New Cincinnati Bengals coaches are finding their scouting voice
A month ago, Bill Lazor’s new offensive coaching staff convened for the first time as a group. Quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt sat for a bit with new wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell, and the pair was joined by running backs coach Kyle Caskey watching over the practices at the Senior Bowl in Alabama. Lazor made sure to sit with new offensive line coach Frank Pollack to pick his brain on what he liked in an offensive lineman.
Cincinnati Bengals offensive line coach Frank Pollack talks
The man tasked with addressing the biggest weakness that plagued the Cincinnati Bengals in 2018 said the fix should be simple. “That’s the art of coaching – taking something complex and making it simple,” said Frank Pollack, the new Bengals offensive line coach.
BX: Annual reminder, Bengals all-in on Dalton
Most of the talk inside the Indiana Convention Center, as well as overflowing into the restaurants and bars of Indianapolis, centered around the quarterback position. Who will sign who, who will draft who, who shouldn’t draft anyone and who should get rid of their guy. The offseason of the quarterback is upon us and, as Duke Tobin said this week, “opinions are like armpits, we all have them and most of them stink. Present company included."
Back to finding a backup
Alex Van Pelt has been here before in Saturday’s throwing session at the NFL scouting combines looking for a back-up quarterback. In fact, Van Pelt, the Bengals’ new quarterbacks coach, was in the second group 25 years ago watching Washington State quarterback Drew Bledsoe throw enough rockets to stake his claim as the draft’s No. 1 overall pick. Van Pelt went 215 picks later in the last eighth round ever and hung around long enough as a backup to back up Bledsoe in Buffalo during his ninth and last season in the pros.
Combine hits: No clear-cut tackle at 12; Safety hunt continues; Vea has Bengals model
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock emerged from his Combinathon late Saturday afternoon and didn’t see a left tackle at No. 12. He sees them in the second and third round, but not that high. The Bengals are hoping at least four quarterbacks are off the board in the first 11 picks, but apparently that won’t help them right away in the pursuit of protection for quarterback Andy Dalton’s blindside.
AFC North Bytes
Should the Ravens draft, sign or trade for a wide receiver? Part II
With the lack of a highly-productive wide receiver continuing to plague the Ravens, the second part of this series will discuss free agency options for bolstering the position and elevating the offense. As Mike Wallace enters free agency, the Ravens will have to decide if they want to keep him in Baltimore. In 2017, Wallace hauled in 20 fewer receptions for 269 less yards compared to his first season with the Ravens. At 31 years old and entering his 10th year in the league, it may be time for the Ravens to look towards a younger, more productive player.
Christian Kirk’s strong combine should impress WR-needy Browns
The wide receivers took to the NFL Scouting Combine stage on Saturday, and the Cleveland Browns definitely paid major attention to the workouts here in Indianapolis. One of Saturday’s workout winners was Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk, and the Aggie receiver should be strongly in play for Cleveland with one of its picks at the top of the second round.
Jarvis Landry Reportedly to Accept Dolphins Franchise Tag Amid Trade Rumors
The Miami Dolphins placed the franchise tag on impending free agent Jarvis Landry, and the wide receiver apparently won't waste much time before signing it. But that doesn't mean he'll be a Dolphin in 2018. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, a source said Landry will sign the tag "imminently," giving him a salary of about $16 million next season. This comes two days after Rapoport reported the team gave the wideout permission to seek a trade.
Jerry Jones Expects Dez Bryant to Return to Cowboys Next Season
Bryant caught 69 passes for 838 yards and six touchdowns in 2017, averaging a career-low 12.1 yards per reception. His contract, combined with the drop in production, has many wondering if he'll be a cap casualty. Whether Jones wants the 29-year-old back at his current salary remains to be seen. Machota's tweet indicates the team wants to approach the three-time Pro Bowler about reworking his contract, and it's unclear how things will play out if Bryant won't agree to a restructured deal.
Combine Notebook: Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and the Virtual QB Rivalry
All of the top quarterback prospects except Sam Darnold took part in passing drills Saturday. How you think they performed varied according to who you listen to, how well you can interpret passing drills without defenders and (most likely) what you thought of each prospect before the drills.