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Bengals Bytes (3/2): What Cincinnati is looking for from offensive line prospects

The Bengals biggest goal from this draft will be fixing their offensive line, and the first chance to get an idea of how they will be doing that is the Scouting Combine.

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NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Kurt Coleman visiting with Saints, Bengals at NFL Combine
The New Orleans Saints are visiting with former Carolina Panthers safety Kurt Coleman Thursday night in Indianapolis, according to Josh Katzenstein of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Coleman was released by the Panthers earlier this week after spending the last three seasons in Carolina. The report cites multiple teams interested in Coleman’s services.

Bengals hone in on how to proceed at offensive line
When looking for new Bengals offensive line coach Frank Pollack around the hotels and player workout areas near Lucas Oil Stadium, he's often easy to spot. Not because he’s a hard-to-miss, burly former offensive lineman, rather, because you can probably find offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and Pollack will be by his side.

TDBH:Lewis names Palmer starting QB
No one is surprised today when head coach Marvin Lewis names Carson Palmer this season’s No. 1 quarterback. Down deep, not even Jon Kitna, despite his career-high 26 touchdown passes that net him NFL Comeback Player of the Year and rebound the Bengals from 2-14 to 8-8. After all, Palmer is a can’t-miss Heisman Trophy winner and last year’s overall No. 1 pick. But Kitna, 32, can’t contain the competitor that lives inside. "The one thing that Marvin said is that they wanted to try and throw the ball over the top of people more," Kitna says. "I just wish they had given me that opportunity because whenever we tried to throw the ball over the top of people, we were pretty successful. But the opportunities weren't as many as I would have liked, or as many as the guys on the team would have liked."

New combo lines up at combine
Frank Pollack, the Bengals’ estimable new offensive line coach, arrived here at the NFL scouting combine with the distinct impression that he’ll have more of a say in the draft room than he did in his three previous NFL stops. And here’s what he’s seeking

Coleman visit points to emphasis on turnovers
The Bengals appeared to be mulling a major change at safety Thursday night when they met with former Panther Kurt Coleman and his agent here at the NFL scouting combine. Coleman, who turns 30 before training camp, made the drive from Paul Brown Stadium after undergoing a physical and meeting with new Bengals defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. Reports also had Coleman meeting with the Saints in Indy.

TDBH: Houshmandzadeh goes from 0 catches to four-year deal
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, wildly popular in the locker room and the community, is the guy with the bobbing ponytail and velvet hands who has battled adversity in earning an "Everyman" tag. But today he’s rewarded with a not-so every-day contract. With Houshmandzadeh being pursued by division rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh, agent David Dunn and Bengals director of business development Troy Blackburn work into last night as free agency nears at midnight before finalizing a deal that keeps him off the market for what figures to be about $3 million per year with an excess of $5 million this year. reports the contract at about $13 million, a remarkable turn of events for the 2001 seventh-rounder that comes into the season with just 62 career catches for 720 yards and a touchdown after a hamstring injury prevents him from making a catch in 2003.

AFC North Bytes

Report: Ravens among possible suitors for RB Frank Gore
Entering the offseason, the Baltimore Ravens will be in the market for weapons and playmakers, looking out for wide receivers and tight ends in an effort to bolster the offense and help quarterback Joe Flacco. Another offensive position that it seems Baltimore could be looking at, interestingly enough, is running back.

John Dorsey: Browns Open to Trading No. 1 Overall Pick in 2018 NFL Draft
Cleveland secured the No. 1 overall pick after going 0-16 last season. It added the Houston Texans' first-round pick last year when the Texans moved up 13 spots to select Deshaun Watson. Predraft prognostications have the Browns selecting a quarterback with their first pick. B/R's Matt Miller has USC star Sam Darnold going to Cleveland at No. 1 overall in his most recent mock draft.

Random Bytes

Dion Lewis Rumors: 49ers, Jets, Raiders Among Teams Expected to Pursue RB
Running back Dion Lewis is reportedly drawing interest from multiple teams after helping lead the New England Patriots to their second straight Super Bowl appearance. On Thursday, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported "as many as six or seven teams are expected to pursue Lewis," who is set for free agency this offseason. Florio specifically mentioned the New York Jets, Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders and Indianapolis Colts among those who are "potentially interested."

Kirk Cousins Rumors: Broncos Reportedly 'All-In' on Free-Agent QB
The Denver Broncos are going "all-in" to sign quarterback Kirk Cousins, Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson reported Thursday. According to Robinson, the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets will also make strong efforts to land Cousins. Robinson also wrote the Broncos would potentially highlight "the team’s foundation for success and possibly the city itself" in its sales pitch to Cousins.

Jarvis Landry Trade Rumors: Dolphins Permit WR to Seek Deal After Franchise Tag
The Miami Dolphins have reportedly taken a step toward potentially trading wide receiver Jarvis Landry. On Thursday, Ian Rapoport of reported, "The Dolphins have given franchise tagged WR Jarvis Landry and his representative permission to seek and facilitate a trade. It will take cooperation from all parties."