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Bengals Bytes (5/30): Preston Brown confused about the NFL’s emphasis with helmet rule

Preston Brown led the league in tackles last season, but this year he will have to deal with the NFL’s new helmet rule.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals 53-man roster predictions: Running backs
The Cincinnati Bengals have a solid group of running backs heading into training camp this season. With former running back Jeremy Hill heading to New England in free agency, second-year running back Joe Mixon will take the charge as the lead back. Mixon was limited in snaps last season between Hill and complementary back Giovani Bernard. Running behind an offensive line that struggled for the duration of 2017, Mixon was also limited on what he could do.

Bengals Beat Podcast: OTA opportunities
Enquirer Bengals beat writers Paul Dehner Jr. and Jim Owczarski take a look at the ongoings from the second week of the OTA program including what veteran absences have opened up for a crop of young players.,Also, we talk anthem policy fallout in Cincinnati, Dre Kirkpatrick's connection to a drug raid and the Bengals' long Vegas odds in Degenerate Corner.

Where would you rank the Bengals receiving core?
The Cincinnati Bengals receiving core has some significant weapons but has plenty of question marks going into the 2018 season. Star wide receiver A.J. Green leads the pack, but as we saw last season, he can’t do it all on his own. Defenses slanted toward Green’s side of the field with the lack of a number two wide receiver and tight end Tyler Eifert being on Injured Reserve for most of the season.

Dre Kirkpatrick and Carlos Dunlap not at OTA's
The Cincinnati Bengals are hosting their second week of OTA’s this week and there are two big names that are not in attendance. Defensive end Carlos Dunlap is missing as expected due to entering a contract season with the team. Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick is the surprise no-show as he was in attendance last week.

Bengals' John Ross seeks redemption for rookie year gone awry
John Ross played only 17 snaps for the Bengals last season, which was less than almost any offensive rookie drafted in 2017, let alone a top-10 pick. His last playing time came in a loss to the Tennessee Titans on Nov. 14, a stint that ended after only six snaps. Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis chided him afterward for "letting his team down" when the wide receiver pulled up on a deep route, thinking the ball wasn’t coming his way.

NFL leader Brown won't worry about tackling scrutiny
The man who led the NFL in tackles last season believes his game will survive the scrutiny of the NFL’s effort to curtail the use of the helmet. But Bengals middle linebacker Preston Brown, who made 144 of them to tie Green Bay linebacker Blake Martinez for the title, admitted after Tuesday’s voluntary practice that he doesn’t know much about the league’s point of emphasis this upcoming season. He’s far from alone, but, ready or not, offense or defense, tackling or blocking, the NFL has declared war on leading with the helmet.

On a Mission
Five NFL players -- Latavius Murray, Mark Ingram, Carlos Dunlap, Ben Garland and Mario Addison -- and one lifelong coach in Rex Ryan. Using their fleeting offseason downtime to voyage here, in April, to Aviano Air Base. A sprawling tangle of runways and tan buildings topped with clay-colored, terracotta-style roofing.

AFC North Bytes

Mychal Kendricks Reportedly Visiting Vikings, Raiders and Browns
Free-agent linebacker Mychal Kendricks has scheduled visits with the Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns for this week, Yahoo Sports' Jordan Schultz reported Tuesday. According to Schultz, Kendricks may decide on where to sign by the end of the week.

What's changed for Steelers TE Vance McDonald in 1st OTAs in Pittsburgh
Vance McDonald spent much of his 2017 season trying to customize routes for plays he was only just learning. The Steelers traded their 2018 fourth-round pick for McDonald and a fifth-round pick two days before their final preseason game last year. He hardly managed to catch up with the offense, compiling 14 catches for 188 yards and one touchdown. When he understood Pittsburgh's playbook, he was often injured.

Random Bytes

Von Miller hosting another pass rusher summit
Broncos star outside linebacker Von Miller was grateful for the lessons he learned from his elders. So he’s more than willing to share them with the next generation of guys who chase quarterbacks.

NFL Teams Set to Disappoint in 2018
Summer in the NFL is a time of universal optimism. Every fanbase is buzzing about moves made during free agency and the draft with hopes the upcoming season will be special. However, history shows summer optimism turns into winter disappointment for NFL teams every season.

NFL Teams Set to Disappoint in 2018
Summer in the NFL is a time of universal optimism. Every fanbase is buzzing about moves made during free agency and the draft with hopes the upcoming season will be special. However, history shows summer optimism turns into winter disappointment for NFL teams every season.