NFL season is officially over, I wanted to share six things that I learned about the Bengals. There are reasons to be concerned heading into 2018. I think most fans are skeptical, which is totally reasonable. However, there are several reasons why the Bengals could be back in the playoff conversation in 2018.

Report: Bengals’ offseason focus on getting extensions for Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap
The Bengals’ offseason focus is getting defensive tackle Geno Atkins and defensive end Carlos Dunlap signed to extensions, Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Both are entering the final year of their deals, with Atkins set to make $9.25 million in base salary and count $9.5 million against the salary cap and Dunlap scheduled to make $7 million and make $7.3 million against the cap.

Latest 2018 NFL mock draft gets the Bengals painfully correct
If asked to define one key trait about the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of NFL drafts lately, fans would point right at that the high-profile rookies hardly get to contribute in their debut seasons. As such, it’s painful — and accurate — to read a new 2018 NFL mock draft from Rotoworld’s Josh Norris, who has the Bengals going with Texas offensive tackle Connor Williams at No. 12

2018 NFL Draft: Cincinnati Bengals 7-round mock draft
After missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season in 2017, the Bengals will have to address a number of issues up front if they want a shot at reversing the trend in 2018. To the surprise of many, the team chose to bring back head coach Marvin Lewis for his 16th season but some feel it could be his last if the club fails to make a playoff run next season.

TDBH: Rudi kills clock for AFC while Pro Bowlers hand it to Chad
Bengals running back Rudi Johnson does what he does best today in his first Pro Bowl when he helps the AFC kill the clock in a 38-27 victory over the NFC and gets half his carries in the last drive while finishing as the AFC’s leading rusher. Johnson rips off an 18-yard run in the waning moments on his way to 33 yards on six carries. It was the longest run by an AFC running back in a game that Colts quarterback Peyton Manning takes MVP honors with three touchdown passes to different receivers to give his team a 28-7 lead.

Eagles’ Super Bowl win offers a sobering reality — and a blueprint — for Bengals
When you're a fan of a franchise that hasn't won a Super Bowl, it's easy to root for a team like the Philadelphia Eagles in their own quest to attain that...

AFC North Bytes

Ravens safeties reach out to Jarvis Landry on Twitter
It will be another month before teams can sign free agents from other teams and that leaves plenty of time for players around the league to make pitches to prospective teammates about working together in the future. It appears Ravens safeties Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson were doing that over the weekend, although it was a fairly low-key approach. Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry tweeted “DIFFERENT” on Saturday and both of the safeties replied.

Tim Benz: Steelers owner Art Rooney's comments about defense come up short
Many Steelers fans were upset at the cavalier dismissal of concerns surrounding the team's defense from owner Art Rooney II last week. They should be. “We have made some investments there that we feel still have upside ahead of them so we need to add people to it obviously,” said Rooney II last week. “But by the looks of things in the playoffs it's not easy to play defense in this league anymore. So it's something that we are trying to adjust to. (There are) A lot of great offenses out there that we have to be ready to match them. So it's always a challenge now.”

Random Bytes

The Randy Moss Legacy: A Player Who Inspired Fear Like No Other
It was the first day of Vikings training camp in 1998, and Robert Smith, the team's veteran running back, was on the phone talking to his agent during lunch. Coming off a breakout season, you'd think the topic of conversation was Smith's contract or his health or how the opening workout went. But no. The agent wanted to know what everyone else wanted to know about the Vikings that year.

Kareem Hunt Alleged to Have 'Shoved and Pushed' Woman in Dispute
Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt has been accused of assaulting a 19-year-old woman last weekend, per Courtney Astolfi of Cleveland.com. No charges have yet been filed, but Abigail Ottinger said Hunt "shoved and pushed" her in a dispute early Saturday morning in downtown Cleveland.

Colts and Vikings Joining a Coaching Movement That Will Change the NFL
If you are frustrated with the NFL's coaching status quo, you're going to love the expansion of Eagles Incorporated. The Indianapolis Colts just named former Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich as their new head coach, albeit after top choice Josh McDaniels was recalled to the Patriots mothership and left Philadelphia at the altar.