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Bengals Bytes (6/2): An interesting emphasis on turnovers

Teryl Austin took over as defensive coordinator this season, and one of his biggest tasks is to get this defense to create more turnovers. One way he is doing that is a bit outside the box.

NFL: Preseason-Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

4 Reasons Why The Cincinnati Bengals Offense Improves in 2018
The Cincinnati Bengals logged 4,488 yards of offense in 2017, which was dead last in the National Football League. Seriously … Tom Brady and Phillip Rivers had more passing yards last year. Forget commercials – the best time to get a beer or use the john was when Cincinnati had the ball. Better move quick, though – you’ve only got 3 downs.

New Bengals defensive coordinator emphasizing turnovers ... even on incomplete passes
Starting in rookie mini-camp and continuing through Organized Team Activity sessions, each time an incomplete pass has hit the ground defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and his assistants can be heard yelling, "scoop, scoop, scoop!" That seems strange on an incomplete pass, but Austin wants to get his players to think about going after the ball anytime it hits the ground-- no matter what-- in order to have a more aggressive mindset for coming up with turnovers.

Is Joe Mixon headed for a breakout year in 2018?
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon might be one of the most interesting names heading into 2018. Look around and it’s easy to find Mixon popping up as a “breakout” candidate, though others have him as a “bust” candidate.

Can Bob Bicknell develop Bengals young receivers
The Cincinnati Bengals have plenty of untapped potential in their young wide receivers group going into the 2018 season. Second-year receiver John Ross will play healthy for the first time this season while players like Tyler Boyd, Cody Core, or Josh Malone all are waiting for their opportunity to see reps in the Cincinnati offense. New wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell could be the right answer to develop these young receivers into their full potential.

Ka’Raun White listed as Bengals’ most exciting UDFA
The Bengals made a late addition by grabbing White off waivers after his release from the Seattle Seahawks. The brother of Kevin White, Ka’Raun stands at 6’1″ and 206 pounds with interesting upside.

Is the Bengals backup quarterback position a lock?
The Cincinnati Bengals signed quarterback Matt Barkley this offseason to a one-year deal after the departure of A.J. McCarron. When the signing happened, I expressed my thoughts on why I didn’t like the signing, and I’m still not sold. After almost all of the news coming out of OTA workouts being positive, the only negative it seems is Barkley’s throws.

Making all the snaps count
After Thursday’s voluntary work on the field, Michael Johnson volunteered again and caught a flight headed to Charleston, S.C. A re-union loomed with his decade long book-end on the Bengals defensive line at Carlos Dunlap’s expanded youth football camp, an idea that Dunlap plucked from his buddy like one of his fourth-quarter game-breakers.

AFC North Bytes

Steelers LB Matt Galambos thankful for 2nd chance after injury-wrecked season
Matt Galambos smiled. Perhaps knowing the audience he was speaking to after he had taken part in an optional Steelers offseason earlier this week, he was comparing the city he's from to the one across the state that has been something of his adopted home.

Ravens passing game 'deep' in transition from last year
Drop back. Throw long. Repeat. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was flinging the ball far downfield Thursday during a voluntary offseason training practice, targeting an array of receivers that includes newcomers Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead.

Random Bytes

Bobby McCain, Dolphins Reportedly Agree to 4-Year, $27M Contract Extension
After spending the first three years of his career with the Miami Dolphins, cornerback Bobby McCain has decided to remain in South Beach for years to come. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on Friday that McCain had agreed to terms on a four-year, $27 million extension with the Dolphins, with $13 million in guaranteed money.

NFL Stars on the Verge of Cementing Hall of Fame Status This Season
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Aaron Rodgers Reportedly Wants Player Options in New Packers Contract
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is reportedly seeking additional control in order to sign a long-term extension. On Thursday, Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network reported Rodgers is pushing for contract options that would give him an opportunity to renegotiate if QB salaries continue to skyrocket