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Bengals Bytes (6/14): Defense is already creating turnovers

It may just be practices without pads in shorts, but it is still nice to see the Bengals defense already trying to create more turnovers.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Minicamp Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Quick hits: Eifert question mark for camp; three-pick day; Joe all go
Tight end Tyler Eifert stretched with the team before Wednesday’s mandatory minicamp practice but just watched the rest of the way. That may or may not be what we see when training camps starts in 43 days as he continues to recover from back surgery. Lewis said he doesn’t know if Eifert is going to be ready for July 26.

Bengals unsure if Eifert (back) will be ready for camp
The Bengals' one-year gamble on oft-injured tight end Tyler Eifert is off to an inauspicious start this offseason. Surprised by Eifert's inability to take the field for this week's minicamp, a frustrated Marvin Lewis acknowledged Wednesday that the status of the 2015 Pro Bowl selection is uncertain for the start of training camp this summer.

Jake Fisher, Cincinnati Bengals, cleared to practice after heart surgery
The 2015 second-round draft pick had surgery Nov. 18 to correct an irregular heartbeat and has slowly been working his way back to the field.

Are the Bengals proving they are in "win-now" mode?
The Cincinnati Bengals have had one of the busiest offseasons since signing head coach Marvin Lewis in 2003. Bringing in coaches like defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and offensive line coach Frank Pollack are the most notable additions. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor will have his first offseason at his new position to draw up a playbook to revolve around Dalton’s strengths.

Young Bengals receivers making plays in camp
The Cincinnati Bengals began mandatory minicamp this week, and it seems that some of the young wide receivers are having impressive days. It comes to no surprise that second-year wide receiver John Ross impresses as he has been one of the biggest headlines out of camp this offseason. Another receiver trying to make some big plays is Josh Malone, who spent much of OTA’s on a pedal bike nursing an injury.

Cincinnati Bengals defense picking off passes in practice
It’s just practice — and one in shorts sans pads at that — but a Cincinnati Bengals defense that has struggled forcing turnovers the last two years will take them when they can get them.And Wednesday they got a lot of them with three interceptions, which had to please new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.

AFC North Bytes

Browns QB Tyrod Taylor would love to knock Buffalo Bills out of playoffs in 2018
Tyrod Taylor knows a thing or two about playoff droughts. The quarterback played a big role in ending the Buffalo Bills' 17-year playoff drought in 2017. Now, Taylor will be starting for the Cleveland Browns after Buffalo traded him to the team for a 2018 third round pick. After helping end one drought, Taylor will now take a shot at ending the NFL's current longest drought in Cleveland (15 seasons).

Karl Dunbar feels right at home with the Steelers
When Karl Dunbar was hired as the Steelers defensive line coach in February, he recognized plenty of the faces he saw around the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. They were team employees who have been around since his playing days in Pittsburgh.

Random Bytes

Carson Wentz facing one more hurdle in return
Head coach Doug Pederson said this week that everyone on the Eagles still views it as Carson Wentz‘s team, but that Nick Foles remains the starting quarterback as they put a wrap on their offseason program.

Antonio Gates, Chargers Have Discussed Reunion After Hunter Henry Injury
Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco confirmed Wednesday that the club has reached out to free-agent tight end Antonio Gates after Hunter Henry suffered a season-ending ACL tear last month. "Obviously, Antonio would be a natural fit," Telesco told 97.3 The Fan in San Diego (h/t the Los Angeles Daily News' Jack Wang). "He's someone that we have talked to. We've talked to his representatives. Sometimes, it's not just as easy as saying, 'Hey, let’s just bring him back. Let's go.'"

Report: Cowboys' Zack Martin Signs 6-Year Contract with Record Guaranteed Money
The Dallas Cowboys have locked down offensive guard Zack Martin by signing him to a six-year contract extension that makes him the highest-paid guard in NFL history, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The six-year contract is worth $84 million and $40 million guaranteed, Rapoport reported Wednesday. The deal includes the largest guaranteed salary for the position.